Saviour - First Light To My Death Bed
Record Label - We Are Unified (UNFD)
Release Date - October 4th, 2013
As the genre of 'Metalcore' progresses, us as listeners of heavy music become more and more judgemental of heavy releases. Especially with new up and coming bands we are very quick to label bands as 'mindlessly generic', 'sell outs' and just plain old boring. So as many releases within the genre come and go we see bands experiment with different dimensions of the 'hardcore' genre. In this case with Perth's own up and coming Saviour we see a metalcore album with ambient and melodic hardcore influences with even at times a peaceful fusion of Bryant Best's amazing yet at times raw screams with Shontay Snow's haunting folk voice.
With an EP and a very impressive first full length release (Once We Were Lions) under their belt, it was time for the boys from Saviour to start again and branch their music out into the worldwide stage. The question was how could this band do that? Do they have what it takes? How can they stand out in this music scene? All those questions were immediately wiped away when they released their first single "Jaded" along with arguably one of the best music videos I have ever seen. "Jaded" isn't just a heavy tune that caught the attention of all the hardcore kids with the typical tough guy lyrics and mosh worthy breakdowns (even though the breakdown is amazing) it is a timeless modern hardcore song that deals with depression and suicide. A month or two later the boys released another music video for their next single 'Morning' which is a sequel to the 'Jaded' Clip. A long with Jaded, Morning leaves a lasting impression on listeners and leaves everybody wanting more. Right before the release of the actual album a third and final music video was released to finish the trilogy. At first i didn't enjoy the track known as 'Stories' as much as the others but after a few listens it definitely fits in perfectly to the story line and left me in anticipation for the full release.
With a very solid lead up to FLTMDB, Saviour had everything to lose but also everything to gain. The first thing I noticed was the rerecorded versions of the tracks "Unstoppable" (which was put up for free download before the release) and "Strength." Personally I didn't enjoy the re- recorded and noticeably slower version even though it is a solid track. "Strength" on the other hand i believe was improved.
The album as a whole is very versatile and makes the listener feels a range of emotions. The common themes of suicide, depression, loss, self belief and the typical theme of 'not giving a fuck' are portrayed in a variety of ways throughout the whole album. Bryant Best does an amazing job on vocals in each and every single song. While at times the vocals seem a little bit over produced (which is probably the biggest and only flaw on the album) Bryant's range has improved great from Once We Were Lions. The unique thing about Saviour which probably gives them the edge over most other bands is the added in vocals from the female folk artist Shontay Snow. While she is not actually in the band, her vocals have an extremely strong presence in songs such as "Undead", "Jaded" and "Karolena". They add an unfamiliar yet comfortable dimension to the songs and give listeners an extremely rare experience (which is listening to heavy breakdowns with a soft folk female voice over the top.)
Instrumentally the album has a lot of originality especially in the lead guitar; Lyndsay Antica brings a lot of emotion with his guitar work using melodies that not only compliment Bryant but Shontay as well. In terms of musicianship I think what Saviour does best is their way of incorporating all their different instruments to create a steady flow of intriguing musicianship, especially in songs such as "Stories". It sounds like such a simple concept but in today's modern music it is something that is often put aside and taken over by constant breakdowns, which brings me to my next point. The breakdowns in this album are done very tastefully, only being put in where they need to be instead of non- stop chugging, and when the breakdowns come you'll be sure to see a pit break open within seconds in a live performance.
Finally, the albums lyrics. Lyrically this album is very intense, like the albums themes the lyrics obviously are very versatile. Tracks such as "Mercenary", "Escape" ,"Collapse" and definitely "Needles" show the angrier side of Saviour with angst filled lyrics to match. At times the angst filled lyrics feel a bit forced with lyrics such as "This world goes on without you, you stupid fucking cunt" but despite that the anger and frustration in the album is big feature and at times a highlight. The more dramatic and sadder songs hit the listener i guess 'in the feels' with songs like "Jaded", "Stories", "Karolena" and "Morning" hitting home whilst leaving listeners speechless. Shontay's repeat of the words "I used to know you" at the end of Jaded showcases the emotions that Saviour represents throughout the whole album.
Overall this album puts Saviour on the rise with a well thought out interpretation of Melodic Metalcore that not only displays amazing musicianship but also themes and lyrics. With an amazing live performance to match Saviour are yet another Australian Metal/Hardcore act to look out for.
This review is a user submitted review from Thestallion. You can see all of Thestallion's submitted reviews here.