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LUMNOS - Ancient Shadows of Saturn

Release date Feb 26/18 (Flowing Downward)

Let's define what heavy metal is. I'd describe it as a genre of music that is loud and aggressive, with guitars and drums being the central instruments in delivery of the excess. I bring this up because one sub-genre seems to be pushing the boundaries lately of what constitutes heavy metal. That sub-genre is 'atmospheric black metal'. First there was Myrkur's ethereal Mareridt release, and now there is Lumnos' Ancient Shadows of Saturn, both of which are being lumped under the atmospheric black metal tag.

With respect to Lumnos' release, keyboards are the main driver of the music, and in no terms can this be defined as aggressive or loud. Sure, some drums and guitar make fleeting guest appearances now and then, but they are clearly secondary to the plot. Hence, it does not meet the definition of what is heavy metal. And don''t tell me that the inclusion of a couple of minutes of gremlin vocals passes the criteria for being black metal.

Okay, so we have determined that this is not heavy metal of any kind, so what the hell is it? I'd simply call it atmospheric rock. Plodding, dreamy keyboard riffs cascade in endless (okay - ten minute) loops, giving a weightless sensation like floating out in space, utterly alone. Wow, what fun. After 50 minutes of this I wanted to cut off my oxygen supply and end the torment.

[0] on a heavy metal scale (since it isn't heavy metal)

[3] on a rock scale (begrugingly - there's some obvious skill at work here)

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