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Accelerated Living Mark Eglinton , November 16th, 2009 08:34

You've got to be in the right mood for Oakland's Saviours. Nine bottles of imported Czech lager maybe; an old wooden badminton racquet perhaps; all married to repeated and indiscriminate bull-rushes head first into your living room wall, for example. Not exactly a new band, Saviours have been around the vastly influential Oakland scene since 2004; but this nod to Sabbath, hardcore and just plain old metal is by far their most relevant material to date, especially given the current fondness for old school values. Metal in sound and hardcore in vocal delivery, it's a uniquely entertaining example of honest aural pleasure that requires little or no rational thought from the listener— just physical participation as described above.

Sporting a massively thick production last heard in the era of late 1980's thrash, Accelerated Living is an exercise in cross-over satisfaction— delivered with the kind of power exhibited by those things they use to dig up the pavement. Take 'Acid Hand' for example: riffs that crush like early Metallica and a snarlingly ragged vocal delivery from Austin Barber. Having had a fair bit of 'sludge' clogging up their metal metabolism in the past, Saviours have seriously cleaned up their act and the result is very clinical indeed, but sacrificing little in the way of power.

Rather than having one or two stand-outs, Accelerated Living is a consistently strong beast too, taking in thrash on the Exodus like 'Burning Cross', Sabbath on the killer 'Eternal High' and the NWOBHM on a whole host of others. The upshot is a compelling listen and the only diss you could possibly hurl at this lot is that Barber's vocals occasionally lack that bit of tonal variety needed to make this a masterpiece. As it stands though it's a great effort: order in the Czechvar and reach for your crash helmet.

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