Posted by: Johnny Loftus on March 30, 2008 at 5:00 pm

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Saviours, Into Abaddon (Kemado, 2008)

Saviours‘ first for Kemado features more of the intersecting riffage and swarming thrash/stoner tempos that dominated the Bay Area combo’s debut long player, 2006′s Crucifire. (Yes, Crucifire. Metalheads will never run out of devilish grammatical constructions.) “Narcotic Sea,” “Raging Embers,” and especially “Cavern of the Mind” — these songs pummel and pound and throb with muddy verve ripped from the jaws of Motorhead and all those New Wave of British Heavy Metal dudes who used to slather themselves in leather for cover shoots. Saviours vocalist-guitarist Austin Barber moans on and on about unholy prophets, columns of flame, and what are surely more signifiers of damnation, heavy black boots, and berserkers. The problem is, Barber’s vocals could be a bit more clear. It’s the thrash kid roaring inside him, certainly; sometimes there’s more Slayer in Saviours than anything. But with such a rich lyrical history to draw from, it’d be cool if the gloom, doom, and mystery was enunciated more effectively over the chug. “Inner Mountain Arthame” — that shit rocks like a bumpy seven-minute ride to hell. But we need a tour guide with a better microphone.

Even so, it rocks like a ride to hell, and that’s more than enough to save Into Abaddon. “Mystichasm” alone is worth the price of admission, a thrilling explosion of chattering riffs, detonating cymbal crashes, and even a satisfyingly evil laugh right before the harmonized guitars break that leads into a soaring solo. This is metal with throwback spirit, but also its own interpretation of all those fantastic old records. The heshers are amassing again, and the blood of the nonbelievers will flow like wine in the streets. — Johnny Loftus

[tags]Saviours, Into Abaddon, Kemado, Crucifire, Inner Mountain Arthame, Cavern of the Mind, Slayer, Motorhead[/tags]

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