Halfway to the North Pole on the Norwegian coast, Trondheim seems to be the least likely place to shelter a band like High Priest Of Saturn. And indeed, stuck between a vivid pop/rock scene and a hardcore black metal movement, the power-trio, led by foxy vocalist Merethe, stick out. Openly inspired by stoner and doom, their 2011 two-track demo was a revelation, an epic trip drowned in echoes and menacing organ lines. Fast-forward a year and a small line-up switch later and the trio’s self-titled album picks up where things were left and goes totally berserk… or should we say cosmic?
“Regarding the name, we wanted an aesthetic related to Saturn, both on an astronomical and mythological level. We do like the symbolism attached to it and believe it fits our music well. And, most importantly, we just think the name sounds cool,” Merethe laughs. “Musically, Acid King is one of our main influences, next to other classic stoner doom bands such as Sleep and Om, but also ’60s and ’70s bands like Pink Floyd, The Doors and of course Black Sabbath. We also used a keyboard player for the album and his organ paints the walls in psychedelic colours; the walls being the riffs.”
Besides a re-recording of their demo material, the titles of the two new tracks written for the album show that their astronomical fixation shouldn’t be taken lightly: “Those are again references to Saturn. ‘Kraken Mare’ is the name of a sea on Titan and ‘Mayda Insula’ is an island in Kraken Mare. Drowning in Kraken Mare is a metaphor for being overcome by fear and anxiety while Mayda Insula is a safe haven where you can find peace.” Tailor-made for the Roadburn Festival and with their next album ready to be recorded next summer, High Priest Of Saturn may well be on their way to the stars.