Saviours - Accelerated Living
Saviours only exist because each of them felt utterly compelled to form a band; their collective hands forced as they were so disgusted with the parlous state of heavy metal music in the 21st century. Well, they are pushing on an open door with me on that topic, so we are off to a good start. Inspired by the ‘terror and decay’ of hometown Oakland Saviours have descended like a murder of magpies and picked the bones of the 80’s metal scene bare.
Slayer are the obvious reference point for opening track ‘Acid Hand’ and they don’t do a bad job of emulating that iconic doom laden, crushing sound, although the Strummeresque vocal style does come as somewhat of a surprise. It really oughtn’t work but somehow Austin Barber’s punky grunts, which lurk way down in the mix, set the album apart from their run of the mill copycat peers.
‘We Roam’ sees the band adopt a thicker groove which tips its trilby in the direction of Sabbath before the dual guitars of ‘Livin’ in the Void’ drag the album towards the more commercially viable sound of classic Maiden, albeit without the quasi-operatic stylings of Captain Bruce.
This project is a valiant attempt by Saviours to recapture the magic of NWOBHM and tracks such as ‘Slave to the Hex’ are certainly dragging their rotting carcasses into Garage Days Revisited territory. The end result is, however, somewhat of a let down as none of the tracks has that killer riff or hook which was essential to the dominance of HM as a genre in the 80’s. Well worth investigating but ultimately it’ll only leave you À la recherche du temps perdu. A welcome stop-gap which papers over the rot in modern metal but what we really require is wholesale revolution.