Lucas Mann may be wearing an “I heart haters” hat, but I’ve got to assume that his “hey it’s just me playing my guitar live over a backing track, and now I’ll play the riffs isolated to a metronome, and now here’s a lesson” video is in response to the media criticism over allegations of Rings of Saturn‘s half-speed tracking and guitar pro abuse.


Well in the later case it’s hard to even call it an allegation, since the midi-ness was so blatant that I have to imagine it was done to intentionally feed the trolls. In fact that’s my view on a lot of the “controversy” surrounding the band: it sure as hell herds traffic in the Rings of Saturn’s direction. I honestly think it’s a brilliant bit of marketing. You’ve got to be famous for something in the overcrowded deathcore scene, so grab the notoriety any way you can.

Personally I don’t really care what they do. They’re successful enough and people like their music, so good for them. Modern tech death is the most processed, overdubbed, punched-in, quantized, sound-replaced, and generally “assembled” (with obvious exceptions) genre of rock music that nit-picking over how fake is too fake seems to be a moot point. The live performances reveal which bands can really play. So don’t you want to check out Rings Of Saturn on tour? Like I said, great marketing.

So I don’t even know if Mann and co should be concerned about proving their chops to the online commenting masses, but this video shows that the dude can play. Can he nail 100% of all their licks perfectly at a show? Who knows? It’s not like any band is note perfect anyway. Could Loomis/Abasi/Muenzner/Hauch/etc play the parts in this video more cleanly? I really don’t care. Metal isn’t supposed to be a technical pissing contest. I sure as hell can’t play this shit.

And oh yeah, gear. I hadn’t heard of Etherial Guitars previously, but they’re a new one to watch it seems.

Written by

Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.

Latest comments
  • What an ugly instrument

    • Oh man. All of these guitars are something else. I can’t play more than 6 strings but I want this because it’s so stupidly audacious.

      • what the hell is that? the djentiest of the djent guitars?

        • Actually go to etherial guitars are beautiful but every band that gets them(thru sponsership and such) says that they are put together very crappily.

          • I have one. It’s amazing. Stop talking shit.

      • Once you become comfy and familiar with 6, it is easy as hell to transition to both 7 and 8 string. It’s just simple math and memorization. To me it doesn’t make much sense though. I mean, do you want to play a baritone guitar or a friggin bass. make your mind up, or give your bassist more freedom/credit to become a thorough player or they’ll end up like nikki sixx – the one note wonder(This includes the majority of hair metal)!

        • To me, having the frequencies the lower strings provide on the guitars sounds amazing, especially with the increased chord voicings you get with extended range. I don’t think your argument about bass players freedom being inhibited through the use of 7 and 8 string guitars is valid when there are bands like Tesseract and Beyond Creation whose bass playing is hella nugs despite their extended range guitar use. Its about how the bass is played and mixed.

    • I agree!!!! Guitars are friggin ugly. Pick up the synthesizer

      instead. You can drop mad panties with that shit!!!!!!

  • Having seen these guys live 3 times I can say in confidence that they can play their music live damn well. Also the band members are all really nice people.

    • I have to disagree, I’ve seen them twice and thought the guitarists were very sloppy.

      • Really? Maybe they had an off day or something. Every time I’ve seen RoS they performed very well in my opinion.

        Edit: I had a typo. Lol.

        • Well that would have been two off days since I saw them on summer slaughter and than with beneath the massacre a few months later. Sloppy sloppy sloppy…

          • To each their own I guess. They don’t seem sloppy live to me, but oh well.

          • I saw em live once in tucson in a really small club with not allot of people there and they tore it up pretty much note for note, it was amazing.. I am a tech player myself and thought nah they can’t do this live, and they did… Two people now said they could and saw it live, once said they can’t … any more takers?

          • I also saw them in tucson maybe at th same spot. Ther was no vocals! Could here every note played!!!

      • Also agree, did a small 2 week tour and half the nights they couldnt play their own stuff.

  • Still won’t believe that he can actually play this shit until I see a video with NO BACKING TRACK. It’s impossible to differentiate his playing and the track.

    • Just search him on youtube. This kid is a beast on the guitar.

    • He DOES play it on this video without a backing track.

    • You have to be a total retard to believe he is not actually playing that stuff, watch the video all the way through and he even teaches how to play it.

    • What?? HE can do things that I can NEVER do??? how is this possible?? I am the BEST.. my huge inflated ego tells me so!! There for this must be FAKE!!

      • I know dude, you are the BEST!!!! PITCHFORKS!!!!!!! TORCHES!!!!!! WE MUST BURN THE FALSE PROPHETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Lol, all these fans caring about the ‘authenticity’ of their ‘death metal’, hip hop’s a genre that’s existed almost completely off the shared content from other artists, whether it comes to beats, subject matter or just the flow itself: it’s all remniscent of something else. Nothing in the 2010s will be seen as blatantly original because that sense of it already having been done still remains.

  • What the fuck happened?! This dude looks completely different. Total bro now.

    • because he has gauges and a hat? the kid is like 22 years old. who the fuck cares what he wears you superficial butthole

    • because he has gauges and a hat? kid is like 22 years old. who the fuck cares what he wears you superficial butthole

  • Who the fuck really cares? Is everyone so bored that they have to argue and bitch and moan about a band they’ve probably never seen live, nor will ever see live. The guy can obviously play. Leave it at that and go back to sticking your dicks in donkeys.

  • Sir, you are awesome and I applaud your stance on the issues. Hats off to you.

  • Lol… this fucking guy

  • Ive seen them live twice. before they used back tracking to cover bass parts. They most certainly can play them. And on top of it, their vocalist is flawless. The amount of talent in this band is immense. Fuck everyone riding their dick about half speed and mid processed recordings. Maybe the focus should be on other bands(within the ruins) who i have seen numerous times that clearly and blatantly dont play live.

    • I’ve seen WtR 3 times live, and I love the band. The only problem I’ve ever encountered with their live shows is they turn the mic down way to low. Besides that, they play every part quite flawlessly.

  • Lol at all you people rushing to defend this band.

    • yeah, because we are all not a-holes , we can only wish we played that good and its lame to “diss” them because you don’t like the sound or whatnot. . probably will be more famous then any of you will be.. .do I sense jealousy in the complaints?? yep

      • In case you haven’t noticed, it’s really not that people “don’t like the sound.” It’s the “wish we played that good” part that’s subject to debate given their reputation. Maybe he’s actually playing this that fast, or maybe he isn’t (and lol if you think a video proves it one way or another in this day and age of audio and video editing software).

        My point is, I guarantee you that you wouldn’t have as many people questioning the authenticity of a Rings of Saturn playthrough video if the guy hadn’t pulled that Guitar Pro MIDI crap in the playthrough video he released last year.

        • it should not matter, he explained all of it in detail and then tears it up live, so if your a touring musician and know how playing live works you know its all real deal.. that’s all I am saying.

        • Most of people with common sense can tell a difference between sped up or not by examining fluidity and basic reasoning. I’m sorry you lack both of them.

  • I thoroughly enjoy Rings of Saturn, and any of you who say otherwise, I really don’t care.

    My opinion says that modern pop music sucks spiced asshole, and their’s nothing you can do to change my mind otherwise, just like I can’t change your’s if you don’t like RoS. I’ll just say cool and continue to not listen to you with my middle fingers up if you until you tell me otherwise because fuck you elitist 4 lyf broh thall djentdjent 00000-00 pussy fgt m8 th0ll.

  • I like this band. I watched a couple videos of them playing live a while back for some smaller crowds and they sounded sloppy, so I just assumed these guys were a studio project. Which makes sense, given how over the top the guitar work is. However, I saw them live in Atlanta in June of last year and I was pleasantly surprised. It was kind of a bummer to see them without a bassist, but both Lucas and the other guitarist were playing the song very well, and they didn’t even use a backing track for the bass. So looking forward I think this band has gotten better live and will continue to improve their live performance.

    Also, I didn’t really pay much attention to this whole thing, but I had no idea people accused them of using guitar pro. I only heard about them recording at half speed. Say what you want about them recording at half speed, but they definitely didn’t use guitar pro. Guitar pro is a low dollar tabbing software with basic and very cheesy guitar/drums playback. There is literally no way that guitar pro created the guitars on their albums. As for the half speed thing, if that were true there would be several ‘artifacts’ on the albums. If you don’t believe, download a basic recording program like audacity. Play a simple riff and then double its speed and listen to it. It’s kind of like how you can tell an image has been photo shopped. Anyways, the studio recordings have heavy uses of triggers and clicks but I doubt they recorded at half speed.

    • I think the Guitar Pro thing was a video that they just mimed to a Guitar Pro track.

      • Yup. Follow the link in the sentence where I mentioned it. Definitely midi guitars in that video.

  • Seen them one with the old vocalist at a small venue before this album came out; played impeccably.

  • At any rate, its just a bunch of fiddly bull shit at the end of the day.

  • what’s with the faces lol nice guitar work tho

  • I personally believe 100% that he’s able to play these songs at album speed. It’s not hard to rush through quick techniques when you’re playing the most atonal trash on the planet. This guy has zero ability to switch melodic gears, and these may be the most boring note choices I’ve heard in a long time. It’s like Psyopus, but way worse. Fantastic.

    • Congratulations! Sounds like you’re in the wrong genre. Go listen to Jazz

  • Did no one skip to the end of the video? He explains the half speed allegations very thuroughly.

  • Reading these comments… oh my fuck. Hahaha oh man.. just. Ow. He shouldn’t have to prove it via video. Like the article said, see them live. If you haven’t, shut the fuck up, shut the fuck up, and shut the fuck up. If you hate the music, your mind has already made up its mind for you, you don’t like them, you will find ways to hate them. That’s how an arrogant, close-minded brain works. Fuckin morons in this world, I swear. The metal community is such shit anymore. Fuckin hate YOU ALL. I’ll go listen to my BTBAM, Protest, but I can also listen to my RoS and IA’s. People complain too much. Just shut up and listen to he music. Hate it? Move on. Cock. Suckers.

    On a similar note, I see a lot of comments about “Oh dude man dudeeee I’ve seen em live they’re flawless” and other people respond to that with “Eh doooode Dood man I saw em too they suck man yeah sloppy balls” and shit like that. I saw Within the Ruins come up in the comments and one dude was like “they don’t play their shit live” and another guy was all “yeah man I saw them live they were actually flawless man yeah”. So in the end, telling people you saw them live seems to not have any effect on anyone hahaha. I love Within the Ruins for real, but when I saw them live with After the Burial, they sucked wieners. The double bass was AWFUL FUCKING AWFUL, everyone else was alright, some sloppy parts. Enjoyed them. Idk. People need to learn to just not post their opinions because, yeah yeah yeah everyone is entitled (a world where everyone is entitled to everything, RIGHT?!!/2121/@@), but sometimes people have opinions that are fucking reeeeeeeeeetardeddd. Stop. Just, stop typing. And stop. Go out to Starbucks and have a coffee and settle down or something. Please, just go like your music and leave the one’s you hate alone. They’re not doing anything to you. Until legions of RoS fans march on Washington or something, you can go ahead and assume leaving them alone will be just fine for ya. Yeah… it’s late and I’m kinda high but seriously. Peace, niggas. Calm yourselves. Hate on something that deserves the hate, like Rap and Country? Yeah. Let’s all band together, metal fans to metal fans, and hate Rap and Country.. yeahh..

    • People also need to realize most bands don’t have someone who compresses and filters the FUCK out of everything so obviously not every note or drum hit or scream sounds exactly like the recording. Also most bands can’t get everything perfect in one take, even session musicians. As long as the crowd has a good time, I see no problem in sloppy guitar work. The fact they can play it even to record it should be enough to prove they’re amazing musicians.

  • Jesus those strings are thin. Why the fuck does he have fanned frets.

  • I don’t give a fuck about his technical ability. He can’t write a goddamn song to save his life, period.

  • Who cares?
    If the tracks are good the band and engineers desreve a credit. If not, just move on to another band.

  • HAHAHAHA!!!!
    poor lucas :D when there is music the stuff sounds in one way, then he plays alone and souds sloppy ( i think since it is on click he recorded it in a separate time then just placed it there aha, more than everything, each time he stops a string sound FAKE, guitarists note that this alone demonstrates that the video IS edited in some way

  • Fuck all you metal fans.

  • sounds like shit without the effects

leave a comment