“Slavior” by Slavior

Artist: Slavior
Title: “Slavior”
Label: InsideOut Music
Release Date: 4/23/2007
Genre: Progressive Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

Drummer Mark Zonder from Fates Warning is a technical drummer’s drummer based on the intricate and oh so tasty dynamics and time signatures we experienced during his tenure with the legendary Progressive Metal band. When he departed the group with their FWX CD, he was still a musician with a lot of ideas and much left to say about the way things were going. His new band would not do epics but instead present shorter and more to the point songs and each of them are led by his incredible levels of groove and understanding of how the drums not only hold a song together but sometimes also guide and morph the melody into a shape that it desires. Zonder would build a band with these ideas and the talented musicianship of Wayne Findlay and Greg Analla. Findlay’s resume is impressive for his consistent work with legendary Michael Schenker and he handles lead and rhythm guitars, bass and keyboards on this album. Vocals are Analla’s territory and his own diversity as a singer makes this work all the more effectively. The former Tribe Of Gypsies singer has a pure and passionate style to his sound and there are times when you will think of bands like Sevendust and Living Colour from his tones. Combined, the three you a unique mix of Progressive technique, Hard Rock with a Nu-Metal angst and powerful songwriting that will grab the Stone Sour and Sevendust fans right off the bat and even appeal to the ever analytical Prog-Rock contingent.

Elements of Rush are felt on “Altar”, and the wild “Another Planet” had me thinking of Soundgarden mixed with Disturbed at different points. Now before you slam me for comparing some of the Slavior sound to such noted groups, perhaps you should first address the twenty some bands who sound like Nickelback from top to bottom first. This is truly a tasty release and each time you listen to it you will find new groove that just does it for you. Zonder’s playing is everywhere and you will be bopping and tapping on things if you have that percussive edge to you. The guitar work is great and Findlay is to be complimented for his efforts. Clearly the years with MSG have made him that much better. There does not seem to be a style or discipline that he cannot quickly work with based on what I heard here. The debut shows great levels of diversity and style as they take their brand of Melodic Hard Rock and mix it up all the more with elements of Hip-Hop and Reggae; “Dove” is the Reggae tasting treat to enjoy and one of the best on the record while “Slavior” uses some light Hip-Hop wordplay. After listening, I felt that this would be an interesting band to see in the live sense as there is so much energy to the music. Slavior is current, fresh and very exciting on their debut – with the crunching and stylish riffs on top of the superb drumming they will surely be able to find a place for themselves in Progressive Melodic Rock’s hierarchy. Good job guys.

Track Listing:
1. Origin
2. Shatter
3. Swept Away
4. Altar
5. Another Planet
6. Deeper
7. Dove
8. Slavior
9. Give It Up
10. Red Road
11. Come Alive

Official Website: https://myspace.com/slaviorband

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