Saor, in Scottish Gaelic, pronounced [sɯːɾ], means free, without obligations, unconstrained. All of these characteristics intrinsic to the music of Saor, the musical entity spearheaded by sole member Andy Marshall.
A lone wanderer proudly telling tales and myths of his culture from the tops of misty Caledonian mountains, Andy has carved a solitary, yet strikingly inspiring path with Saor ever since his first album Roots in 2013.
A decade on, Andy is set release his fifth full-length album and premiere for Season of Mist, Origins. It will be released on June 24th, 2022.
There are few bands that invoke such strong emotions as Saor. That, a decade on and about to release a fifth album, the band continues to deliver such incredible music is testament to the talents of Andy Marshall. Origins, an album that feels more Caledonian than ever yet is incredibly expansive too, might very well be the finest thing Saor has ever released. In fact, the title track and the album closer is up there as one of the best tracks Saor have ever written. The blend of intense guitar work, folksy atmosphere, blackened metal roars and melancholic grandness is sublime and a track that most will be hitting play over and over again on.
Before that though, there’s so much great music to enjoy. Starting with Call of the Carnyx. A track that is about the Carnyx itself, the ancient Celtic war horn. Something that makes a lot of sense as it works as a call to arms dating back to the Picts. It’s here that the focus on the riffs this album has, becomes clear. All while Saor continue to showcase paganistic melodies and blackened intensity.
Such immense world building and story telling continues into the punchy Fallen, a track that certainly draws from the heavy metal playbook. Before The Ancient Ones sees Saor deliver a masterclass of grandiose melody, melancholic atmosphere and riff-driven, black-infused heaviness.
With building rhythm and the ever-present sense of atmosphere, Aurora explodes into glorious life. A heavily instrumental track, the immense synchronisation and structure makes for an incredible listen that will transport you from wherever you are to the Scottish Highlands. Followed by Beyond the Wall, where chest-thumping group vocals compliment the Pagan vibe and the track descends into a blistering showcase of metal.
Track after track of wonderous and enlightening metal music, Saor continue to push onward and upward while staying true to the core ‘Caledonian’ sound. Origins is a masterpiece of emotion and metal.
Soar – Origins Full Track Listing:
1. Call of the Carnyx
3. The Ancient Ones
5. Beyond the Wall
Saor - Origins (Season Of Mist)
The Final Score - 10/10