Shinin’ Shade – Sat-Urn

It’s not good when you start with one of the worst band names we’ve encountered in awhile.  We suppose, though, that if you’re going for more of the 1960s or 70s in terms of your “doom” it sounds fitting, like Blue Cheer or Incredible Hog.  However, that always irritates the piss out of us, because such bands are not doom, and barely proto-doom.  Who in the crap even uses that term?  Shinin’ Shade just has that old-fashioned, smoke-rings-out-mouth-band-photo twang to it.  It sounds old from the beginning, and not surprisingly the music reflects this same sort of idea, but in a way that most certainly never breaches into the territory of “yes give me more please.”  It’s more like “please stop.”  Sat-Urn manages to get past its image with some stellar presentation via the artwork and lyrics.  Really, this is quite the high-quality shiz if we dare say so.  Really lovin’ (let’s go with the flow around here and utilizing the apostrophe to its fullest) the lyrics, seriously.  Unfortunately, however, the music never really reaches the beyond, it never exits the wormhole of the psychedelic, in fact it spends most of its time spinning on its edges like black bile that just won’t come off the toilet bowl, even if you piss directly upon it.  We normally reserve such fiery intros for the worst of the worst, and to these guy’s credit, thankfully it never gets that far, but unfortunately it also never gets very far at all for a very specific reason.


See Sat-Urn could have actually been awesome, it’s got all the materials it needs to build itself into a monolith.  The vocals, stellar, girl has a nice, dreamy, but brooding sound to her voice, and her lyric carry is splendid.  And she does it without any real variety, as most of her singing is clean.  This can work incredibly well if the vocalist is good enough, and here she definitely is.  Hell, most death metal bands think they can do their thing with the same damn roars throughout every single song, and that gets tiresome.  Singing like a pure, bubbling fountain of mystique never gets old.  Unfortunately, though, it’s not enough to carry the rest of the music, ever, and it’s really the only redeemable quality about Sat-Urn, which would be more properly titled Ur-anus.  That’s humor around here.


Sat-Urn suffers.  But it’s not the kind of suffering you get out of listening to funeral doom or stuff of the harsher variety.  You don’t lament the death of a beloved who never died, no, you lament the fact that Sat-Urn goes, and keeps going without getting anywhere.  For the love of God  is this ever going to go anywhere?  See, that’s how this album works.  It looks beautiful on the surface, great artwork, some wonderful moments of atmosphere with some cool riff builds, and Domiziana does her thing.  But…when the guitar/bass work begins and you feel it, it starts the pulse of the stoner rock in your veins, it builds, and builds, and builds, and then…God do something with this!  The sound of almost this entire album can best be explained as a constant bridge that never connects anything.  Many of the riffs sound muffled, it’s the classic psychedelic sluggishness, but the problem here is that you’re constantly expecting that boom of shred and colossal power, but it never comes, it’s frequently stuck on muting and slow chug-riffs with only a few instants of might.  Really only one song, “Through the Wires of Your Mind,” manages to catch your attention via a break in the endless, smokey tension.  Shinin’ Shade seem like a cool group of people, but their sound is more of the antiquated variety because of how it’s constructed.  If you prefer it with massive power, save it for bands like Ea, Moss, stuff like that, because suggesting part of this is of the doom variety is misleading because of a lack of consistency in sound.  Psychedelic stoner rock, perhaps, but even then it still has that one issue of a constant tension that never really resolves.


 Shinin’ Shade Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Shinin’ Shade – Sat-Urn
Moonlight Records
3 / 5