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Saviour Machine

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2 stars SAVIOUR MACHINE is a new experience to me. They are playing a kind of progressive Heavy Metal with influences from ambient, gothic music and opera. It is very well performed and they are all good musicians. For those of you who are familiar with the Swedish Goth band DARK SIDE COWBOYS, this am how I think they would have sounded if they were playing Progressive Heavy Metal.

The main problem with this release is that even though I have listened to it a couple of times, there is no track that grabs my interest. The songs are pretty much all the same, and I can't say that I remember any tracks afterwards.

I'm sure that SAVIOUR MACHINE can be much appreciated if you're into this kind of music, but they aren't my cup of tea.

Report this review (#29861)
Posted Saturday, May 15, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars This here album was the first metal cd I ever heard. First I was repulsed by the strange voice of Eric Clayton but over the years his voice has grown to me and nowadays it's my favorite vocalist around, he sings with a deep dark emotion. Some songs on this album (esp. the last two) give me goosebumps, and when you accomplish THAT, you must be very good. The lyrics are dark, poetic, and are mostly about the last book in the bible, revelation.
Report this review (#29862)
Posted Wednesday, May 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars what can i say about this album? PERFECT, GREAT, BRAVO.... Here on there debut album saviour machine does a great mix of progressive,gothic , opera. So it's a great response to keep it working, Eric has in his voice make the difference in favor of saviour machine, Nathan makes everyone that hear saviour m. trip into another dimensions by the way of his good arrangements on keys and piano. Perfect, just it. But remember saviuor machine has real Gothic vein....
Report this review (#29863)
Posted Wednesday, April 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars What canI say.... a masterpiece in operatic dark metal ....a shining star in the caleidoscopic world of heavy metal.Original, emotional, sang with a great voice( a master for me as a singer). BUY IT!!!
Report this review (#62281)
Posted Thursday, December 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Hmmm, Saviour Machine... I first came in touch with Eric Clayton through AYREON's "The Human Equation". Then I followed the link, bought this album, and the rest is history.

I remember being blown away by "Carnival of Souls". It remains my favorite Saviour Machine song, one I find myself singing out of nowhere during the day. :) It's not a very complex song, I think...but Eric's voice is emotional and deep. I really enjoy listening to it. Some people have even said I can sound like him a bit, but they're all nuts. :P I'm nowhere near as good as he is. Though if I could make a cover song somewhere, this one'd be high on my list.

Anyway, Carnival of Souls is a great song to me, though the guitar solo on the end could've been shorter. The rest is a delight to listen to, especially the vocals.

Force of the Entity is the next song, and more metal-y than the previous one. Later on in the song, Eric keeps repeating two words, something he could've done without, really. Other than that, it's a lovely song.

Legion features a choir! Or is it? Either way, it's not my favorite song. Though I think it's a nice song to introduce people to Saviour Machine. It has everything...vocals, (soft) metal, a Christian gothy name it.

Ludicrous Smiles is kind of a mix between Carnival of Souls' atmosphere and rhythm, and Force of the Entity's metal-y stuff. Not sure. It fails to impress me as much as The Wicked Window, which is the next song.

Eric's vocals are dark in this song. This whole song is very dark overall. It goes softer in the middle, to end with a metally loudness. Also one of the album's highlights, for me.

Son of the Rain and especially Killer fail to impress me. Where Son of the Rain is a decent one with piano and everything, Killer is one of the album's downsides for me. I'm not sure just doesn't sound right to me.

The Widow and the Bride is a nice metally song. I don't really have much else to say about this one. Christians and Lunatics, the next song, does more for me. Guitar solo, drum solo, and it never really loses it's tempo. Always a plus, I'd say.

The last few songs are The Mask, A World Alone, ad Jesus Christ. Out of these, I like Jesus Christ the best, if only for the way the guitars and vocals sound at the beginning. I don't care overmuch for the chorus, to be honest.

In conclusion.... Saviour Machine is a skilled band, with an excellent debut, which honestly I prefer over the "Legend" trilogy. They have their unique style vocally, as well as mixing prog with metal, gothica and Christianity. Admitted, I'm not a Christian, so the biblical and religious references escape me, nor am I really interested in it. I just like the band for the music they make. I'd give it four stars, but Saviour Machine will likely mean more to Christians than to me. Just like Neal Morse happily worships the Lord with his music, Saviour Machine discusses the end of the world. It's probably not for everyone, though their stage shows are more than most bands have. Three stars from me.

Yours, Tailscent

Report this review (#89000)
Posted Tuesday, September 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A very fine disc by a band that is a surely a pioneer in prog metal.The style combines elements from heavy metal ala QUEENSRYCHE,some operatic vocals in a delicate way,a gothic if not dark atmosphere and lyrics coming straight out from the religion of Christianity.Eric Clayton is one of the best singers/performers of all time,an artist with the meaning of the world.A fully 4 star for this album not only for its great music but also for a music style very hard to meet or even copy...PROG RULES!
Report this review (#154157)
Posted Tuesday, December 4, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "Saviour Machine" is the eponymously titled debut full-length studio album by US goth/progressive metal act Saviour Machine. The album was released through Christian music label Frontline Records in August 1993. It was re-released through Massacre Records in 1996 and thereby received a more widespread release. The album was initially sold in Christian book stores throughout the US, but after a few weeks it was banned from sale from those stores as it was deemed controversial, because of the lyric line "The Dragon slides between her thighs" from the "Legion" track. A track which features apocalyptic lyrics about the rise of Satan...

...and the lyrical approach and generally dark nature of Saviour Machine´s music are essential to describing the band´s sound on this debut album. Saviour Machine may be a band dealing with Christian lyrical themes, but they deal with the darker sides of Christianity and themes like hypocrisy among Christians and the biblical apocalypse.

Stylistically the music on the album is a combination of gothic rock/metal and progressive rock/metal (with rare touches of traditional heavy metal like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden). 80s/90s goth rock artists like The Sisters of Mercy, The Mission, and Fields of the Nephilim are valid references, but Saviour Machine are a more heavy metal oriented act. The progressive part of the band´s music is due to unconventional song structures and not technical playing. It´s music featuring an epic atmosphere further enhanced by Eric Clayton´s semi-operatic baritone vocals. He has a strong voice and a paatos filled commanding delivery. His performance here is one of the highlights of the album. His Andrew Eldritch meets David Bowie vocal delivery is probably a bit of an aquired taste but there´s no arguing the sincerity and authenticity of his performance. Piano/keyboards are in addition to guitars, bass, drums, and vocals, also an important part of the band´s sound.

The material are well written and varied, but still consistent in style. There´s a good tracklist flow, and harder edged rock/metal tracks are followed by slower epic tracks and the album even features a couple of majestic semi-ballad songs in "Son Of The Rain" and "A World Alone". There are several highlights on the album like the above mentioned epic "Legion", the dark and heavy "Killer", which features a middle eastern inspired lead guitar melody, and powerful goth rock/metal tracks like "Carnival of Souls", "Force of the Entity", and "The Mask". Common for most tracks are that although they all feature vers/chorus structures, they all also feature a lot of other parts and musical ideas, which is where the label progressive comes from. Some tracks are a little more simple and direct than others, but the song structures are generally adventurous in nature.

The album features a dark, organic, and detailed sound production, which suits the material well, and paired with the high level musicianship, and some very unique songwriting, this is through and through a high quality release. It´s not often you come across artists, who are instantly recognisable, who have a unique personal sound, and who are on fire with passion about their music and the way it is performed. Saviour Machine are one of those rare artists who leave no doubt that they mean every word which is sung and who has done all they can possibly do to perform every part of their music with the intensity it deserves. A 5 star (100%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

Report this review (#165470)
Posted Tuesday, April 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars.This is an absolutely stunning debut from these gothic Christians from California. Very dark and atmospheric with a singer who has a great baritone voice. You may remember him(Eric Clayton) guesting on Ayreon's "Human Equation" record. His brother Jeff plays lead guitar in the band. They list BLACK SABBATH and PINK FLOYD among many others as influences. I should note that although they are Christians, the lyrics are mostly taken from the book of Revelations which suits the music perfectly, being a very apocolyptic book. Also of note, this particular album was banned from Christian book stores in the U.S.A. weeks after it's release for the lyrics in the song "Legion". The lines "The dragon slides between her legs" and later "Between her legs they crawl in torment" were specifically the targets, although there were other issues apparently (big surprise). That's typical in my opinion of religious people who are always on the lookout to point the finger and judge, but that's another subject.

"Carnival Of Souls" is my favourite off the album. What an opening track ! It features a hard driving rhythm and choir-like backing vocals. Great sound. It settles (love this part) as vocals arrive a minute in. It moves me when his vocals become more passionate 2 minutes in. This contrast continues. The guitar sounds echo 5 minutes in. Nice. "Force Of The Entity" opens with some in your face guitars before vocals come in. A galloping rhythm follows as these themes are repeated. Backing vocals are cool.

"Legion" is mid paced with grinding guitars throughout. The tempo picks up 1 1/2 minutes in. Some guest piano in this one is a nice touch. "Ludicrous Smiles" is an energetic and powerful song. The guitar fills the soundscape with metal as drums pound away after 2 1/2 minutes. Great tune. "The Wicked Window" opens with grinding guitar and gothic vocals. There is so much tension in this section that you would think something is going to blow. It's not until 3 1/2 minutes in that the tension is released, as it calms down with lots of atmosphere. The final minute is complete chaos. "Son Of The Rain" is a top three track for me. An explosive intro settles down quickly as vocals and piano come in. There is so much emotion in the vocals on this one. "Killer" sounds so good to start. This is my other top three song. It actually reminds me of FATES WARNING when it calms down at first. Then we get this middle Eastern flavoured guitar. Nice. This is the longest track at 10 minutes. Great vocals 5 1/2 minutes in. The last 2 minutes are very epic sounding, like from a movie. "The Widow And the Bride" is full speed ahead metal. It settles 2 1/2 minutes in but does kick back in a minute later. I agree with UMUR that this is the weakest song on here.

"Christians And Lunatics" has a nice heavy soundscape with deep vocals and thunderous drums after 3 minutes. "The Mask" is brighter sounding. Vocals before a minute. Piano before 4 minutes. This is one of the better songs. "A World Alone" opens with some gentle atmospheric guitar as reserved vocals come in. This is almost ballad-like. Very meaningful lyrics with some orchestration. I like it a lot. "Jesus Christ" opens like the last song with beautiful sounding guitar melodies. Soft vocals come in. The song and vocals become passionate and triumphant. This contrast continues. It ends with the words "Set us free".

This record just draws me in, I really like their dark atmospheric sound.

Report this review (#182824)
Posted Thursday, September 18, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars 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.

Report this review (#750833)
Posted Tuesday, May 8, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars ***** SAVIOUR MACHINE: A Band that deserves respect and recognition             throughout the masses

    Ok. Well I don't often review albums,  but I feel in this case I must because Saviour Machine is freakin' incredible!!! Now before I get into the greatness that is Saviour 1, I must tell and admit that my feelings towards Goth music hasn't really been strong....until now. What you are getting, my dear proggers out there, is a band that combines the wonderful art of progressive Metal with goth and a touch of operatic sequences. However, in Saviour Machine 1 there is an element of thrash metal as well. This is highly evident in the Tracks, LUDICROUS SMILES-FORCE OF THE ENTITY and THE MASK. Make no mistake its all GOTH as well, so people who are not fans of the genre ( I feel sorry for you) beware. Anyway, the technical prowess exemplified in Saviour Machine's debut album is outstanding and highly underrated, which is why I feel Saviour Machine has not gotten the recognition and respect they deserve. To continue, JEFF CLAYTON is an amazing guitarist. He can play with such beautiful grace or decide to melt your face off by being riff rageous.  Evidence of that are shown in THE WICKED WINDOW and the ever beautiful goth ballad A WORLD ALONE. The drumming is excellent as well. SAMUEL WEST offers incredible rhythmic combinations that simply can paralyze the listener. Hypnotic purportions of that are shown on the ever popular, CARNIVAL OF SOULS and THE MASK. Now let's get to the fun part. Let's talk about the Performance of the infamous face of Saviour Machine, MR. ERIC CLAYTON. truely one of the best vocalist I've ever heard in my time on this planet. E.C offers rich, gripping as well as haunting vocals that soar ever so majestically into ones ear canal. He has such a great-deep baritone that is so hypnotic you can't help but love and let into your heart.  I feel that his best vocal performances in this album are on the tracks LEGION, A WORLD ALONE and the incredibly epic JESUS CHRIST. I am delighted to have discovered such a wonderful as well as a great group of talented musicians. Saviour Machine, for me, are the best in the business by far in the Gothic/Progressive Metal genre. There is no band better. I dare you to find me one. In conclusion, it is too bad that this wonderful band had this incredible album disbandoned in the U.S. Some of you out there may or may not know  that the politically charged lyrics in LEGION caused Saviour 1 to be banned in the U.S. unfortunately I can only laugh at those crazy religious fundamentalists out there who made this so. It is an incident that happened nearly 20 years ago, but I still say Shame on you, America! LEGION is such beautiful song to. I guess America can't take a Dragon sliding between their thighs. Ha ha. Anyway, this is a great album to buy and I highly recommend it, especially for the religious types as well, since the lyrical base is biblically charged. I am not religious, but I do enjoy the subject matter combined with the style of Saviour Machine's musical approach. It's a match made in heaven!!! If their is such a place. 


Report this review (#809873)
Posted Friday, August 24, 2012 | Review Permalink

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