rating icon 7 / 10

Track listing:

01. Holy Slaughter
02. Crucifire
03. Rise to Pyramid Form
04. Exalter of Thorns
05. Christ Hunt
06. Call Them into Fire
07. Heathen Eye
08. Firewind

I am told that SAVIOURS falls into a hot new category called "hipster metal" that is also inhabited by bands like THE SWORD (and there are similarities between the two acts). Considering that a generally stoner rock (the metallic end) delivery with fat riffing, rumbling bass, earthy tones and old school metal fundamentals is what this is all about, then sure, I'd have to agree that it is most hip.

"Crucifire" grew on me. Though I cannot quite put my finger on the reason, the disc initially didn't leave much of an impression. Aside from some ass kickin' guitar work (by no less than three axe grinders),I had to return to it several times before it sunk in. Some of it may have to do with the vocals of guitarist Austin Barber. His shouting mid-range style never really grabbed me, perhaps because it is a little too samey from one song to the next and never quite matches the overall intensity of the compositions. It is more of an indefinable bitch on my part though because I cannot honestly say that his approach is ill fitting to the style. Chalk it up to one reviewer's set of ears. By the way, with songs like "Holy Slaughter" and "Christ Hunt", the lyrics don't exactly deal with Christian values and blind faith.

Vocals aside, the guitarists (also including Mag Delana and D. Tyler Morris) and bassist Cyrus Comiskey are doing the heavy lifting here. Those who worship the kind of attack that involves stacks of Marshalls and a big ole mess of tangled guitar chords will revel in the destructiveness of "Crucifire". There is a certain HIGH ON FIRE vibe to several of these songs, mainly with respect to the overall pummel. Two examples of this HOF stomp appeal are "Rise to Pyramid Form" and "Exalter of Thorns". The difference is a more pointed traditional metal influence, particularly with respect to the twin (or tri in this case) leads that pop up on several tracks. The snarling bass licks of Comiskey on "Christ Hunt" and "Call Them Into Fire", the latter featuring a ripping guitar solo, also sound fantastic.

When it's all said and done, I still like the idea of this album more than the album itself. By that I mean the six-string bombast and classic metal inspiration make for some damn fine jam sessions, especially at high volumes. I just tended to find myself remembering a few choice grooves and the odd riff, rather than any monstrous hooks or individual songs for that matter. In this case, all it means is that rather than slapping an impressive 8 rating on this baby, a solid 7 is what I hear…and I tend to like this kind of stuff. Either way, I suspect that this band will make some waves and have more than a few folks head banging with glee.

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