Project: Roenwolfe occupies a prime position in one of the Heavy Metal world’s more overlooked niches. Their Power/Thrash Metal fusion provides a trifecta of melodicism, intricacy, and aggression that is most directly in line with Iron Savior while also triggering associations with Helstar and Heathen, among others. Edge Of Saturn (Divebomb Records) is their first album since they debuted with 2013’s Nightmare Dreamscape. And as expected, there have been some upgrades in that eight-year timeframe.
Most notably, the production and musicianship see some serious improvement. While this project has always been defined by guitarist Alicia Cordisco’s sweeping gallops and Patrick Parris’s somewhat nasally but soaring vocals, a more polished production job gives these performances greater clarity and lets the layers pop up more. Bringing in a proper rhythm section with bassist Aaron Sluss and drummer Ernie Topran also gives the band a more solid foundation, making for a fuller dynamic even if their playing isn’t necessarily the most in your face.
Those who heard the last Judicator album can expect a similar songwriting approach with the tracks mostly favoring methodical structures and subtle melodies rather than straightforward speed. ‘Of Mice And Straw Men’ is the strongest highlight, using the album’s most accessible vocal lines and building hooks to carry unambiguous antifascist theming. Elsewhere, ‘Something More’ and ‘Mastermind Manipulators’ reveal some memorable choruses with repeat listens, the latter putting in a little extra Thrash flavor with those drum bursts, while the closing ‘Autumn Vale’ has an emotional overcast to its nine-minute Power Metal splendor.
Overall, Edge Of Saturn is a solid reestablishment of Project Roenwolfe as well as a strong Power Metal effort in itself. It’s the sort of album that takes a couple of extra listens to reveal the full extent of its memorable writing, but the musicianship is made immediately apparent. Previously unfamiliar listeners can consider this a sufficient introduction to the band and already acquainted fans will find that it outdoes its predecessor in just about every way. With more material currently in the works, one can imagine that their subsequent efforts will be even tighter.
Buy the album here: https://projectroenwolfe.bandcamp.com/album/edge-of-saturn
8 / 10