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Psychedelic/Space Rock • United Kingdom

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Saturnalia biography
SATURNALIA was an obscure Brittish psychedelic band, leaving only one studio album as a target for the collectors of psychdelic rock albums. The record "Magical Love" was produced by Keith Relf (from RENAISSANCE and YARDBIRDS), and it was released year 1969. Later there have been reissues done for example by Italian Akarma label. The album contains slightly occult themed psychedelic early progressive rock, resembling JEFFERSON AIRPLANE with their similar male/female double vocal concept and US West Coast psych guitar tones. The singers were Adrian Hawkins and Aletta, guitar was played by Rod Roach and the rhythm section had Richard Houghton on bass guitar and Tom Crompton playing the drums. Another comparison for the occult themed progressive rock album with male/female vocals could be BLACK WIDOW's "Return to The Sabbath", the first deleted and later reissued version of their "Sacrifice" album. The definite versions of "Magical Love" album has a 28-page booklet about the astrology, which was a strong element to the players doing this record. Certainly a nice and recommendable obscurity for the album collecttors for the fans of mentioned themes.

Eetu Pellonpää


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3.24 | 12 ratings
Magical Love

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Magical Love by SATURNALIA album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.24 | 12 ratings

Magical Love
Saturnalia Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Ludjak

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).

Thanks to Eetu Pellonpää for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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