Metal is a genre of many intricate flavors. With the epic, sweeping
masterpieces of power metal and the cacophonous riffage of black or doom
metal, the popularity of this most excellent of musical styles has
exploded exponentially in recent years. Yes, even the most underground
of Scandinavian conifer connoisseurs has reaped the fruits of metal’s
crushing labors. But the acceptance and mainstream-ification of the
music also brings division.Miniscule subgenre differences create
ideological chasms, and some metal heads resist letting multiple styles
into their blackened hearts.
Enter Saviours, an Oakland, Calif., four-piece that has ignored genre barriers and stitched together a rare and ferocious sound that sheds its influences and rallies metal maniacs under a unified love of rocking the fuck out.
Formed in 2004, the band blends the thrashy aesthetic of Cryptic Slaughter with the bone-rattling, bass-heavy drive of Motorhead. Songs gallop along ala Iron Maiden--a band that Saviours channels heavily when it blasts through satisfying twin guitar harmonies or blisteringly fast solos. Punk rock also works itself into the band’s songs by way of heavy and fast rhythms or just good, old-fashioned aggression.
“We’re kind of in this weird spot when it comes to describing our sound,” Saviours guitarist Sonny Reinhardt says. “We tend to float between genres, which can [make it] seem like we’re not metal enough or not punk enough in certain situations, but in the grand scheme of things, we aren’t really any specific genre.”
On Death’s Procession, which comes out Sept. 6, Saviours slows way down in comparison to previous efforts, paying subtle homage to hard rock and heavy metal bands of the ’70s and ’80s. Procession vibes like the early work of seminal Swedish doomsters Candlemass. The combination of long songs, drop tuning and lo-fi wah-wah guitar makes for a mind-bending stoner metal experience.
“The album definitely has some way spacier parts than we’ve done before,” Reinhardt says, then laughs. “I mean, I’d much rather have a bunch of stoners come out to a show than a bunch of skinheads or Nazis.”
Labels aside, Saviours’ newest album is all about superheavy music that owes its origins to the new wave of British heavy metal. Sludge aspects are layered carefully over trippy guitars, Judas Priest-esque rhythms and Thin Lizzy breakdowns. Procession is by no means overproduced, but Saviours’ instrumentation and song arrangements have certainly tightened since 2009’s Accelerated Living. Metal heads absolutely need to be watching this band.
You can see Saviours at work as part of Warehouse 21’s 15th anniversary party. Reinhardt actually grew up in the Fe and is an alumnus of the local nonprofit teen arts center. It’s only fair to mention that Reinhardt’s mother is Ana Maria Gallegos y Reinhardt, W21 executive director and prominent champion among humans.
“I’ve been involved off and on with [W21] since I was 14 or 15, so I pulled really hard to make this show happen on this tour,” Sonny Reinhardt says. “This was definitely a priority for me, and we’re all very excited that it’s an all-ages show. [We’re] more excited that it’s free and will allow lots of people to come out.”
Locals As in We and The Elected Officials will be on hand to slay respectively with prog and punk rock, and Albuquerque indie outfit SuperGiant joins in on the fun as well.