Savaging Spires – Savaging Spires
Put away your mind altering substances (all strictly legal of course), you don’t need them anymore! Instead put on Critical Heights by Savaging Spires. I can’t guarantee your mental state as track twelve winds its way to an end, but what a journey you’ll have! Savaging Spires have prepared a lo-fi sonic assault which will savage your ears in a soothing and undeniably trippy way.
Bending the Rules of Time opens this musical journey. Acting as a mission statement and a title it eases you in gently to an altered world where up is down and bacon goes on cakes. Oriental sounds waft through your mind as an ethereal vocal completes the scene. Trippy folk at its best, this is just an introduction. When the Devil Say’s He’s Dead takes the lo-fi nature of Savaging Spires, with nothing but a sitar, guitar and a one line vocal repeated and repeated for most of the song. At this point though things have already gone slightly hazy. The array of sounds is astonishing. Lo-fi it may be but this doesn’t limit the amount of sounds approaching your ears. An oriental vibe runs throughout but this is joined by the aforementioned sitar, guitars and the odd grumbling synth lines to name a few. There’s even the odd flourish of keys to make the sonic plain even more swirly.
The human voice in this album is as much an instrument as a tool for delivering words. Tracks like When the Devil Says He’s Dead see vocals used as a haunting element of the overall sound. Conversely tracks like October sound alarming conventional, a steady guitar providing the bed for verses and chorus’s. Most of the tracks combine these two worlds with skill, resulting in magical otherworldly experiences in your brain. A prime example of this psycadelic fusion at its best is Apostrophe Lake. Sounding like an enchanted paradise you drift about on a sea of chimes and gentle soothing vocals. Given the equal importance of sounds to words on the album, and the comparative lack of lyrics what’s being said matters even more than normal. Normally they’re pretty important anyway!
Maintaining the soothing and comforting tone set by the music the lyrics do nice things to you. Trust sounds like the vocals really are reaching you from another plain. Delivered in soft and gentle tones the single repeated line speaks about trust (if you guessed that you get a free cookie). A deep sense of calm overcomes you. Blackbird echoes this delivery but has a different message. Part of you feels floaty and toasty from the music, but another part of you is dimly aware of the content. Talking about suicide the lyrics speak about being lost, begging the protagonist to change their mind as the song draws to a close. Whether is trust or suicide, or anything in between, the lyrics have an unhurried undertone of love and warmth running throughout.
The sound of this record is cohesive. The instruments and vocals in all forms blend together in way most records don’t. This is a statement about the mind-set of the musicians as much as the approach used in production. The earthy and natural sound lapping at your ears takes you to a nice place. In this sense it does what all the best music does, transporting your mind. All jokes aside the place it takes you isn’t bad at all. You may even not want to come back to reality. Stick it on, let it wash over you. This is an experience as much as anything else.
1 - Bending the Rules of Time
2 - When the Devil Says He's Dead
3 - Trust
4 - October
5 - Photographic Memory
6 - Apostrophe Lake
7 - Messenger
8 - Blackbirds
9 - Cemetery Lounge
10 - Crows
11 - Sisters
12 - Seconds in Motion