The Crinn – Dreaming Saturn Review

Originally written by Ian Chainey

What a pain in the dick this review has been. By the time this hits your eyes, Dreaming Saturn will have been out for, shit, months? A hundred terrible albums will have passed through your hard drive, and that’s part of the problem, because:

Dude, like, the Internet is totally ruining you.

And, there it is, my Andy Rooney side,shinning brighter than a replacement hip in a crematorium fire. Oh,I know that sentiment is ridic’, and not just because I’m the eighty bahundred cajillionth person to spout such ill-conceived shit on the web. What was once an attempt to hold up a mirror to our fat, computer chair-formed selves, now reads more like a spiteful amateur editorial that was defiantly banged out on a typewriter so rusted that only the gnarled tree-trunk fingers of an indignant septuagenarian could make the hammers put ink to paper; like some terrible Excalibur-esque scenario where it only types once you believe in your heart of hearts that those damn kids really do need to get the fuck off your lawn. Plus, I know that I’m a hypocrite because I’m writing this ON MY SMARTPHONE. But, seriously,dude, the Internet is killing you, slithering under your protective gazes and looking to squeeze the life out of your patience like an eager python let loose in the maternity ward.

I’m sure you already know too, because this age of use-once-and-destroy culture ain’t subtle, exactly like the gifts it proposes to impart. Any doucher with a blogspot account has been dressing up like ol’ Saint Nick and sliding down your chimney, throwing “best ever!”s and “awesome”s underneath your tree, competing for your time on earth that you can’t get a refund on. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it’s great to get a “best ever” every minute I hit refresh, but, a few hours later, the albums that wore those superlatives wilt and die, no longer getting the water of your attention, relegated to older posts territory as they’re buried by a never ending stream of shit that I apparently can’t die without hearing. If it makes even a tiny impact on the first listen, it’s thrown on the web faster than SEC employees filling up an external hard drive with golden shower vids. Instant gratification is today’s soup o’ the day though, supporting us like a pair of crutches through the treacherous real world where shit gets worse with every passing paycheck. Of course, it’s totally human nature, no one would snort a line of something that promised to make their brain jizz in forty-eight awkwardly boring hours. And yeah, there are times when I need a record to hit me on the first listen, but, that doesn’t mean that the increasingly rarefied joys that come from a once-confusing mess finally clicking with you aren’t currently being threatened to hit the pre-net deep freeze, scrapped off and forgotten like the humanizing mole on Sarah Jessica Parker’s equine features.

Enter The Crinn. Dreaming Saturn ain’t one of those digitized discs d’jour that bloggers pump for a nanosecond, it’s one of the albums that suffers because of blog culture, because no one is going to give this the proper time to germinate. And that’s kinda ironic ’cause The Crinn is born of the widdly, the age of bands that have perverted the intent of Crom-Tech and DEP, flipping the bird to coherency and trading it for an avalanche of notes that tumble from the speaker like coke dust out of the schnoz of Nachtmystium. But, these guys are looking for something a little deeper than the Sleep Terrors and Pysopuses of the world, outfits that are only interested in jamming their meathooks back into their smoking trouser pockets and speed-stroking another layer of skin off. Sorta like Lye By Mistake, who took a surprising turn and ended up in Return to Forever territory with their last session, The Crinn looks back to the not-so-distant past to color their torrential downpour of tones with something familiar and tangible, making sure that you can relate to the music first before they hit Ludicrous Speed. Dreaming Saturn ties together its Gordian Knot with recognizable twine, cleverly appropriating the jagged, heavens-above sound of Cave In. Yep, they take a big page out of Until Your Heart Stops and everything that followed and have churned out the first widdly album that has fucked a space rock album and isn’t that annoying.

Okay, granted, the “spacey” white noise that fills the minimal spaces of dead air sounds like someone accidentally let a Lustmord record bleed through on the tape,but it’s still admirable because there’s a band that finally understands that this genre is in dire need of depth of any sort. These guys are at least trying to get off the ground; where other guys are happy to reanimate the corpse of Calculating Infinity and tag it with day-glo spray paint, The Crinn molds melodic lines that actually have a purpose. Like, say, a KidzBop version of “Giant Steps,” there’s a smidgen of artistry behind the virtuosity, adding a deeper musical layer than just the omnipresent shred-a-thon. For instance, take “Anaphylactic Shock” that manages to milk a tad busier Jupiter-esque groove while the rhythm section lays down a wickedly inventive bed. And, get this, the riff isn’t cyclical, sputtering to a halt when the pre-written math equation forces it to commit seppuku; it wafts above everything ,turns to vapor, and disappears into the dark matter-filled blackness of space. I mean, yeah, it’s still tech-y, it ain’t something you’d be able to work out at the campfire, but the reason that it’s such a damn revelation is that it’s more about fulfilling an artistic need instead of impressing YouTubers with flying fingers. It’s just, uh,yeah…arty. Not exactly something I’d expect to say about a genre that is partly responsible for the current over-the-top chord/scale nerd porn scene.

But, as the following track “Cathartic Insurrection” proves, we ain’t sprouting roses yet and there’s this vague scent of manure that lingers through all of Dreaming Saturn. If we’re launching this genre to the Saturn, this is a weather balloon and not Discovery One. Yeah, it’s better than anything this scene has managed to drop in the last few years, but songs like the aforementioned are still barely breaking through the stratosphere because it’s tethered to Earth by the same goddamn genre cliches that only just make parts of this shit reach above the creative nadir of your local deathcore opener. Case in point, for a scene so utterly concerned with musicianship and, I’m assuming, packed to the gills with tone junkies, you’d think they’d pick up a screecher that’d be, at the very least, dynamic. This guy has one howl in his arsenal and he doesn’t swing or find the pocket like Jens Kidman, so there’s little justification for him to be there. When we get the poetry slam that begins “Magnetic Magician,” I might as well be listening to newer Ephel Duath (for the three people that bought that album, that’s not a complement) or, worse yet, Sikth. The section that follows stretches on with the wanking power of a D&D convention bukkake party with the tension supposedly lifted with a contrast that’s so rote with been-there-done-that tendencies, it belies the fact that this band has proven themselves as inventive on other cuts.

That shit is understandably frustrating, but the more time you spend with the album, the more it sinks into the background, overshadowed by the truly grand moments of The Crinn‘s breakthrough. Problem is, because of blog culture, no one is going to take the time to unwrap this present unless their power goes out mid-iPod sync and this is the only freshly unpacked .rar that makes the digital leap. It takes a few plays for the riffs to sink in, for the structures to really bloom, to hear everything this band packs into these segments. I’ve dilly-dallied on this fucker for a month and I’m still mining gold. I doubt, though, that anyone that isn’t required to make this an almost daily experience is going to patiently sit through a fifty minute album where there are no songs in the verse/chorus, beginning/end sense (or, really, any momentum) and where things only start getting passable on the other side of five listens. It’s a brave statement for these dudes, something that asks a lot of a you before you hit play (sorta like an especially aggravated Cecil Taylor, I guess), something that the 21st century music industry must see as an aberration in need of abortion. But, when you put in the time, you get some lasting moments that, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, are sublime. And, to make sure that statement has the proper gravity, I hate this stupid genre. I will happily spread my cheeks and take a dump in the mouth of anyone that I catch trumpeting the virtues of hackneyed garbage like Between the Buried and Me.“Anaphylactic Shock,” though? I’ll keep hitting play until one of us falls over dead from exhaustion and if you don’t do the same, then the Internet has totally ruined you, brah. Or, you know, I’m just a doddering ol’ fuddy duddy that needs to be Old Yeller’d as soon as possible because he’s enamored with something new and shiny. You make the call.

Posted by Old Guard

The retired elite of LastRites/MetalReview.

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