Saffire: When The Monsters Dwell-2018.

Saffire:Proggressive Metal Rock from Sweden.

Discography:

SaffireDemo2009 
Kingdom of the BlindDemo2011 
From Ashes to FireFull-length2013 
For the Greater GoodFull-length2015 
Where the Monsters DwellFull-length2018
Taming the HurricaneFull-length2022

Members:

Magnus CarlssonBass (2005-present)
Victor OlssonGuitars (2005-present)
See also: Citadellion, Gathering of Kings
Dino ZuzicKeyboards (2005-present)
See also: Citadellion
Tobias JanssonVocals (2010-present)
See also: ex-Angel Blake, ex-The Law, Gathering of Kings, ex-Evil Masquerade, ex-Silent Scythe, ex-Treasure Land
Efraim LarssonDrums (2020-present)
See also: Gathering of Kings, Rydell & Quick, Streamline, ex-Art Nation (live), ex-Diamond Dawn

Past Members:

Gustav ElowsonDrums (2005-2008)
Martin JonassonVocals (2005-2010)
See also: ex-Citadellion
Anton RoosDrums (2008-2020)

One thought on “Saffire: When The Monsters Dwell-2018.

  1. Metal_On_The_Ascendant, September 25th, 2020
    This is not a fucking prog album! No one should really care about these things but is anyone else annoyed that a bunch of hard rocking bands fell within that AOR format of uber-catchiness whilst flaunting the fact that they could play well? Somehow these bands, because of their ability to play competently, got labelled “progressive”. I mean, come on, making considerably sophisticated songs with organs and stuff yet watering down all the available elements at your disposal to simply make a catchy tune does not progressive make. The fact that this formula was employed in freaking 2018 is absurd. Saffire sound like the children of Rainbow and Triumph and their lyrics are the tattered pages of the gospels of Jorn Lande (whose own tattered pages were cribbed from Dio’s book). The singer Victor Olsson also sounds like the aforementioned Lande but with like the gruffness of Dug Pinnick of King’s X. There’s a strange gospel flavor to some of these songs, the title track being one, that sits weird with me too.

    All that said however, it is a fun old time, this album. None of the songs outright suck. They just sound so fucking pigeon-holed that it is laughable this is considered “progressive” by anyone. Also, cool it with the fucking organ! That intro to “How Cold Is Your Blood” just makes me want to badly hear “Perfect Strangers” instead. The band piles it on thick with the catchiness. Every song comes packed with a soaring chorus that asks the meaningful questions of life like “where is your broken crown?” and of course “how cold is your blood?” It is pretty fucking terrible theoretically but the execution of everything is so bang on. The band sound vital and like they are having a ball each and every time and my reluctance and scorn can only go so far. The riffs are not memorable but they are serviceable – and you can actually hear them without straining to coax them out.

    Bassist Magnus Carlsson plays these chunky lines that ensure you get your groove on. They sound antiquated as hell though. The icky trappings of AOR and power metal-lite are all there in fullest swing. “Perfectly Worthless” is trapped in a time I have no desire to re-experience through music with its multi-person harmonies over Alice Cooper-ish riff phrasing. But then comes “Dark Horizon” and it snarls and swaggers like Judas Priest is in the house and I’m pulled back in. It is a beefy tune but disturbingly one-dimensional. In fact, all these songs display a blatant lack of dimensions – which is quite suspect for a “progressive metal” band. There’s the inconsequential ballad “Fortress” and the magnanimous title track and it is all just so straightforward and expected.

    What it does generally, it does well – but that’s just one thing: it rocks hard. It throws a few little chunks in there like gospel crooning, organ-fueled solos and toppy bass but that can’t distract from the severe lack of distinct shades and textures. I give it a relatively high score because the feel of it all is inoffensive and the songs taken by themselves are well crafted. Closer “The Rainmaker” for instance is utterly classy and memorable. Unfortunately, there is nothing here that’s truly progressive in any sense of that word and the biggest shortcoming for Saffire is being miscast.

    Like

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