metal talk
facebook
Type band name, album name, artists name etc here...
Search all our articles by typing band name, album name, artists name etc here...
news now
metal talk


  SAVN
'Savn'
(CDR Records, Norway)
Worldwide Release: 13th May 2014


Roger Berzerk Fauske

Roger Berzerk Fauske



savn

Back I go to the land of my fathers, Norway, for my next review. As I have mentioned more than once, the rock scene in Norway is alive and well – in fact producing a bigger and better variety of bands than ever before. So time to see if Savn should be added to that ever growing and impressive list. Before I get on to the musical side, a little background on the band, and interesting it is too.

Norwegian goth Metal legends The Sins Of Thy Beloved have been dormant since 2000 - following the release of their second album Perpetual Desolation - and after years of a rumoured reunion, Stig Johansen and Anders Thue have instead risen from the ashes with a new band, SAVN, and a new vision.

The seeds for Savn (translated: Deprivation) officially took root when multi-instrumentalist Stig contacted Midnattsol vocalist and long-time friend Carmen Elise Espenæs about singing one song for the planned SAVN album. Carmen agreed, and Stig and Anders (keyboards) were so pleased with the final result they invited her to sing on the entire record. With Midnattsol rendered inactive for the time being due to personal commitments within the band, and her new role as a singer, as well as a mother of an adorable daughter, the Norwegian powerhouse found herself with enough time and refueled with energy to take part in this new musical journey.

Article continues below...



And, how did all this come together as a band?

"In the beginning they just wanted me here and there in parts of the songs", Carmen reveals, "but I became more and more involved as we worked. There were some parts that I asked if we could change them because I had a chorus or melody line that needed to be in there. They decided that it would be best to say that I'm part of the band. I loved the music when I first heard it, and working with them in the studio was a great experience."

Did you get all that? Time to get to the hub of the matter, the music. If you are expecting some goth Metal (or fearing it, depending upon your viewpoint) then you will be in for a surprise. Naturally there are elements of it, but the sound is a lot more in the heavy rock direction so classic metalheads will have something to sink their teeth into, or shake their hair at. Right, down to business.

As if to prove my point, the album kicks off with 'Musical Silence', and a riff about as classic rock orientated as you could wish for, pounding drums pulling it along. But add in another layer, some strings (and I mean fiddle ones, not guitar ones) from Dag Bjørkedal and Lillian Hodne the whole feel of the music takes on a transformation and I have to say, a transformation for the good.

As you know the name Savn is Norwegian for desperation and all the songs touch on the subject – that melancholy, sorrowful feel is accomplished beautifully with the tones of strings. The subject matter of this one is losing a part of yourself due to lack of music and then rediscovering it through taking your music in a new direction.

When the vocals kick in, the song takes on an even more melancholic theme, Carmen's voice full of passion, truth and feeling. More fiddles where a lot of bands would put a guitar solo and the fiddle being a fiddle, there is even a touch of the Irish feel about it. Chorus is a very catchy little affair, a nice hook to it, keys interspersed without going over the top and taking over. A fine way to start proceedings.

As a footnote, perhaps Coldplay could take the concept of musical silence, but take it more literally (you knew it was coming...).

Next up is 'Hang On', which is about someone who has lost all hope and wants to end their life, whilst those close to them are begging them to hold on to life. Musically it starts off with just vocals before the drums and guitar pound in, keyboards beautifully catching the mood. Middle section featuring strings, fluttering keys, adding to the feel, ironically uplifting vocal mood giving the sense of reprieval.

savn

So to 'The Demons In Me', well not actually me personally or we could be here for a very long time. The track is about struggling with anxiety, voices in your head wearing you down. Michelle Darkness (End Of Green) makes an appearance on this track, adding vocals. Musically, again the fiddles adding a lot of depth, this one has more of a sombre feel to it, the contrast between the two voices working well, fiddles again in the space between.

The difference in the vocals is the stand out part of this track, almost anger and sorrow being depicted by each separate voice. The melody chugs along at a rate of knots, again an underlying feature of their tracks, proving you don't need to go into vegetative depressed mode to get that feeling across.

'Longing For Love' has for its subject matter wondering where the love has gone after a long time in a relationship. Personally I still love West Ham, however much they continue to upset and disappoint me. Back to the music... piano beginnings, with the kind of feel you would probably expect. Again the keyboards are impressive, especially how they fit on top of the heavier drum and guitar sound. Melody full of soul, feeling and more than a little catchy grabs you on this one, before the tone gets a little more sombre as the strings arrive again before going back up to the catchy melody. A good track, nothing overly complicated, but very well crafted.

'I Am Free' has another guest appearance and this time it is a family affair with Carmen's sister, Liv Kristine (Leaves' Eyes). It is the first time the siblings have recorded one of Carmen's songs together and Carmen is particularly proud of this one. Interesting keyboard intro, melodic before we get a first taste, mild though it is, of some growling (more about that later), emotional vocals from the sisters, softness in the voice before going more uptempo. Once again the strings add more than a little to the track, replacing the tried and tested guitar solo but again it works well. Quickening keyboards towards the end on top of the drums mixed with more strings make for a stirring end to the song.

The Lingua Mortis Orchestra make an appearance on the next one, 'Sorrowful'. The track itself deals with being left alone after a break up or other life changing event, kicking off with more riffery, keyboards and belting drums, the orchestrations layered in behind it giving it the sense of sadness right from the get go. There is the contrast between the rock instrumentation and the orchestration but they fit well together, harmonising and expanding the sound, choral chanting adding an even deeper layer before the melodic verses. A very well written one, and not the simplest to weave together but they have succeeded.

'All I Want' deals with wanting to do what you want and being happy, rather than the drudgery of life which seems a waste of time and effort sometimes. Yes ok, more than sometimes. Keyboards again overlaying drums and guitar, with strings again used to great effect. More upbeat this one – this lot aren't all about being lachrymose. Musically, the customary good quality songwriting and melodies are in evidence with the familiar pounding in the background.

'Now Or Never' is the next one up, so clearly more a case of now. This deals with a subject you have no doubt already worked out, but in case of any slowness it is basically a question of life being too short and you only having one of them.

Fiddles again, vocals uplifting, Stig Johansen's injection of growling vocals adding urgency to the track, Carmen's harmonising sitting intriguingly alongside.

'Lengselens Hand' is the last track on the album, bonus tracks aside that I will get to in the course of time. Translated from Norwegian, it means 'Longing's hand' and is about when someone close to you is lost for whatever reason. You still have the memories and the hand of longing just won't let go. This one again features The Lingua Mortis Orchestra and is also sung in Norwegian.

Sad, minor key piano with vocals, strings coming in alongside restrained drums, keeping the feel, no upbeat feelings to this one – but as much as it portrays sadness, there is no depressive feeling. Orchestration on its own gives a beautiful effect in the middle before the song moves uptempo, drums crashing in although still with some restrain, a well delivered piece. And this song actually fades out unlike most on the album that finish quite abruptly.

That is the basic album but there are a couple of extras on the digipak, namely growling versions of 'Hang On' and 'The Demons In Me'. They are as you would expect more on the heavier side, vocally, at any rate of songs heard on the album. They are interesting although musically stick to the same path as the standard versions but it can be looked on as an alternative sound, giving you an option and possibly for them to gauge reaction to this format.

So there it is. As I mentioned at the beginning, if you were expecting some gothicness, then you will be disappointed, surprised, reticent (delete as applicable). This album may require some clever marketing so people know what to expect but if it is given the right push in the right direction then there is no reason it shouldn't be successful. It is a shame that bands and music get pigeonholed as their former identity may put some people off before they even get to hear the music but marketing is the record company's job so let's hope they are at the races.

As someone more leaning towards the classic rock end of the spectrum, it impressed me so there is a definite cross appeal – it has all the elements that go to make up good albums and bands. The masterstroke is the use of strings in the way that they do and the orchestration as well. Whilst fiddles in rock aren't a new concept, it is not usual to use them to this extent – one of the first things you will notice is the lack of any guitar solos, that space generally being used for the fiddle parts,and why not, it works.

Some more used to the classic end of rock may not be enamoured with the relatively standard guitar and drum parts, but Savn don't pretend to be doing an album like that.

Bad points? There always are (even I am not perfect – yes really, I know, surprising eh?). Carmen Elise Espenæs is a very fine vocalist and she has a very distinctive quality to her voice but it is not one filled with extreme power and at times her voice does disappear into the mix. The mix generally is a little tame for my ears although the presence of the fiddles are never dumbed down, a definite plus point.

The variety of songs on offer could perhaps be greater but given the name of the album, there is always going to be the melancholic feel and there is only so much you can do with that – plus they are all songs about personal experiences.

That aside, it is an impressive album and whilst not quite unique as the PR claims (PR is... well...PR), it is different and they should all be congratulated on the direction they have taken and the way they have done it.

Online:
savn-official.com
facebook.com/SavnOfficial
  
Savn Line-Up:
Carmen Elise Espenæs - Vocals
Stig Johansen – Vocals, Guitars
Anders Thue – Keyboards


beer beer beerbeerbeer


16.5.14











 

bill price GUNS N' ROSES AND SEX PISTOLS PRODUCER/ENGINEER BILL PRICE HAS SADLY PASSED AWAY
Price worked with Rod Stewart, INXS, Pete Townshend, Elton John, The Jesus And Mary Chain and Big Audio Dynamite...

fish marillion FISH CELEBRATES 30th ANNIVERSARY OF 'CLUTCHING AT STRAWS' WITH UK TOUR
"These are the only dates this year as because of my shoulder operation next month with the extensive recovery period..."

ross the boss UK EXCLUSIVE: ROSS THE BOSS ANNOUNCES TOUR DATES AHEAD OF SPECIAL GUEST SLOT ON MetalTalk RADIO THIS WEEK
"We are going to devastate every audience, every night, without mercy..."

dokken WAS BREAKING NEWS: CLASSIC DOKKEN LINE-UP CONFIRMED FOR RAMBLIN' MAN
Dokken, Lynch, Pilson and Brown will play together in England for the first time in around a quarter-of-a-century...

grand magus DEF LEPPARD AND POISON ANNOUNCE NORTH AMERICAN DATES
"I could not be more excited. I know all of us will give one thousand percent on stage..."

grand magus VIKINGS TO INVADE YORKSHIRE: GRAND MAGUS TO HEADLINE KEIGHLEY FESTIVAL
"Get your tickets now and prepare to raise your fists and bang your heads for the glory of Metal!"

armored saint ARMORED SAINT UK TOUR DATES AND 'MARCH OF THE SAINT (LIVE)' VIDEO ARE HERE
"We're really looking forward to playing these select UK shows in March..."

screaming eagles SCREAMING EAGLES TO FEATURE IN NEW AMAZON PRIME SERIES STARRING BRYAN CRANSTON
The band will be releasing a live mini-album in spring 2017 and will be touring in the UK, France and Germany throughout the year...

martyrd MARTYRD SET TO OPEN FOR METAL ALLEGIANCE, MARTY FRIEDMAN AND GUS G
"NAMM is a blast, total musical sensory overload from every direction. It’s like getting lost in a hurricane - I can't wait."

john garcia EXCLUSIVE WORLD PREMIERE: JOHN GARCIA UNLEASHES 'GIVE ME 250ml'
"This record is one of the most important of my career, difficult and challenging to do, but worth every minute of sweat!"

avenged sevenfold WAS BREAKING NEWS: AVENGED SEVENFOLD TO OPEN LONDON POP-UP STORE
The shop will be hosting in-store raffles and giveaways of exclusive and signed merchandise...

avenged sevenfold ROCK MEETS CLASSIC 2017 EUROPE LINE-UP IS HERE
Rock meets Classic has a terrific vibe and the legendary cross-over-project combines emotional classic with world-famous rock songs...

paddy goes to holyhead PADDY GOES TO HOLYHEAD ARE BACK FOR THE CRAIC ON ST PATRICK'S NIGHT
The band supposedly played their last ever gig two years ago in celebration of their 30th anniversary...

nightlord EXCLUSIVE THE UNKNOWN BAND WHO INFLUENCED METALLICA AIRS ON MetalTalk RADIO
Also featuring is the very first UK radio airplay of Cellar Darling, the band created by former Eluveitie members...

epica EPICA RELEASE 'BEYOND THE MATRIX' VIDEO - WATCH IT HERE
"The energy that lives within 'Beyond The Matrix' is extremely contagious. It will sweep you off your feet when the melodies enter your mind..."

nightlord JOHN COGHLAN'S QUO BACK ON THE ROAD AGAIN
John Coghlan's Quo have announced UK dates across the Kingdom that will see them busy throughout the year...

jimmy bain JIMMY BAIN'S WIDOW NEEDS OUR HELP
"Jimmy recently passed away without a proper will in place and now his better half is in trouble..."

michael schenker MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST 'LIVE' TOKYO FEATURING BARDEN, BONNET AND McAULEY OUT IN MARCH
Features guest appearances from some of the greatest rock vocalists who have worked with Schenker...

ozzy osbourne OZZY OSBOURNE OVERDOSED WHEN SHARON HAD CANCER
"I watched him scoop his hands into a bowl of pills, swallow a handful of something, and then wash it down with vodka..."

eluveitie ELUVEITIE NEW LINE-UP IS COMPLETE, FIRST GIGS GO DOWN A STORM
"Above all we're super happy and thankful that we're complete again and given the chance to have such gifted musicians on board..."

gene simmons GENE SIMMONS RESTAURANT HONOURS US VETS
"The opening day of every Rock & Brews is dedicated to our vets, the public is not allowed in."

deep purple DEEP PURPLE SUE THEIR LONG-TIME ACCOUNTANT FOR FOUR MILLION
"I'm completely irresponsible. I'm ignorant about money as a commodity — I have never really understood it."

tony iommi UK EXCLUSIVE: VINCE NEIL FIST FIGHT WITH BOY GEORGE STOPPED AS ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER SHUTS UP PRESIDENT TRUMP
"They screwed up. That was a huge miss and someone should have a talking-to."

tony iommi GLENN HUGHES: "I'M THRILLED TO BE TOURING THE UK IN JANUARY"
"Let's get 2017 going with a killer night for ROCK lovers, movers and shakers. I'm in. Let's go!"

tony iommi TONY IOMMI HAS SUCCESSFUL THROAT OPERATION AND IS CANCER-FREE
"We had to have it checked in case it may have been cancerous. But it turns out it wasn't, which I found out Christmas Day..."

ronnie montrose RONNIE MONTROSE REMEMBERED: ALL-STAR MEMORIAL CONCERT TO TAKE PLACE AT NAMM 2017
"Ronnie helped light a fire in me and made me want to approach guitar playing with that kind of zeal and expression..."

motorhead beer PHIL CAMPBELL AND MIKKEY DEE TO APPEAR AT MOTÖRHEAD BEER LAUNCH IN LONDON
This is sure to be one superb night with beer, live music and Motörhead, but not necessarily in that order...

tony iommi BLACK STAR RIDERS PREMIERE 'TESTIFY OR SAY GOODBYE'
Black Star Riders are set to release their forthcoming album 'Heavy Fire' on 3rd February via Nuclear Blast...

tony iommi BREAKING NEWS: TONY IOMMI DROPS HEAVY METAL AND JOINS THE CHOIR
"It's a bit different to Sabbath!" says Tony, in probably the biggest understatement of all time...

tony iommi ROCK MUSIC IN SUPERHERO MOVIES
It's pretty wild to think that this whole ride that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe started off with a little AC/DC...

jimi hendrix JIMI HENDRIX'S WAH-WAH PEDAL AND AMP SURVIVES AUCTION HOUSE BURGLARY
"It was a very positive and uplifting experience to work for Jimi. He was like a shaman, a medicine man, a preacher.."

alestorm ALESTORM ENTER FLORIDA STUDIO BUT A CHALLENGE AWAITS THEM BACK IN BLIGHTY
"It is full of epic songs about pirates, drinking, and pseudoscientific cryptogeography..."

queen QUEEN GUITARIST BRIAN MAY WANTS TO BRING ROCK TO A NEW GENERATION
"It was actually all very planned and deliberate and came totally out of Freddie's fevered imagination..."

phil lynott MASS TRIBUTES PAID TO PHIL LYNOTT ON ANNIVERSARY OF HIS PASSING
"God bless my old friend, thanks for the faith you showed in allowing me to record your music..."

black country communion BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION ENTER STUDIO TO BEGIN WORK ON FOURTH ALBUM
"One thing I want to make clear to everybody across air nation is that Joe Bonamassa and I never fell out..."

hair metal heaven BLAZE BAYLEY BRAND NEW ALBUM AND WORLD TOUR DETAILS ARE HERE
'Endure And Survive' is set for release on 3rd March 2017 and will be accompanied by a world tour totalling some 120 shows...

hair metal heaven HAIR METAL HEAVEN FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES FIRST ACTS FOR INAUGURAL EVENT
The Hair Metal Heaven Festival has a very eighties feel to it, as the team behind it explain here...

motorhead EXCLUSIVE TEST PILOT DROPS TWO GRAND ON NEW MOTÖRHEAD VIDEO SLOT
"A few spins later and I turned up a row of gold Snaggletooths which promptly caught fire and the voice of the man himself commanded: 'Turn it up!'"

deep purple DEEP PURPLE RELEASE NEW 'inFinite' TRAILERS AND EXPECTED ALBUM FORMATS
'Time For Bedlam', the first single which was revealed late last year, is available as instant grat as part of the digital album pre-order...

hollywood AEROSMITH FAREWELL TOUR COULD LAST FIVE YEARS
"We had a talk a few weeks back about going into the studio. When that'll happen, though, I'm not sure. We certainly have plenty of ideas..."

rick parfitt EXCLUSIVE MEGADETH MAINMAN DAVE MUSTAINE REVEALS HE'S AN ARSENAL FC SUPPORTER
Megadeth, formed in Los Angeles in 1983 after Dave left Metallica, are currently enjoying a rich vein of form...

hollywood FORMER PEARL JAM DRUMMER HITS OUT AT THE BAND
"We need music, each other and the spirit of Rock & Roll now, more than ever before..."

hollywood HOLLYWOOD SIGN CHANGED BY PRANKSTERS TO READ 'HOLLYWEED'
"An artist's role throughout history has been to create representations of the culture he exists in..."

metallica METALLICA GUITARIST KIRK HAMMETT'S HOME FOR SALE FOR £16m
Apparently a house like this doubles its asking price every six or seven years...

kiss EXCLUSIVE KISS' GENE SIMMONS DROPS BIGGEST HINT YET THAT ACE FREHLEY REUNION IS ON
Over 7,000 likes later, fans are in big speculation that it really is going to happen...

rick parfitt WAS BREAKING NEWS: BLOODSTOCK UNVEIL SECOND 2017 HEADLINER
"Megadeth had a blast last time and I can't wait to bring the Dystopia World Tour to Bloodstock this Summer."

rick parfitt EXCLUSIVE JOHN COGHLAN REVEALS TWO NEW TRACKS WITH RICK PARFITT ARE NEARLY READY FOR RELEASE
"It was going to be Status Quo PLC [Parfitt, Lancaster, Coghlan] and that was Francis' idea originally."

wizz wizzard WIZZ WIZZARD VOCALIST WIZZ BEAUPREZ HAS PASSED AWAY
Wizz Wizzard were signed to Rock Sector Records and labelmate Chris Appleton of Absolva led the tributes...

ronnie james dio RONNIE JAMES DIO TO TOUR IN 2017
"It was very emotional. I didn't think that I was gonna cry, but I did. I broke down...."

metal talk
© All written site content is copyright MetalTalk.net 2008-2017, unless otherwise stated, and is not to be used without prior permission.
Ads raid data recovery