Tuesday, June 6, 2017

SAVIOR - Panów pan (2017)

A. T. R.: And Thrash Rises (In the City of Gniezno)

This is absolutely uncommon thing that in the first capital of my country, in my mother town full of churches, banks, pharmacies and second-hands, there is a room for such a creature like Savior. Well, after many years of living with metal music, I can say: finally! Although Metal Archives informs about two other bands having any connections with Gniezno, this band is the first one executing thrash metal genre in its purest form. Formed three years ago, they attacked the scene this year with cd Ep entitled “Panów pan”. Yep, applause for the guys they managed to release it in such physical  format, not on Bandcamp or other digital way only. The debut didn’t coddle me up, yet those almost fifteen minutes are pretty enough to know what is Savior all about. The music itself isn’t a surprise for me, as I saw their live show on 10th of June 2016, and believe me, it was much more interesting and exciting than the first match of Euro 2016 between France and Romania. Of course, fast glance at the band’s picture in the booklet and Jordan’s t-shirt may mislead. Yes, luckily, Savior has nothing to do with Laiho’s crew and I really prefer vocalist’s Akróasis motive t-shirt…

…all right, let’s leave the world of fashion alone, as the beginning of “A. T. R.” and the rest of it I guess, is another thing that might be something different in menu, not only that the lyrics are written in English: the song starts off with slow marching pace reminding me of newer performance of Testament, then Savior shows its murderous face bringing a real thrashing madness till the end of this shortest song. Thinking about possible influences and knowing the main two thrashing schools, Savior heads for American one mostly, however German tunes are present here as well. After many meetings with this stuff, I can declare that “Panów pan” has been deeply rooted in two albums: “Darkness Descends” and “The Morning After”. Conscious or not, the mixing Dark Angel’s heaviness, sonic insanity (“A. T. R.” is the best example, taking my memories to such killing classics like “Perish in Flames” or “Hunger of the Undead”)and technique and Tankardish speed, catchiness and youthsome passion brings really interesting and unexpected musical result. Big names are served, but am I wrong hearing Slayer-like powerful riff starting at 1:45 in the title track? No, I am not! And yes, it comes from the mighty eighties!    

But! Do not treat the thing as a brainless copy. No. The whole flows very smoothly, with no yawn signs. For sure a proper sound realization helps: tunes are clear but not polished and artificial, maintained in rather underground vein, especially when it comes to rhythm section. Skills are audible without any doubt, each track is a potential live highlight determining all-time banging one’s head with the best title song. It contains everything I need from thrashing killer: very catchy riffs and memorable leads, tempo changing, blasting-like unmerciful drums (it really works here!), mentioned Hanneman spirit and chanting chorus. And what a start with air-ripping shriek very similar to the beginning of “Gukumatz” from the Mictlan debut! Yep, a real visiting-card of the band. The changing speeds make the songs run very fast, but of course the speed itself isn’t a main key. There are some broken parts (beginning of “Ciemne ludy”), but the most important the musicians can control the sound avalanche.

If the quartet know how to handle their instruments, the last role should be called. Yes, you’re right, the vocalist. Jordan uses the middle range mostly, some parts are filled with more aggressive touch and it sounds really good (“Ostatnia wieczerza”), some has more melody, especially when he ends the stanzas. I know he is at the beginning and there are some messy words (“A. T. R.”), although I have impression this kind of voice really fits to the current offer of Savior. Mentioned “A. T. R.” (no idea what does it mean: “All the Rampancy”, “Abolish Tabernacle Righteously”, “All Tissues Redefined” or just “A teraz rozpierdol”?… no, I give up…) is written in English and… let Jordan write lyrics in Polish, it looks and sounds much more interesting and complex. What’s more, if the English text refers to the society in general, the rest is braver and describes important aspects of Christianity. It’s neither stupid insight nor Satan praising and hell devouring all the sheep cliché. And I do hope Jordan’s vision in last part of “Ciemne ludy” won’t come true, no matter which religion he is talking about…

That’s true Savior is yet another young band being a part of the hugy thrashing avalanche that seems to have no end. But in this case I’m a bit surprised and amazed with the final product. Of course, I do not expect Mr. President Budasz shouting on the next city council meeting “Yes, we can!”. No, the truth is Savior recorded really promising piece of metal, just a classic stuff, where I didn’t search for originality, but I found a competent and dexterous mix of the things once intended. There is no one-dimensional song, nothing is calculated and the band has an obvious formula for their upcoming doings, just take a listen to the last three words spoken by the oldest fan of the band. I hope they will follow those words all the time.

And Poznań beware! You have got Saints, but Savior comes from Gniezno…       

(written in June, 2017)