Savn – Self-Titled

Savn
Self-TItled
Released 28th April 2014
Gothic Folk Metal
Released via CDR Records Norway

Since 2000, Norwegian gothic metal legends Sins Of Thy Beloved have remained suspiciously inactive. Following years of rumours of a possible reunion, Stig Johansen and Anders Thue came back onto the scene with a new band – Savn (Norwegian for “deprivation”) which features Midnattsol vocalist Carmen Elise Espenæs. Savn’s self-titled release is the effort of these three musicians.

The album begins with the folkishly ethereal song Musical Silence, gently laying down a path for Carmen’s hypnotic vocals to follow along. The folkier instrumentation does a grand job at cementing the track together, enforcing the strength of the guitars. Hang On screams out with a heavier and darker sound whilst still incorporating well refined folk elements. Carmen’s vocals also take on a darker aspect throughout this song, building up an atmosphere alongside the instrumentation. Anders’ use of keyboard medleys adds a lot to both the sound and the atmosphere.

The guitars in the song The Demons In Me are painted with several Cimmerian shades, which are added to which deeper touches of despair by guest vocals from Michelle Darkness (End Of Green). The folk elements help paint the musical funeral dirge where as Longing For Love has a sliver of hope running throughout the dusky music. Carmen’s vocals are as angelic as ever but leave trace hints of sorrow in their wake, adding emphasis to the emotion that flows throughout the song. The keyboards dance almost Plutonianly throughout I Am Free which features Leaves’ Eyes frontwoman and Carmen’s sister Liv Kristine as a guest vocalist, showing the power of the two vocalists as well as making this the first time that Liv has appeared on one of Carmen’s songs. The folk elements take a backseat for some of the track, allowing the keyboards and guitars to weave a tapestry of solemn sounds.

Sorrowful bursts into action with a truly tragic sound, leaving no room for any hint of joyful elements. Even Carmen’s usually angelic voice sounds more twilit in their performance, walking hand in hand with the gothic styled stringed instrumentation. All I Want travels down a similar road to Sorrowful, taking on a deeper sound and displaying more of Carmen’s majestic vocal style. Nearing the end of the album is Now Or Neverwhich is slower paced than a lot of the songs on the album and twice as doomtastic, making an awe-inspiring use of Stig’s growls and Anders’s eerie style of keyboards. Lengselens Hånd is the final track of the album and it is perhaps the most soulful and emotive piece of music on the whole album, taking a soothing approach for most of its duration and allowing Carmen’s vocals to provide a gentle touch to the album – A gentle touch that continues even during in the heavier part of the song where the keyboards carefully step out each note in a celestial manner.

Leaving the sounds of their other projects at the door, Carmen, Stig and Anders have created an album that not only displays their talent as a band but their talents as individual musicians and songwriters as well. Savn is exactly the breath of fresh air that the metal scene needs.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Savn online:

http://savn-official.com
http://facebook.com/SavnOfficial

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