Shinin’ Shade: Sat-Urn

Occult-tinged Italians prove still lost in the shadows

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Italy has a proud progressive/psychedelic rock heritage, producing dozens of notable acts, and being amongst the first to embrace the likes of Genesis and Van der Graaf Generator. This Parma prog/psych/doom outfit perhaps see themselves as part of this long tradition.

Since the release of their self-titled 2010 debut, however, much has changed. Where previously the group’s vocals were a weak and watery confection, the arrival of Jane Esther-Collins has provided a much needed focal point. Although arguably a response to the ongoing occult rock trend, it’s nonetheless proved a positive move. Other things have been beefed up too; the riffs are chunkier, the solos spunkier, and there’s much less aimless noodling.

But a problem persists; this just isn’t the sound of a band ‘in the zone’. From one track to the next, it’s a battle between paying attention and giving in to the urge to go do something else. Although not entirely devoid of memorable moments, it’s a hollow marvel just how they’ve managed to make the sum total so forgettable.