Saviours – Death’s Procession (Kemado Records)

Saturday, 23rd March 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

Look at Saviours…getting down and rocking. It’s really not that hard, you know? And there’s no shortage of bands like the Oakland, CA-based crew, it’s just a matter of execution and not coming across as being too over-thought and over-played, which Saviours most certainly doesn’t do. Like 2009’s excellent Accelerated Living, the band keeps things right in between the thrash and classic metal zone Death’s Procession, resulting in a more than a handful of pretty gnarly moments.

When placed up against Accelerated LivingDeath’s Procession appears to have a smidge more balls to it, although there are a few better songs on its predecessor. But that’s no bother when the hard-trucking opening riff of “To the Grave Processed” kicks in. The simplicity of said riff is an effective way to engage the listener – just lay in some Maiden-like harmonies, then let the Thin Lizzy influence take hold. It’s definitely one of the album’s more inspiring moments, that’s for sure.

Still very much a sum of their respective influences, one can find the aforementioned early 80’s Maiden influence (Paul Di’anno era) on “Fire of Old” or a gruesome Sabbath-meets-Celtic Frost stomp on “Earthen Dagger.” And the full-throttle Motorhead attack of “Crete ‘n’” is another example of how well Saviours can switch gears without looking like they’re breaking a sweat. They’re just rocking. Not much else to do with songs like this.

Revisionist metal like this doesn’t have a lot of room for error when it comes down to the actual songs, something a small fraction of us really pay attention to anyway. Yet in terms of where Saviours is on Death’s Procession, it’s a really comfortable spot to be in. The band can go in many directions, but the modus operandi is still the same – rocking. It’s not rocket surgery.

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