Australian band Saviour has had a rocky career since their inception in 2011, but despite their hiatus in 2014, they are back in business with new album Let Me Leave. With a new and improved line-up, the band is moving onto a different sound, definitely a lot lighter than previous album First Light To My Death Bed (both UNFD), and with a greater role for singer and keys player Shontay Snow alongside vocalist Bryant Best.
Whether or not this was a good call is difficult. Shontay’s voice is certainly very good, and at times the combination of smooth and low vocals with the screaming is exciting, like in ‘Wildfire’. However, she uses an over-pronounced accent that is often present in current Britpop, and which can lead to irritation on an almost uncanny valley level. It won’t affect everyone, but for some it will be insurmountable. It also throws off the balance between the two types of vocals, and is especially pronounced in the first two songs, ‘April’ and ‘All I Am Is You.’ Far more pleasant in this respect are ‘The Quiet Calm’ and ‘The Cool Calm.’
On Bryant’s part, the screams are very good, but he drops the ball when it comes to incorporating clean words, as these tend to be significantly weaker and atonal, leading to a dip in energy towards the end of sentences. Alongside this, the lyrics have that “edgy” end-of-relationship vibe; “Stitches are for bitches” and a couple of scattered “fuck” elements definitely call attention to the words, but not necessarily in a good way, and overall it sounds like a metalcore singer walked in on a post-rock band and they were too polite to ask him to leave.
The highlight of the album is the chorus of ‘Forget Me,’ amazingly progressive with good rhythms and a very powerful interaction between metric screams and dark, clean vocals, while the guitars in the bridge of ‘Like This’ are gorgeous. All in, the music on Let Me Leave is unambiguously wonderful, atmospheric and well-balanced, but due to the vocals, the album as a whole will not suit every listener, though there is no denying this band has an interesting sound, blending elements of pop music with metalcore and post-rock. With perhaps a better focus on tying together the vocals and the album as a whole, Saviour could produce some stellar work.