Let us skip the biographical notes on the artist. Virtually everybody into Death Metal (and not only) is well aware that Karl is the mastermind behind the glorious NILE.
For the album, Karl invited amongst other illuminaries as Dallas Toler-Wade (of NILE) and David Vincent (of MORBID ANGEL/ GENITORTURERS). Saurian Meditation is Karl Sanders’ debut as a soloist, and what a difference! If you were expecting those brutal atmospheres and growls from the tomb found in NILE, think again. Saurian Meditation has everything to do with Middle-Eastern music and Myth – but the difference is, whereas NILE explore the darker side of Egypt in a very brutal (and successful) fashion, Saurian Meditation is exactly what its title suggests: music for Meditation.
It is obscure all right, only in a much more exotic and intimate, kind of way. There is no escaping Doom, but after a few spins, “Saurian Meditation” comes out as a rather warm, exotic album, full of diversity and introspecting moments. The title was not dictated by fat chance – broadly speaking, it refers to Sauria – ancestors of reptiles – biding their time for the total Annihilation of the Human species. There is always a tendency to associate the artistic manifestation with its author – and whereas it might make a wrong assumption in Literary Studies, the same does not apply to this music. Surely Saurian Meditation is Karl Sanders through and through. And Karl has – as usual – found a very erudite way of embarking upon a journey to his Inner-self.
In the album there is the reference to a journey. But, as with the leitmotiv of the album, the journey is bound to fail – the song titles point to no optimistic direction. For an appreciation of the true quest that awaits the adventurer, make your own interpretation from the titles. This quest, despite the physical menace, sounds more like an Inner Quest to me. A reflection that Art is the result of the Individual.
Songs with vocals are few and far between – yet when they exist, vocals are presented in a rather ritualized way. But there is hissing, the everlasting Power of the Serpent. Temple of Lunar Ascension is perhaps the song that resembles NILE the most. But as a whole you may hear DEAD CAN DANCE, BLACK SABBATH or TRIAL OF THE BOW every now and then.
This is an album one could file under ‘Ambient’ – as such, it may not please every soul out there, particularly if one is expecting similarities with NILE all the way. Personally, I would say Saurian Meditation is a great manifestation of Soul through Music. I thoroughly enjoyed the album and strongly recommend it to open-minded listeners of Music. Mesmerizing. Magnificent. Compulsory.
The Elder God Shrine