Saviours – Palace of Vision (Listenable Records)Thursday, 1st October 2015
Entering their second decade as a band with a new label deal in tow, California’s heavy/stoner metal act Saviours issue their first studio album in four years, the intriguingly titled Palace of Vision. The four piece live for a sound that can be raw and energetic like early Motörhead, and builds upon a twin guitar philosophy that champions the ideals set forth from Thin Lizzy and Iron Maiden – the spider web links that keep heads bobbing, toes tapping, and exhort massive applause at the conclusion of songs.
The rhythm section of bassist Carson Binks and drummer Scott Batiste drives home the tempo in solid, professional mannerisms – four on the floor, pounding the double kick and pulsating bass for “Devil’s Crown” while keeping things gloomy and semi-morose for the stoner oriented, doomy title cut. Recording the album up in Portland, Oregon with Billy Anderson gives Saviours that steamroller sonic punch necessary to carry home the riffs, hooks, and commanding bark of guitarist Austin Barber. Channeling a lot of Tony Iommi meets Trouble evilness in terms of the lead breaks and general ominous feel for highlights like “Flesh of Fire” and “Hell’s Floor”, the heaviness just levels the competition.
The keyboard swirls during “The Beast Remains” give off a little bit of a late 60’s/ early 70’s psychedelic flavor, yet never detract from the punk-ish tempo and heads down guitar presentation. The band just has this smart sensibility to keep the proceedings flowing intuitively – not wearing out their welcome and providing enough variety to keep the listener active and engaged throughout. At this point in their career, their style is very much cemented – and there’s no doubt that Palace of Vision will appease the larger long-timers while hopefully grabbing a few curious onlookers into the fold.