SÂVER obliterate the notion of the tricky second album by producing a stunning album of the highest order!
You know when a band releases an album and reviews for that album say “this band have returned with a more mature sound”? This can usually be translated into “Yeah this band have gone and lost the previous urgency and replaced it with run of the mill music”. Well, the new album From Ember and Rust from Oslo-based trio SÂVER can be described as ‘a more mature sound’ but not in that slightly negative notion discussed previously. They have returned with a more nuanced follow up to the exceptional They Came with Sunlight but have lost none of the piss and vinegar as normally happens with a ‘more mature sound’, in fact, it’s the opposite, they have doubled down on what they do so well to create a snarling behemoth of an album.
From Ember and Rust is a masterclass in sonic embroidery. From the very first notes, this album prods the boundaries of traditional Post-Metal, embracing a kaleidoscope of influences to weave a captivating and immersive experience from its many varied strands.
The album opens with “Formless” which sets its stall out right from the off, with a crash of guitars and that oh so familiar bass tone which drops like an anchor onto unsuspecting listeners. SÂVER have a penchant for crafting expansive soundscapes, and this album is no exception. Layers of atmospheric textures build and recede like ocean waves, carrying the listener into uncharted territories of feeling.
The album’s dynamic range is a testament to the band’s ability to seamlessly blend moments of cathartic serenity with caustic peaks. Tracks like “I, Evaporate” showcase From Ember and Rust and its mastery in tension and release. The gentle build of instrumentation gradually unfolds into a crescendo of raw, emotive power, leaving an indelible mark on the listener’s psyche.
One of the standout features of the record is its ability to create vivid imagery through sound. The titletrack on the album evokes a sense of mystery and introspection, transporting the listener to a fog-shrouded dreamscape. The addition of clean vocals comes as a pleasant surprise but does nothing to diminish the power of the music, in fact the interplay between these ethereal vocals and the intricate instrumentation creates an otherworldly atmosphere, inviting introspection and contemplation.
SÂVER also display their versatility to the fullest with tracks like “Primal One” where pulsating rhythms and intricate guitar work take centre stage. The interlocking melodies and driving percussion create a sense of urgency, providing a dynamic contrast to the more introspective moments on the album.
It would be remiss of me not to mention the production quality on From Ember and Rust which is impeccable, with each instrument occupying its own sonic space yet contributing to the overall cohesion of the album. The mix allows the subtleties of each instrument to shine through, enhancing the listener’s ability to connect with the music on a visceral level.
Closing the album with the mesmerizing “All in Disarray” which brings the album to a poignant conclusion. The track’s contemplative keyboard and emotive ambience offer a reflective moment, which sounds almost like the whole thing is slightly off kilter, as if the sounds being created have been dragged out of the band without them realising, the shifts in the aforementioned reflective notes and the pulverising crushing heaviness takes some getting used to, but once you do get used to it, it gets under your skin. It’s mesmerisingly good.
This album is not just a collection of songs; it’s a sonic journey that invites the listener to explore the vast landscapes of human emotion. It’s more urgent than its predecessor with more musical exploration going on. It’s undeniably heavy (in more ways than the obvious one) but is shot through with rays of hope and a surprising amount of melody. It’s a real achievement and has utterly transfixed me. I thought I had my albums of the year done and dusted, but this album has come along like a wrecking ball and smashed in with one swing of its ruthless beauty. A stunning piece of work.