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Saturnalia - Magical Love CD (album) cover



Psychedelic/Space Rock

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3 stars I came across this band through Progarchives, later finding out that they were sort of a successor to the band HORSE, whose self-titled album I had heard before and liked enough to trace this one. According to Wikipedia, 'Magical Love', their sole effort, wasn't released in 1969, but four years later (a piece of information this reviewer believes to be false). Nevertheless, it's still the first ever issued 3D picture disc, making it quite an attractive collector's item. But let's get to the music.

Based on Horse's album and what I've read about these guys, I expected something like a heavier, more guitar-dominated early BLACK WIDOW. I was more or less proven wrong, as Saturnalia's sound is more cheerful and more similar to Volunteers-era JEFFERSON AIRPLANE with some folky bits here and there (best heard in 'Dreaming'). The lyrics are indeed occult-themed, but don't expect the satanic stuff heard on Sacrifice, since these cover a different branch of occultism (hence the band's name, for instance). Aletta's singing gets false at places, but it doesn't spoil the experience, and the voice of Adrian Hawkins resembles Black Widow's Kip Trevor a bit. The musicianship is good and the band sounds pretty tight. None of the songs really stand out, but my favourite would be the above mentioned 'Dreaming'.

Overall, 'Magical Love' is by no means a groundbreaking album, but it's still an enjoyable listening experience with good vocals, nice 'acid' guitar work and pretty impressive drumming. 2,5 stars (rounded up to three).

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Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 | Review Permalink

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