Saber Tiger was founded in 1981 by guitarist Akihito Kinoshita and they have been illuminating the Japanese metal scene ever since. In recent years, they have been more prolific than ever, leading to the international release of Bystander Effect via Sliptrick Records in March 13th, 2018.
The release of Bystander Effect is not just a simple re-issue for the international market; four of the tracks, originally in Japanese, have been re-recorded with English lyrics, while the brand new acoustic instrumental Ship Of Theseusand a new recording of the Saber Tiger classic First Class Fool are exclusive to the Sliptrick Records release. Also, demo recordings of the spectacular tracks Sin Eater and What I Used To Be are included.
Playing a blazing style of heavy metal, the ferocious drumming & high vocals of Dying Breed has an old-school ring about them but not so much that Saber Tiger don’t sound like their own thing.
Sin Eater, Act of Heroism & Dreadout quickly confirm the heavy metal credentials of Saber Tiger as they deliver meaty slabs of head-banging riffs. The latter of the three really delivers an experience thanks to an absolutely screaming guitar solo!
The familiarity of the groovy metal is offset perfectly by the deep bassy edge that Saber Tiger offer. It’s consistently heavy & filled with such a thrilling amount of rhythm that even when things are slowed down just a touch (Just-World Hypothesis) it still delivers on all fronts.
The latter half of the album doesn’t drop the quality as Shameless moves at an intense speed, An Endless End – Another Time brings a sweet ballad that excels within the vocals, the horn-throwing & head-banging tempo of Afterglow and the subtle finish of the acoustic Ship of Theseus.
Being an expanded edition, Bystander Effect comes with a few extra tracks. The first being a bonus track called First Class Fool, a decent enough song that isn’t a patch on the album as a whole. Finally for those who enjoy this sort of thing there are demos of two earlier tracks, Sin Eater & What I Used to Be. A nice addition for the super fan but hardly necessary as Bystander Effect’s 12 tracks are more then enough for them to make their mark in the head-banging, heavy metal world!
Saber Tiger – Bystander Effect: Expanded Edition Full Track Listing:
1. Dying Breed
2. Sin Eater
3. Act of Heroism
5. One Last Time
6. Just-World Hypothesis
7. What I Used to Be
9. An Endless End – Another Time
10. Devastation Trail
12. Ship of Theseus
13. First Class Fool (Bonus Track)
14. Sin Eater (2013 Demo – Bonus Track)
15. What I Used to Be (2013 Demo – Bonus Track)
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You can order the expanded edition via Sliptrick Records here. You can also pick up earlier releases above via Amazon & below via Apple Music. Find out more about Saber Tiger on their website, Facebook Page, Twitter and check out some of their videos on YouTube.
Saber Tiger - Bystander Effect: Expanded Edition (Sliptrick Records)
The Final Score - 8/10