The CDs I got for reviewing, had for some time all been like something Iíd heard before, when suddenly this one turned up in the mailÖand this surely is something quite different! From first time I heard this, I was thrilled.
Slavior is a new band consisting of drummer (and founder) Mark Zonder (Fates Warning and Warlord), Wayne Findlay (M.S.G. and Vinnie Moore) on Guitars, Keyboards and Bass, and Gregg Analla (Tribe of Gypsies) on Vocals. All technical well founded musicians with histories to prove it.
This is their first album release, and according to themselves, itís supposed to be ďmusic for the massesĒ Ė and theyíre probably right, because although some parts can seem complex, my general impression is quite straightforward, groovy and accessible melodic rock/metal songs.
As a drummer, Iíve really enjoyed the acquaintance with this new band. In the info sheet for this album Zonder explains, that the songs are made based on interesting drum parts, then Findlay brought in his ideas hearing these parts, and they then arranged the songs together. Finally, Analla added vocal melody and lyrics into the framework. An unusual way to do it, and I think itís audible that the drums play a very important part in the songs Ė nice with a different approach to song writing.
The influences on this album are so many, that itís hard to mention them all, but funk, NU-metal, (prog) rock, and even reggae (take it easy, itís only on one track) is some of those that comes to mind, and I came to think of bands as different as Kingís X, Living Colour, Disturbed, Rush, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Helmet, Police and... This could sound a bit messy, but it isnít. Itís tied together by the overall sound of the band, the strong melodic feel of Anallas voice and the tight production (by Joe Marlett).
All in all a very varied and diverse album, that had a steady place in my CD player in the car since Iíve got it Ė and itíll stay there for yet some time. Iíll look forward to a live performance and the next album, Ďcause there has to become more of this project.
The drumming I rate over 90 in points, but the tracks aren't all as durable as the other (that's said hearing the CD for at least the 20th time...)
Recommended tracks: Shatter, Swept Away, Altar and Slavior (because I had to pick some, every track has some interesting to offer).