[24 January 2008]
Lest you wonder, Abaddon is a Biblical term with several different interpretations. It can refer to a “place of destruction” or realm of the dead – you know, H-E-double hockey sticks, the place bad folks go when they die. It’s also a pseudonym for Apollyon, the human-sized king of the locusts who rose at the sound of the fifth trumpet in the Book of Revelation (he’s the guy in charge of the locust plague God is gonna drop on his enemies during the End Times). Abaddon is also used as a nickname for everyone’s favorite evil star of the underworld, Big Daddy Satan himself. Any way you slice it, this Abaddon business isn’t anything you’d want to run into on your average Tuesday morning.
Thankfully, there are metal bands such as Saviours willing to dive head first into this kind of demonic yuckiness so we don’t have to. Makes you proud to be a tax-paying American, doesn’t it?
Saviours hail from Oakland, CA, but their sound is slightly more European. It’s rich, hard-charging metal that takes you soaring over Bavarian mountaintops and through mystical, fog-heavy meadows (figuratively, of course). With titles such as “Raging Embers”, “Firewake Angel”, and “Inner Mountain Arthame”, it’s pretty clear these guys don’t spend a lot of time at the beach. The singer has a vague Lemmy/young Ozzy thing going on, meaning he sounds kind of far away from the music. It works, though. If you were to pull this up on your iPod right before you descended upon the enemy’s fortress with your Viking brethren, Saviours’ vocalist would be the disembodied voice of the wizard encouraging and commanding you to kill in the name of Odin, Loki, or the Norse God of your choosing.
There’s definite video game appeal in this album. By that I mean it’s easy to imagine sitting in the basement and navigating your way through a first person shooter until three in the morning with a two liter of Mountain Dew and Into Abaddon blasting out of your stereo on repeat. I hate to belabor the medieval themes, but the gaming experience that goes hand-in-hand with Saviours’ epic riffing is the original eight bit “Castlevania”. Nothing suggests the brave heroics of vampire hunting and slaying quite like a fluid run on the pentatonic scale (except maybe the stern face of Edward Van Sloan). Speaking of which, there’s a good chance the solo at the end of “Mystichasm” will kill you. It explodes in your face like a letter bomb, turning your features into baby food and leaving you on the floor in the fetal position asking why your maker hath wrought such fury upon thee. The only reason I survived is because lately I’ve been taking my vitamins.
Into Abaddon, Saviour’s sophomore effort, was produced by “Evil” Joe Baressi (natch). Baressi’s known for his work with Tool, Queens of the Stone Age, and the Melvins. I thought I recognized some of that gunk hitting my ears. “Evil” Joe can add another notch on his production bedpost with this pummeling assault of a record.
A mesmerizing amount of feedback closes the album, signaling that your journey into the frightening dominion known as Abaddon has come to a wrenching, destructive end. Please return all trays to their upright and locked position, refrain from the use of cell phones until the goblin has come to a complete stop, and, upon exiting, try not to step in the steaming pile of entrails that used to be your neighbor. The Locust King may one day prevail over mankind, Satan laughing may indeed spread his wings, but nothing will ever rebuke Saviours or this album from being a true head-banger’s delight.