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Saviour Machine

Progressive Metal

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Saviour Machine Saviour Machine album cover
3.79 | 39 ratings | 10 reviews | 23% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1993

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Carnival Of Souls (6:10)
2. Force Of The Entity (3:50)
3. Legion (4:40)
4. Ludicrous Smiles (5:25)
5. The Wicked Window (6:35)
6. Son Of The Rain (5:25)
7. Killer (8:05)
8. The Widow And The Bride (4:30)
9. Christians And Lunatics (5:20)
10. The Mask (4:30)
11. A World Alone (6:25)
12. Jesus Christ (7:00)

Total Time: 67:55

Line-up / Musicians

- Eric Clayton / vocals
- Jeff Clayton / guitars
- Charles Cooper / bass
- Samuel West / drums
- Nathan Van Hala / keyboards and piano

Releases information


Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to aapatsos for the last updates
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SAVIOUR MACHINE Saviour Machine ratings distribution

(39 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(23%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (13%)
Collectors/fans only (21%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

SAVIOUR MACHINE Saviour Machine reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
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.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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!
Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is the debut album from Saviour Machine. I remember reading about this album in some metal magazines I read at the time this was released. It was highly praised which is something that seldom happens to Christian bands in metal magazines. As an Atheist myself I have a hard time with Christian bands praising God or even preaching Christianity in their lyrics but Saviour Machine is different. This is important to note, as I know just mentioning the word Christian will drive away many listeners. Saviour Machine´s lyrics have a christian angle but they are dark and emotional journeys into tortured souls. It´s really depressive but that´s the way I like it.

Saviour Machine is a very original progressive rock band with slight metal tendencies. Their music is dark and the most obvious influences are The Sisters of Mercy, The Mission and Fields of the Nephilim. In addition to these goth rock bands Saviour Machine also has a progressive metal edge. Eric Clayton´s baritone operatic David Bowie Croon is the driving force in the band. His vocals are very emotional and his voice very distinct. The music is very majestic and symphonic and it´s not because of the use of keyboards because keyboards are not dominant on this album, it´s mostly due to Eric Clayton´s long notes and his brother guitarist Jeff Clayton´s beautiful playing. Jeff Clayton´s playing borders neo progressive at times.

The songs are very well written. They are not very complex in structure but they are exciting enough to not fall under the commercial vers chorus banner. The songs have the same mood throughout the album, but they are diverse enough to not be trivial. Songs like Force Of The Entity and The Mask are very melodic and powerful rock/ metal songs while there are also majestic semi-ballad songs like Son Of The Rain and A World Alone. Opening song Carnival of Souls and the majestic almost epic song Killer needs to be mentioned too as they are great examples of Saviour Machine´s brilliance. There is only one song here I find pretty average and that is The Widow And The Bride. It´s not a bad song at all just very average compared to the rest of the material.

The musicians are good without being outstanding really. Eric Clayton should be mentioned though as he is an outstanding and very personal vocalist. His style is very commanding and emotional. His appearence is pretty original too. Always dressed in a black cloak ( His clothes looks like the clothes worn by Pin-Head in Hellraiser if anyone can make that connection), white chalked in the face and with a big piercing through his forehead he is sure to bring attention to himself. I´ve never seen Saviour Machine live but the reviews I have read through the years suggest that Eric Clayton´s performance was equaly as commanding as it is on record.

The production is not the most professional I have heard, but it suits the music really well anyway.

I am debating myself here if this album deserves the full 5 stars or only a big 4 star rating, but I think I´m gonna have to chose the latter. Eric Clayton´s voice decides things for me. Saviour Machine´s biggest asset ends up being their biggest weakness too. Eric Clayton´s voice beautiful as it is, is too one dimensional in the end. 67:55 minutes with his operatic vocal style is a bit much if you ask me. At least you´ll have to be in the right mood to endure it. Besides this minor flaw this album is brilliant and highly recommendable. This one is not to be missed by people into darker more goth orientated prog rock/ Metal. 4 BIG stars is my final conclusion.

NOTE: After having listened to Saviour Machine´debut album a lot over the last couple of months since I wrote this review I have now come to the conclusion that this is a masterpiece and deserves all 5 stars. I have therefore upgraded this album from 4 stars to 5 stars. I´ve come to realize that Saviour Machine is one of my favorite bands even though my worldview is very different from theirs, but I just can´t stop listening to their beautiful and dark music and that´s a good indication that this is really something special.

Review by 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.

Review by Warthur
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.

Latest members reviews

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#809873) | Posted by progbethyname | Friday, August 24, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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 sin ... (read more)

Report this review (#89000) | Posted by Tailscent | Tuesday, September 5, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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!!! ... (read more)

Report this review (#62281) | Posted by | Thursday, December 29, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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 th ... (read more)

Report this review (#29863) | Posted by | Wednesday, April 20, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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 goo ... (read more)

Report this review (#29862) | Posted by | Wednesday, May 19, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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