Saor strikes again.
Formed in 2013 in Scotland by Andy Marshall (all instruments/vocals, Fuath, ex-Àrsaidh, ex-Falloch), the band announces the release of Origins, its fifth album, through Season of Mist.
Drums were recorded by Dylan Watson (Cân Bardd, Kassogtha, ex-Kaatarakt), while Sophie Marshall provides the female vocals. On stage, the mastermind provides bass and vocals, and is accompanied by Bryan Hamilton (drums, Cnoc an Tursa, ex-Barshasketh), Rene McDonald Hill (guitar, Cnoc an Tursa), Lambert Segura (violin) and Martin Rennie (guitar).
The album starts with Call of the Carnyx and its dark introduction that will lead us to an efficient and melodic rhythmic, completed by heady Folk elements. The haunting vocal parts will make riffs slow down, which will soon become more energetic again before massive screams resurface, followed by sharp leads that lead us to Fallen and its martial tones. The catchy Pagan sounds create an interesting contrast with the powerful base borrowed from epic and powerful Black Metal, then The Ancient Ones offers us a moment of respite before returning to more energetic roots. The two universes meet again, revealing more dreamy passages which will be crushed by vocals and saturation before coming back to life with this clean sound and those regular hits, while Aurora presents us with colder influences driven by bass. The track is very jerky, but it still allows choirs and abrasive melodies to haunt us, sometimes making the riffs slow down and become majestic, then Beyond the Wall will be much more aggressive. The majestic keyboards are still present, but riffs and vocals are more raw, darker and heavier, feeding once again the contrast which continues on Origins, the last track, offering us a catchy introduction. The following will reveal more abrasive sounds, which will turn into a bright atmosphere despite the obvious rage, ending the album.
With Origins, Saor has another musical building block. And this one is much more anchored in the Folk/Pagan roots than in pure Black Metal, regularly offering us lulls to these waves of darkness.