"Palace of Vision"

By The Great Sun Jester

Southern California might bring to mind laid back desert rock and pop punk, but even listening briefly to Saviours immediately corrects that. This isn’t languid, groove-centered stoner metal or plodding and predictable doom. Saviours bring together the best of both musical worlds and their latest from Listenable Records,” Palace of Vision”, in an energetic, intense musical package. The album’s production is one of its strongest points and helps the band deliver an overwhelming performance from first note to last.

“The Mountain” sets a tone. The first song lulls listeners in with a slow guitar fanfare before blowing your hair back. When Saviours takes off, they are cooking at full burn with guitar lines flying at your ears with such go for broke vigor that it isn’t a stretch to assume the song will fall apart at any second. The vocals embrace a similar style and match the instrumental fireworks, but it’s gifted drumming keeping everything nailed down. “Flesh of Fire” has clearer melodic riffing that still hammers out an unforgiving, muscular groove. The song’s climatic guitar solo is brief, but adds a dramatic element missing from the opener. Saviours ratchet the tempo higher again with “Devil’s Crown”, but unlike “The Mountain”, the band emphasizes groove within their mammoth sound. 

The title track smacks of a song intended as “musical statement”. This typically spells disaster for all the best bands, but Saviours acquit themselves quite remarkably on “Palace of Vision”. One minor weakness is the band’s consistent penchant for mixing the vocals too low. While drums and stringed instruments are clearly the stars of this band’s music, the lyrical content is surprisingly good within typical genre conventions and delivered with absolute conviction. The band deftly handles a multi-part epic – it is apparent, when listening to their seamless moves between disparate tempos, that Saviours recorded this song when they were ready and had a strong vision for its sound and construction when they recorded it.

“Burning Shrine” evolves into an outright assault. Ambient guitar swirls into a simmering intro before the band erupts. It’s blistering stuff, but the remarkable thing about the performance is how tightly the musicians lock in with each other during what’s nothing short of musical endurance test. For listeners’, however, it’s an exhilarating ride. “The Beast Remains” marries that same fury with melodic guitar flourishes and eye-popping tempo twists. The song’s melodic qualities emerge even more strongly when soloing, but even then, the guitars bring together melody and power with extraordinary ease. 

The album’s final track slows things down for another riff monster punctuated with brief, lyrical guitar fills. Bluesy strains creep deeper into the vocals than ever before on the album and it adds gravitas to an already heavy track. There’s an understated Sabbath vibe powering the song as well that will appeal to many. Saviours have hit a high water mark for the year with their album “Palace of Vision” and this is a finale that brings the release to memorable conclusion. Highly recommended.