Saviours return with blast of classic heavy metal

I speak often on this site about beer-drinking metal, mainly because it’s fun when kicking back some brews to have something ass-kicking bleeding from the stereo. Not everything qualifies under that designation. For instance, I’m not going to be too eager to have a nice ale alongside, say, Lurker of Chalice or Agalloch. Love those projects, but they don’t really ice my glass a whole lot. That music is for entirely different activities and moods.

Now Oakland’s Saviours always have been labeled a stoner metal band, and certainly that’s with good cause, but I’ve always liked to hear them when enjoying a few choice, cold bottles from my refrigerator. Their 2008 album “Into Abaddon” always has been one of my favorites for that type of occasion, as its furious, Motorhead-meets-thrash make-up made for the perfect rowdy mood-setter. But, you know, I’m a little older now, as are the dudes in Saviours, and I like to chill a bit more than I did a few years ago. So it is with the band’s fourth record “Death’s Procession” that I have found a new record to give me company when I want to sit on the couch, put on a pair of headphones, and slowly take down a dark, bitter, probably high-ABV beer. I could not be happier. I said similar things about label mates Moab this week, so apparently Kemado wants me to drink. Well, if I must.

Saviours’ sound has come a long way since aforementioned “Abaddon” and their first full-length “Crucifire,” that dropped on Level Plane in 2006. There’s an even bigger feel of New Wave of British Heavy Metal on “Death’s Procession,” and seeing that I’m a huge sucker for that sound, this record instantly drew me into its power. There isn’t the reckless abandon here as there was in the past, but I think it suits them fine. If anything, it will add some variety to their ear-splitting live sets. Speaking of which, true story: A few years ago I took my non-metal-loving wife (who, at the time, wasn’t bound to me legally) to go see Saviours, High on Fire and a few other bands on Valentine’s Day evening. Yes, she still married me. Anyhow, she was due for dental work coming up, and Saviours was so damn loud (and HoF didn’t help later in the evening) that we had to leave the show since she was in utter pain. Now, THAT is power. No wonder she hasn’t been too eager to let me play the new Saviours.

Before hearing this new album for the first time, I did have some reservations. I didn’t get too into the band’s last record “Accelerated Living.” There was just something about it, as a whole, that really didn’t work for me. I can’t really recall the last time I listened to the thing. But those fears were dashed early when hearing the opening strains of “The Eye Obscene,” a song that does have a nice gallop, but a more calculated one than I’m used to hearing from these guys. Austin Barber maintains his Lemmy Kilmister/Matt Pike bark, but it’s a little smoother now. He’s singing more than howling, and that suits these songs really well. “To the Grave Possessed” and “Fire of Old” have that NWOBHM sensibility that I mentioned, and it actually kind of makes me feel a little nostalgic. That’s an odd reaction to new songs, eh? “Earthen Dagger” has a doomy condition, sounding more like the band’s older stuff, and it arrives in time to change things up and keep the pace interesting; “Earth’s Possession, Death’s Procession” is a really cool instrumental that is fiery and adventurous; while closer “Walk to the Light” is trippy, even dreamy in spots, but it eventually picks up steam and blows the doors off. The track also has some excellent guitar work by both Barber and lead man Sonny Reinhardt.

Simply put, “Death’s Procession” is just a really great, classic-sounding heavy metal record. I miss collections such as this. There’s no worries about trying to fit into a scene, sound according to whatever the genre’s parameters say they should, or do something that’ll get them a nice, warm hug from the Internet. It’s a record that will make you want to pull out a jean jacket, preferably with an oversized back patch, chains, a bullet belt, whatever. Yeah, that’s a cliché, but you’ll know why I wrote it once you hear this thing. It’s the truth. It sounds great, it’s an example of how heavy metal is supposed to sound, and it’ll be a go-to record for me just as long as my wife doesn’t have any impacted teeth.

For more on the band, go here:

To buy “Death’s Procession,” go here:

For more on the label, go here:

The band also has a ton of tour dates coming up, both in the States and abroad. Here they are:

9/2 Lawrence KS @ Jackpot w/ BISON B.C. only
9/3 St. Louis MO @ FUBAR w/ BISON B.C. only
9/4 Nashville TN @ The End w/ BISON B.C. only
9/5 Asheville NC @ Lexington Ave Brewery w/ BISON B.C. only
9/6 Raleigh, NC @ Kings Barcade
9/7 Baltimore, MD @ Sonar
9/8 Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
9/9 drinking in NYC – no show
9/10 drinking in NYC – no show
9/11 Cambridge, MA @ Middle East Downstairs
9/13 Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace
9/14 Rochester, NY @ Montage Music Hall
9/15 Columbus, OH @ Outland Live
9/16 Grand Rapids, MI @ The Pyramid Scheme
9/17 Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s Rock Club
9/18 Marquette, MI @ Upfront And Company
9/19 Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club
9/20 Rock Island, IL @ Rock Island Brewing Company
9/23 Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
9/24 Salt Lake City, UT @ Burt’s Tiki Lounge
9/26 Seattle, WA @ The Highline
9/27 Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre
9/28 Portland, OR @ Branx
9/29 San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
10/1 San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
10/2 West Hollywood, CA @ Key Club
10/4 Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad
10/6 Austin, TX @ Emo’s
10/7 Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s
10/8 New Orleans, LA @ Siberia
10/9 Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
10/10 Athens, GA @ New Earth Music Hall
10/11 Tallahassee, FL @ Engine Room
10/12 Tampa, FL @ The Orpheum
10/14 Savannah, GA @ The Jinx

19.10 GER – Cologne @ Sonic Ballroom
20.10 BEL – Brussels @ Cafe DNA
21.10 NL – Tilburg @ 013
22.10 NL – Nijmegen @ Merleyn
23.10 NL – Utrecht @ ACU
24.10 GER – Hamburg @ Hafenklang
25.10 NOR – Oslo @ Revolver
26.10 SWE – Gothenburg @ Truckstop Alaska
27.10 SWE – Stockholm @ Kafe 44
28.10 SWE – Linkoping @ L’ Orient
29.10 DK – Copenhagen @ Stengade 30
30.10 GER – Hannover @ UJZ Korn
31.10 BEL – Kortrijk @ De Kreun
01.11 UK – Stoke On Trent @ Harry’s Bar
02.11 UK – Manchester @ Gullivers
03.11 UK – London @ The Unicorn
04.11 UK – Plymouth @ White Rabbit
05.11 UK – Oxford @ The Wheatsheaf
06.11 UK – Brighton @ The Prince Albert
07.11 FRA – Lille @ Le Bistrot De Saint-Saveurs
08.11 FRA – Le Havre @ Mc Daid’s
09.11 FRA – Paris @ Les Combustibles
10.11 FRA – Besancon @ Les Passagers Du Zinc
11.11 LUX – Arlon @ La Curieuse
12.11 SWI – Winterthur @ Kulturzentrum Gaswerk
13.11 AUT – Dornbirn @ Cafe Schlachthaus
14.11 GER – Wuerzburg @ Immerhin
15.11 CZ – Slavonice @ Baràk
16.11 AUT – Vienna @ Escape Metalcorner
17.11 ITA – Pisa @ La Centrale
18.11 ITA – Roma @ Init
19.11 ITA – Fidenza (PR) @ Arci Taun
20.11 ITA – Arese (MI) @ S.G.A
21.11 SLO – Ljubljana @ Klub Gromka
22.11 HUN – Budapest @ Szabad Az A’
23.11 CZ – Brno @ Yacht Club
24.11 CZ – Prague @ Klub 007
25.11 GER – Leipzig @ Zoro
26.11 GER – Berlin @ Schokoladen
27.11 GER – Osnabrueck @ Bastard Club