It’s quite possible that one band that may have gone just under your radar in recent years is Saviours. These Oakland heavy metal warriors have been going since 2004 and have previously released three albums, including 2008’s excellent ‘Into Abaddon‘. Now they’re back with album number four, ‘Death’s Procession‘, flagrantly disregarding trends and powering away through eight tracks of retro-worshipping heavy metal.
‘The Eye of Obscene’ is a solid stoner jam at first, just a little indulgent too with some flashy soloing inbetween the low-end grooves. The following track, ‘Grave of the Possessed’, leans more towards NWOBHM-era metal, the guitars certainly coming across with late-70’s swagger and tone. It’s this conundrum that sums up ‘Death’s Procession‘ and indeed Saviours as a whole – it doesn’t sit comfortably in either camp, easily flip-flopping between styles and switching tempos. That’s not to say that’s a bad thing, and this album certainly has its merits, as there are some damn good stompers in there – the plod of ‘Fire of Old’ is impressive and the Motorhead-influenced riffing in ‘God’s End’ makes for an entertaining ride.
At the end of the day, ‘Death’s Procession‘ is a good record, but not quite a great one. Saviours are still worth checking out, but this year alone has seen some great traditional doom and heavy metal records come to the fore. Competition is fierce and with some undoubtedly quality releases occuring over 2011, the general feeling I get is that Saviours have fallen just a little short this time, despite the fact ‘Death’s Procession‘ hardly disappoints. Still, anyone looking for metal done the real way could do far worse than give this album, and Saviours in general, more than just a passing glance.