There is no debate that Perth’s Saviour has done well for themselves in recent times. Signing to one of Australia’s largest independent music labels UNFD, boasting over twenty three thousand likes on their Facebook page and even making their way to the ARIA Album Charts. With such ferocious momentum in a band’s career one would expect their sophomore album First Light To My Deathbed to be the cause. However, with an all too familiar aesthetic regarding songwriting and a noticeable lack in song diversity-one might have to look elsewhere to find the source of their good fortune.
After establishing a name from the release of their full-length debut ‘Once We Were Lions’, Saviour seemed to have expanded their sound on their latest effort but have still kept some stylistic continuity. Reverb and chorus soaked guitars entice the listener from the start of the album and expectations are set quite high. Solemn in nature, but nevertheless is utilized in much the same way throughout, which inevitably looses its desired effect. However there does seem to be a inspired to-and-fro of the harsh gutturals of front-man Bryant Best and the delicate coos of local Perthian Shontay Snow, but are utilized more or less in a tame fashion throughout the rest of the album. Guitarists Lyndsay Antica and Graeme Burgess fluctuate between low ended, percussive tones and more intricate melodies. These phrases however, with their melodic dissonance will be immediately recognizable for any listener of It Prevails or early For The Fallen Dreams.
Despite the perquisites of implementing these different music trimmings, the album seems to dissipate into something that admittedly we’ve heard before. Part of this could be due to the fact the band can’t seem to shake the genre specific style that was prominent on their previous release. With tracks like ‘Needles,’ although intended as a straightforward alternative to the rest of the album, one can’t help but think of bands that were taking this approach years before. The simplistic, slow and rhythmic breakdowns ring all too familiar to albums in lieu of The Acacia Strain’s Dead Walk and American Me’s Heat.
Where Saviour set themselves apart from their contemporaries both locally and abroad would be, surprisingly, in their music videos. With videos to accompany the tracks Morning, Stories and Jaded, the band has pushed the emotional focus to create something more substantial. By having content that resonates with the viewer is commendable and has resulted in fans coining the term ‘feels-core’. Naivety aside, the band has seemed to embrace this unnecessary phrase with tongue in cheek. When looking into the album’s lyrics, the use of the new term, however, might be ill fitted. Although the lyrics themselves are emotional, it is the style and ‘in between’ words that get in the way of properly empathizing with Best. When lines such as “You stupid fucking cunt” (Collapse) are included, one can’t help but to question the emotional integrity and instead pin point it as lyrical immaturity.
Expectations for a band that have achieved such a buzz in the music community will obviously be high. For any follow up to a debut comes pressure from fans to maintain a stylistic continuity but to have also progressed in their sound. Indeed there are moments where Saviour has shown the potential to move onwards and set themselves apart. However, sticking to the familiar has not worked in the band’s favor. If albums such as these are able to create such acclaim, First Light To My Deathbed points to a dark future.
See the film clip for the track ‘Morning’ below:
And order the album here: