SAVN – Savn
text: Basak Gunel
copyright: personal blog Melody Of The Soul – http://melodyofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/album-review-savn-savn/
genre: gothic- symphonic metal
release: 28 April 2014
label: CDR Records Norway
SAVN is a Norwegian gothic metal band. The band is formed when The Sins of Thy Beloved members Stig Johansson and Anders Thue decided to create a new band with a new vision. Therefore Savn can be considered as the ‘rising from the ashes’ of these two musicians.
The group officially became ‘active’ when the two bandmembers contacted Midnattsol vocalist Carmen Elise Espanæs as they wanted her to sing one song on the album. However, Carmen got more involved as she took part in the process and she ended up being the vocalist of all of the songs. SAVN is nothing like The Sins of Thy Beloved or Midnattsol and their latest album “Savn” is a clear proof of a new path for those
The self-titled album is definitely catchy and unique from the beginning. With the first song “Musical Silence” the listener will experience the mixture of gothic, symphonic and even folk elements and that is what attracted me to this album from the beginning. It is not just another gothic metal album, it is a real addiction filled with a lot of diversities and little surprises!
One of the elements, which made the album even more beautiful and smooth, is definitely the female vocals. Which can be heard in every song, sung by the vocalist Carmen Elise Espanæs. There’s something in her voice that soothes you, the vocals are not disturbing (unlike most of the vocals of female singers nowadays) and it fits perfectly to the melodies in the background.
Furthermore, I am sure a lot of listeners will not be surprised to hear that Carmen is the sibling of Liv Kristine (Leaves’Eyes)and there are definitely similarities between the two vocalists musically. As a matter of fact, these two sisters perform on “I Am Free.”
It personally my favorite song of the album. The vocalist Carmen also comments: “I don’t remember if it was Liv that asked me about doing a song or if I asked her, but we talked about it and thought it would be a great idea. And we didn’t just take any song. There was a part in ’I Am Free’ that I felt was perfect for Liv Kristine”. A good decision, hopefully there are more collaborations of the two sister in the future.
It is no surprise then that the production is in the capable hands of Alexander Krull from The Mastersound Studio and also singer in Leaves’ Eyes and Atrocity. His trademark is a rich bombastic sound, with many layers and his style fits perfect to the compositions of SAVN.
When we are talking about a gothic – symphonic metal band, the musical arrangements in the background play an important role. “Savn” is an album that meets the expectations of every listener who wants those magical pianos and symphonic elements. The songs do not sound half-tone.
As a matter of fact, after listening to the songs over and over, I fell in love with the melodies in the background more. A perfect example of the symphonic arrangements can be heard in “Longing For Love.” It’s been a while since I listened to a symphonic song like that, surely breathtaking.
Another highlight of the album is definitely the last song “Lengselens Hånd” which is the only song in the album in the band’s original languge, Norwegian. As a fan of the Scandinavian folk music, this song was a huge surprise for me in the end. It’s hard not to get mesmerized in the whole magic of the song. Apart from the rock – metal vibe which forms the essence of the album, the song stood out among all of them. It reflects the magic of the band and shows just how unique SAVN is.
Generally, SAVN will fulfill the expectations of every symphonic- and gothic metal fans out there. This is not just another female-fronted metal band (to mention a similar term). This debut album is filled with catchy and magical melodies accompanied by the magical female vocals. In the times where the ‘mainstream‘ gothic metal has changed its style and became somehow ‘poppy’ and ‘ordinary’, a band like SAVN definitely proves that hope is not lost and they definitely made me happy with their self-titled debut album. What I would love to hear more would be maybe a bit more growls – which existed in some songs like “I Am Free” and in the last two bonus tracks – and more acoustic material. A very interesting, well made début for sure!
- Musical Silence
- Hang On
- The Demons in Me
- Longing For Love
- I am Free
- All I Want
- Now or Never
- Lengselens Hånd
- Hang On (Growling Version, Bonus)
- The Demons in Me (Growling Version, Bonus)
Carmen Elise Espenæs – Vocals
Stig Johansen – Vocals, Guitars
Anders Thue – Keyboards