Rampant Rumors

Did Rings of Saturn Record Their New Album at Half-Speed?


Rings of Saturn

UPDATE, 1:42pm EST: Rings of Saturn and their recording engineer have both issued official statements refuting the claim that the album was recorded at half speed. Read those here.

Original Post:

Bay Area tech-death band Rings of Saturn recently pushed up the release of their new record on Unique Leader Records from February to November when a lo-fi version of it leaked. You can read an explanation from the band about that decision here if you care to, and you can stream the record right here.

But this is where things get interesting: accusations are flying that the band recorded the album at half-speed, then sped up the recorded tracks to the desired tempo. For a band whose music is as highly technical and fast as Rings of Saturn’s, that’s no small issue.

The accusations are coming from GreatNewMetal.com proprietor Brian Shields via his Facebook page. If you find yourself asking, “What website? Who?” you’re not alone; we have no idea what Shields’ relation is to the band and we also don’t know how he would have this insider knowledge. The only concrete links between Shields and Rings of Saturn we can turn up show that he was excited when the band announced they’d be on the 2011 edition of the Slaughter Survivors Tour; check out this Facebook post in which he expresses enthusiasm for the tour. Apparently he used to be a big fan, and now, for some reason, he is not.

Shields posted the following message last night:

I’ve had a number of people message me over the last week of so all excited about the new Rings of Saturn album. I’ve tried to just say that I’m not interested and let it go at that. The thing that bothers me about most of these communications is that people are so impressed that they guys can play so fast and so well. So I think in light of Brent‘s recent post on this it’s time for me to say this just once. I consider this record to be a fraud.

Recently someone close to the band reached out to me in an effort to end “the feud” and I suggested one thing that could make be reconsider my lack of respect is if they came out and admitted to the public that the record is recorded at half speed. The response was not a denial but rather a justification:

(this is told in the third person because it was relayed back and forth through the person who reached out to me)

“As far as the third point, he doesn’t understand how that is necessary. That’s a recording technique all members did for clarity in the album. It’s something all recording bands do. It’s not that they couldn’t play at the BPM on the record, but not as clear if they tried as a group. WHen they tried to lives some members had problems playing in time or remembering material, so the slower the better.”As I’m sure many recording artists who follow me will attest, it’s not “something ALL recording bands do”. More importantly, I don’t care what recording techniques you use, just be honest about it. Don’t try to fool people into thinking they’re listening to something they’re not.Anyway, I have a lot of personal issues with this band but that’s irrelevant here. I just don’t like seeing people being misled. I’m sure I’ll get a lot of hate from the RoS “minions” for this post but there you have it.

Nearly 500 comments later, the debate is still raging on Shields’ Facebook wall.

We’re not sure what “feud” he is referencing. And there are friendly posts on Facebook between Shields and RoS drummer Brent Silletto (referenced above) from as recently as October 26th, making the existence of said “feud” even more confusing. We can only assume that some major beef developed between the 26th and last night. [UPDATE: It has since been pointed out to us that Brent Silletto has not been in the band for approximately two years.]

In any case, other than the above “third party statement,” we have no direct proof that Rings of Saturn did indeed record the record at half-speed, but if they did… man, that’s incredibly dishonest and it makes that record a complete sham. We also, however, do not have any proof that they recorded at full-speed. We hereby call for a member of Rings of Saturn to contact MetalSucks to clarify the situation.

Thanks: Bob McBob, Lee G., Tim K., Christian S.

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