Saor - Guardians review
|Release date:||November 2016|
02. The Declaration
03. Autumn Rain
05. Tears Of A Nation
Bracing winds blow heavy mists across the ancient hillocks, vertebrae of soil trodden and venerated over millennia rising and falling like waves. Distant crows balefully cast their distinctive, corvine calls toward daybreak. Slowly, the weary earth awakens from its slumber. Cloistered somewhere in the verdant valley, bagpipes skirl into life, and the song begins anew. Saor returns.
As with Roots and Aura before it, Guardians harnesses the sound and the feeling of the wind, coming and going in dynamic squalls that never break the current of the atmosphere. Though rooted in black metal, Saor has very little in common with the recognizable forms of the genre; surging guitar riffs and blastbeats abound, but Saor is not an angry band. Even at its heaviest, Guardians avoids battering the listener with muscular riffage and back-breaking percussion. All the elements of the music exist in harmony, complementing each other and running together in a fluid stream of serene chaos. The tension accumulates and dissipates at a natural pace, raining tempestuous tremolo picking and hoarse growls over a firm, earthy base of drums, violin, flute, and keyboards. Despite the blizzard of motion and multitude of melody lines, Guardians has more of an ambient quality than anything else; this album's raison d'être is atmosphere-building, not cranking out standalone segments of music.
Andy Marshall's vocals remain ethereal and subordinate to the instrumentation, traveling across the music like echoes through a valley. Guardians weaves the wonders of its legend not through lyrics or by shoving one melody or another to the front, but through the gestalt of its many rich layers. Blustery waves of light, enrapturing sound, filled with instrument upon instrument interlocking in sweet euphony, sweep across the face of the album with the unadorned yet supremely grand presence of a natural wonder. Saor's music has an almost effortless beauty, as if it were not so much written and recorded as prescribed to exist by the land itself.
Each discrete thread of the album works in some way to the benefit of the whole piece. The dazzling guitars that sing "The Declaration" to its rest, the weeping violins that gently coax "Autumn Rain" into being, the clarion whistling of the flutes, the rocky and weatherbeaten tone of the vocals - every aspect is authentic to the spirit of the album. I'm reminded of Devin Townsend's Terria, Woods Of Ypres's Woods IV, or anything by Fen, Thrawsunblat or Primordial; the music seeps out of the earth itself with a raw and primal beauty that makes the landscape depicted on the cover realer than what you see before you.
The vibrant, beautiful crescendo of "Tears Of A Nation" brings Guardians to its fullest being with the most impassioned and inspired melodies yet. This final song truly makes the album feel like the soundtrack to the life of a glorious nation, filled with the valorous spirit and enchanting songs of its people. Guardians continues the journey of Roots and Aura, but brings their sound to a triumphant climax the likes of which Andy Marshall has not before accomplished.
||Written on 18.10.2016 by Reviewing since 2010. Reviewing competently since 2013. More metal than you since before the dawn of 'istry.|
Comments: 10 Visited by: 331 users
| Bad English
Arise In Might!
Weirdo of MS
Agent of Steel
| Dark Cornatus
Hits total: 7909 | This month: 169