Next on my list of albums to review was another Swedish rock band. This time, it was the turn of Saffire, another Gothenburg based hard rock band, and what a band they are.
Formed in 2005 when Victor Olsson and Dino Zuzic were still at school, their idea was to form a band based on old school hard rock and metal, but with a modern twist to it. They claim to be for fans of “80’s melodic hard rock bands like Deep Purple and Rainbow” and, although I can see where this label comes from (at times the singer has more than a resemblance to the late, great Ronnie James Dio!) I would compare them more to power metal bands Firewind and Evergrey.
The band underwent several personnel changes before settling on their final line up of Victor Olsson on guitars, Tobias Jansson (former singer with fellow Swedish band Evil Masquerade) on vocals, Dino Zuzic on keyboards, Magnus Karlsson on bass and Anton Roos on drums in 2010 and a self-titled EP was recorded and released the same year.
The band played a lot of live shows and in 2013 they signed with Inner Wound Recordings for the release of their debut full length album “From Ashes To Fire.” The album was highly praised all over the world and Rocknytt.net, Sweden’s biggest rock website, placed the album in their top 10 list of best albums of 2013.
They toured all over Scandinavia, playing some of the biggest festivals like Sabaton Open Air and the Ton of Rock Gothenburg Sound Festival, alongside bands such as Slayer, Steel Panther, At The Gates and Sabaton.
November 2015 saw them release their second album “For The Greater Good” and, like its predecessor, was highly praised worldwide, leading to a sold-out release show in Gothenburg in January 2016, and many festival appearances that year including the Sweden Rock Festival, Metallsvenskan, Skogsröjet and Rock In Lisch, with bands such as Queen, Ghost, Twisted Sister and The Hellacopters.
“Where The Monsters Dwell” is the band’s third release and is nearly fifty minutes of real quality. This is a band who have mastered the art of song writing and are all superb musicians, two of the most important elements of being a band.
I love rock and metal bands that have strong vocals, whether that’s just in the power and intensity of the singing or whether the vocals have something different or special about them, and Tobias Jansson certainly pulls this off. From the very first note of the very first song I knew he was special. As I previously mentioned he wouldn’t be out of place singing for the likes of Firewind or Evergrey, two other bands I absolutely adore.
It’s not just the vocals that make this album though. The four other members are simply outstanding musicians. The guitar work is almost flawless, with fantastic solos and riffs that will get your head banging, even if you don’t want it to! The drumming is tight and energetic, and I would love to see Anton, the drummer, in action in a live setting. I can imagine him hitting those skins as if his life depended on it.
The album, as a whole, is straightforward, down to earth heavy rock/metal. I don’t like to pigeon hole bands so whether you consider these guys heavy rock or metal, I don’t really care. All I know is this album will have you dancing around the living room, strumming your air guitar and banging away on those air drums like a loon.
I had been listening to the album in my car until today when I decided to buy a set of external speakers for my laptop! And I must say, the louder you play this album, the better it sounds. I thought it was awesome anyway but coming through those speakers, it just blew me away.
It combines elements of a whole range of genre, from heavy, traditional metal to power metal, and there are even some funky grooves thrown in too. Of course, there is the obligatory ballad in Fortress, but it certainly doesn’t sound out of place on this album.
I am rather ashamed to say that I hadn’t heard of this band before reviewing this album, but for a relatively young band still, they have produced something that is mature and, I’ll say it again, of real quality. I will certainly be checking out their previous albums and am definitely a fan since listening to this.
If you have never heard of Saffire then you are missing out in a big way! Go grab yourself a copy of this album and see for yourself.
I just have one question for the band…………. WHEN ARE YOU COMING TO LONDON????
1. Wolf Among The Sheep
2. Hard To Keep, Hard To Find
3. Valley Of The Damned
4. Broken Crown
5. Where The Monsters Dwell
6. How Cold Is Your Blood
7. Road To Paradise
8. Perfectly Worthless
9. Dark Horizon
11. The Rainmaker
Originally posted on Ever Metal