Saor – Origins (Review)

Saor - OriginsThis is the fifth album from UK one-man black metal band Saor.

Brought to us by the artist behind Fuath, (and also an ex-member of Falloch), Saor’s music is well-regarded, although this is my first encounter with it. My loss, it seems, as Origins offers up a very compelling 41 minutes of atmospheric black metal. Although a solo act, on Origins a session drummer and female vocalist have also been employed to flesh out the band’s delivery.

A mix of aggressive black metal and sweeping folk atmosphere, Origins is easily digested and nicely satiating. Rich melodies and choice riffs form an underlying blackened framework that’s well-structured and intelligently crafted. Onto this is then added not only the aforementioned folk elements, but also a classic metal influence which informs a number of the riffs, leads, and solos. A shoegaze feel is also apparent here and there, although this is only a small part of Saor’s sound.

These songs are atmospheric and textured, taking a blackened approach to mood-building that’s well-written and performed. Emotion is a key part of Origins, and all of the material is delivered with passionate skill. The use of folk instruments and sounds enriches the music rather than distracts from it, and it’s embedded in natural, unforced ways. The music’s uplifting melancholy is potent.

The main vocals are a mix of harsh screams and deeper barks. Epic clean vocals are also occasionally used too. All of the vocal styles are well-performed.

Origins is a quality slice of atmospheric folk-infused black metal. It’s epic, melodic, and emotive, but also has real metallic bite. The artist behind Saor has impressed with his latest release.

Highly recommended.

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