posted on 5/2006 By:
So it turns out that some of these dudes were in Yaphet Kotto, which will mean something to approximately eight of this site’s readers, but they wouldn’t have been able to tell by listening anyway. Saviours are doing the cool new “we’re not metalheads but we’ll try our hands at metal anyway” thing, a la The Sword or Three Inches of Blood or what have you. Fortunately, Crucifire isn’t a deliberate genre study or tongue-in-cheek smirk-metal (god, that shit’s getting stale). These Californians are attempting a fairly catholic blend of old-school-oriented styles here, with melodic thrash, Venom-esque proto black metal, rumbling fuzz rock, and even a bit of NWOBHM showing up here. The results ain’t nothing to write home about, but Saviours do summon up some memorable tunes, and a surprisingly serious metallic punch.
So they’re not doing anything new, but as always with this sort of deliberate-throwback shit, they wouldn’t want to. Crucifire goes to pains to be a no-frills metal album; every song is about Satan or pagan rituals or whatever, the songs are more or less dynamic-free, and the whole affair is brief and to the point. The chugging mid-tempo thrash riffs come early and often throughout songs like “Holy Slaughter” and “Exalter of Thorns,” but most of the songs at least dip into a fairly deep and well-researched well of twin leads and single-string riffs. The soloing is straightforward late seventies/early eighties showmanship, blending Iommian bends with Smith/Murray speed licks. The only real sticking point is the vocals. While I’m usually not a fan of flamboyant, dramatic singing, Saviours actually could’ve done with a little extra pomp in their vox, which are delivered in a bland distorted yell throughout the album.
This shit is all getting a little dull by the time terse charger “Christ Hunt” rolls around, but afterwards Crucifire actually takes a turn for the better. The album’s final three tracks have much more of a High On Fire-esque stoner heft than their predecessors, and a smidge of blues rock creeps into “Heathen Eye.” These last three cuts are easily the most memorable on the album, but slogging through the rest of it isn’t quite worth it.
So in the end there isn’t much to be said about Saviours. They do what they do reasonably well, especially considering their lack of extensive metal background, but the whole affair comes off as a little colorless. You’ve heard these riffs, these solos, and these structures before, oftentimes from bands who’ve been around for decades. Whether you need more of them is up to you, but personally, I’m just about done with the recidivism.
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