Here comes SAVN, who was lauded (by some, not all, mind you..) as the breath of fresh air into an already dead (or kind of dead) genre that too many bands tried to ride into oblivion. Well, hells bells, not quite – this would more be like beating a dead horse and then killing it in the end. And besides, the genre is far from dead anyway – lots of good stuff coming out of it still.
So, what is this Norwegian act Savn and for sure, what is their debut album Savn all about. Already there and judging by its name there are the masters of creativity at work to find a name for the album?
The band consists of two former members of The Sins of Thy Beloved and the former lead singer of Midnattsol, the beautiful Carmen Elise. The sister of Liv Kristine of Leaves’ Eyes. So this gang should actually be powerful with seasoned professionals at work. Right?
Actually the music is not all bad indeed and it holds some kind of good promise, but I daresay SAVN is really not as far as this new band could have gone. Some good beginnings, kind of a debut of sorts, but for sure nothing that would herald a new era of Symphonic Metal. Tunes are (kind of) good, but nothing spicy enough to be surprising (so love and hate together). And I have been listening to this blurb up and down, back and forth – holy cow. Just not finding any surprise – and I do like spice and surprise in my music.
And the producers compressed this one almost to death. To a point that the front woman’s voice – Carmen Elise Espenaes – almost drowns in the rest of this gaggle of instruments, rounded bodice and all. Indeed, the instruments themselves – especially the acoustic ones – do not come out well, neither. All of that ending up in some sort of primordial soup of terrors.
All of that is not very well mixed and produced. From a reputable recording studio. I am disappointed – they should know their trade. And it depends on what device you listen to the album. More (or very) high end devices tend to produce a somewhat, kind of better output. But – gawd – if you go down the quality food chain of your equipment, then the sound just sucks.
And where, oh you lauded musicians, are the stellar guitar solos that rocket us measly listeners and fans the fuck out our comfy chairs into the space of your music halls?? Just not there. And then there is the – what do they call it – growls. Not my kind of growls – weak, not very scary – just not what it should be.
And now, to top it, I am now just learning – somewhat to my unending dismay – that they have been nominated on Terra Relicta – Dark Music Awards for their track Hang On. Due date this end of January 2015. Dafuq, folks.
The most promising songs in this album are Musical Silence, Hang On. The latter one has one of the better passages in it. So I guess this is why it got its nomination). Plus add I am Free, which is actually the best track in this here land of sorrows. But as I said, nothing I would even send to my grandmother and call it Metal. And you cannot send her the grimy and scary stuff anyway for sake of her sanity.
The Demons in Me sound like some non-electronic, but poppy version of Blutengel of sorts, down to the weird accent for the English used – this one kind of makes me grind my teeth. And frankly – some of that reminds me of times past – like later productions of Mike Oldfield, when he came out of his single musician psycho-stupor and started to do some music – ‘All I Want‘ is a good example for that. So, highly synthesized pop, with the terrible and omnipresent keyboard never far away.
And I do like Lengselens Hånd in a kind of geeky way. It does have a fairy quality to it, so not all bad in this album. AND Carmen‘s voice and reach finally comes out on this one much better and the production of this here track is actually the best of all. Of course, not a trace of metal. Well, okay, a little bit towards the end.
The whole album covers mostly some bland production of a music type you would like to listen to – like I don’t know where! Too much synthie pop to a level that Amaranthe would not attempt to get to. No surprises, no spice and a bunch of definitely talented musicians not delivering to the best of their abilities and qualities. But a lot of the blame goes to whoever mixed and produced this. Not the band’s fault – at least not in part. I just do not get it! This could have been so very good. But isn’t for some reason.
Well, let’s hope SAVN will wake up for good for their next album. And deliver a much more tuned-up and thoughtful production for their next brainchild. I have not yet given up hope that they will improve, but just only about. All the signs for improvement are there! So, please, please me – as The Beatles said so many years back. I can feel your energy, but: It.Just.Don’t.Come.OUT!!
[Editorial note: The review made it successfully onto the first ever Intermittent Best Of of the RockmusicRaider blog. Congrats!]
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