Every so often an album comes along that is immediately enveloping. This is a record that deserves undivided attention. With each spin new sounds and interwoven melodies start to appear.
Mainman Andy Marshall hails from Scotland and has moved forward his unique vision which is steeped in the Culture and Heritage of his homeland. This is the 4th album from Saor and one that will stun people.
Opening track “Forgotten Paths” starts of down a path of black metal and sets the journey off to a magnificent start. There is very subtle orchestration behind the blasting and the guitars, not overpowering, almost lurking and engages the senses to listen more closely. Traditional instruments come to the forefront quickly but compliment the guitars and blend together rather than compete for space. Before long acoustic guitars are introduced to set the scene for more blasts, tortured screams and howls. At times the nearest comparison of similar bands would be early Altar of Plagues. It is epic, it’s music to champion and music to take to heart. The music gives a window into a sense of history, violent yet with a feeling of fighting the good fight. At the halfway mark of this track there is piano and melancholy reigns supreme. It is memorable and guarantees repeated listens, the construction is phenomenal , it is straight from the core of these musicians.
There are only 4 tracks on this album, however musically they say more in these 4 tracks than bands over an entire career. It would be tempting to dissect each song into its component parts, however this record is for personal discovery.
The top pick from this sensational piece of work is “Brón” which begins with an almost relaxed feel. Fear not, blasts are soon introduced with violin and a variety of stringed instruments and again the mix is perfect, everything belongs beautifully together. The atmospheric nature of this record is enhanced further with magnificent female voices against a background of heavy guitars and several traditional instruments. It is full of twists and turns which make more sense with each listen.
This really is an astounding piece of work and one which will be put onto many albums of the year lists.
Due out in February this is one not to miss.
- Forgotten Paths