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Sâver - From Ember And Rust review

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Band: Sâver
Album: From Ember And Rust
Release date: November 2023

01. Formless
02. I, Evaporate
03. Eliminate Distance
04. Ember & Rust
05. Primal One
06. The Object
07. All In Disarray

It’s been 4 years since Sâver dropped their debut album, but they’ve not been idling in the interim, merely honing their craft across a couple of collaborative releases before unleashing sophomore album From Ember And Rust.

Sâver was born 5 years ago from the ashes of Tombstones, whose founding member Ole Christian Helstad persevered on with newest recruits Markus Støle and Ole Rokseth under a new name, releasing debut album They Came With Sunlight the following year. Støle and Rokseth, who were also long-time co-members of 2-man sludge band Hymn, went off and released a new album with their other band the following year, while Sâver produced a pair of split EPs: Emerald in 2021 with Pelagic Records labelmates Psychonaut, and a more experimental crossover last Winter with folk singer Anne Lise Frøkedal. From Ember And Rust is back in line with their previous post-metal output, but since they’re a post-metal band on Pelagic, you can rest assured that it will be a worthwhile listen.

As far as post-metal goes, From Ember And Rust reside towards the more aggressive end of spectrum; it’s a lumbering affair stacked with gnarly sludge riffs, and feature vocals to match, with Helstad digging out pained shrieks reminiscent of those used by LLNN. They lie somewhere in the same ballpark tonally to Gloson, and like Gloson’s The Rift last year, Sâver spice up the formula in moments by incorporating a notable synth presence on certain songs (a passion for sci-fi is acknowledged in the album description on Bandcamp). This comes through most significantly on the closing “All In Disarray”, which opens with some pulsating, soundscaping electronics, but the eerie atmosphere generated by this is contrasted substantially by some bruising aggression later on.

As far as Pelagic bands, Sâver are perhaps one of the more conventional ones, alternating voluminous crushing passages with softer, textured passages, but there are still some noteworthy quirks here to distinguish them. After a fairly standard (if satisfying) soft/loud first half or so, “The Object” casually throws in some Black Sabbathy bluesiness, slick groovy riffing and a nice elongated, meandering solo section. The solo work is consistently solid across the album, with a tasteful one shaping the middle of the chunky, chuggy opener “Formless”. There’s also further effective use of the synths midway into “I, Evaporate”, as a song that is fairly forgettable up to that point acquires a more ominous and compelling feel. Finally, amidst all the aggression, Sâver do occasionally mix things up with some more pronounced softness, especially when tender clean singing is integrated into the dreamy climax of “Ember & Rust”.

Outside of these moments, though, there’s not a huge amount that stands out; most of the highlight songs on the album have already been named, in particular the irresistible headbang material that is “Formless”, the multifaceted “All In Disarray”, and the pleasantly evolving “The Object”. As far as the rest of the record is concerned, it’s pretty reliably engaging, but arguably not sufficiently so as to stack up favourably against the top-calibre bands on the Pelagic roster. As mentioned already, “I, Evaporate” struggles a bit to get going before that welcome mid-song detour, and “Eliminate Distance” and “Primal One” also lack somewhat in terms of staying power. Considering what a departure Sâver’s contribution to the split with Frøkedal last year, perhaps there was scope to be a tad more experimental in that vein on From Ember And Rust to elevate its impact a bit.

Still, while it’s not going to be the standout post-metal release of 2023, Sâver’s latest offers enough for genre fans to get a solid amount of enjoyment out of; the core sludgy sound offers satisfaction, and the occasional attempts to shake things up are broadly successful.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 7

Written on 27.11.2023 by Hey chief let's talk why not


Comments: 1   Visited by: 30 users
29.11.2023 - 16:21
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Artwork looks like some program on Windows 13 or decstop icon.
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