It’s always fun to get an album that defies not only your expectations but also easy definition. Saboteur [Evil Ink Records founded by Coheed & Cambria’s Claudio Sanchez], the third album from California crew Silver Snakes,features a very nondescript cover that reveals little more than the title of the record and the name of the band, but inside is 50 odd minutes of heavy rock well worth delving into.
Much likes previous outings, Saboteur is a trip across the whole spectrum of alt rock. But compared to 2014’s Year of the Snake [Bridge9], this album feels more self-assured. Each song has its own style: sometimes grungy (‘Raindance’), sometimes punky (‘Electricity’) sometimes even inching towards industrial (the atmospheric ‘Glass’ or stomping ‘Charmer’).
Though there’s a range of styles and calls to mind any number of 90s bands – Nine Inch Nails most of all – but bring everything together nicely into one package. Frontman Alex Estrada shows off an impressive range of vocal abilities both heavy and emotive (but without ever straying into whiny territory).
Short and simple rockers sit amongst longer, more adventurous pieces, all broken up with brief instrumental reprieves, and there are plenty of left turns even within the songs. The seven-minute ‘Devotion’ is a mashup of hardcore sludge and ethereal jamming, while ‘Dresden’ strays into heavy psychedelica before slamming down some crushing post-metal riffs.
Saboteur is a hard record to pin down. For sure an upgrade on previous efforts, it jumps confidently in style and tone at a moment’s notice without compromising on quality or cohesion. Adventurous, energetic and interesting.
[amazon asin=B018SYN5JC&template=iframe image1]