SAVIOUR MACHINE — Saviour Machine I (review)

SAVIOUR MACHINE — Saviour Machine I album cover Album · 1993 · Gothic Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
Warthur
Saviour Machine's debut album is an intriguing blend of gothic rock in the tradition of Sisters of Mercy and Fields of the Nephilim - most apparent in Eric Clayton's vocals, which constitute perhaps the most dead-on Andrew Eldritch impersonation I've ever heard - with gothic metal and some prog rock influences. In particular, some moments remind me a lot at points of some of the gothier moments of neo-prog, and some passages seem to prefigure the work of bands like Arena. That said, for the most part the band play in a straight-ahead Sisters of Mercy-inspired style.

Sprinkle a few classic rock moments on the top and add a healthy dose of apocalyptic Christian mysticism and you have an interesting blend to say the least. Don't be put off by the fact that Saviour Machine are a Christian band who originally put this album out on a Christian music label; the band don't indulge in the crass and alienating preaching of other Christian groups, dividing their attentions between contemplations of their faith and terrifying prophecies of the end times.

In fact, the concluding song Jesus Christ includes lyrics like "You are the reason for the wars that plague the land" and "You are the shattered dream that frightens us to burn", suggesting that the group have a far from uncritical attitude to religion, and in particular seem to question whether some of the manifestations of Christianity are a reflection of God's will or an example of precisely the sort of thing Jesus preached against. It's this thoughtful approach to their religion which makes Saviour Machine's lyrical approach so interesting - whilst I don't personally share their worldview, it is at least a stance which is rooted in questioning and contemplation rather than dogmatism and intolerance.

Between this, the startling imagery in Legion, and the band's mysterious and spooky stage presence, it's no wonder that the more socially conservative side of the Christian music scene turned against them - in fact, the album release was held up in America precisely because of this backlash. If you are in the market for a safe, wholesome Christian band who sing songs reaffirming and promoting culturally conservative values, then you're in absolutely the wrong place here - but if the idea of progressive gothic metal with theologically literate and intelligent lyrical themes floats your boat, the album's perfect for you, and if like me you don't care one way or another what the band's religious viewpoint is provided that the music is good then you're kind of in luck too, though I can't help but find the album drags a little in the middle.
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UMUR wrote:
more than 2 years ago
"The dragon slides between her thighs
The dragon breathes the fire
As blood drips from her eyes
Until delivered of the child"

Fuckin´ brilliant, that´s what it is. I love this album. The next one and the first live album are really great too, while the rest of their disco are probably an aquired taste. Really demanding stuff.

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