|Review: Cales - Savage Blood|
Label: Metal Breath
Year released: 2007
Review online: October 11, 2008
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Rated 3/5 (60%) (2 Votes)
After reading on the band's info sheet that they featured former members of Czech metal monsters Root, I was initially expecting something along the lines of those guys musically on this, Cales' fourth album since forming in 1992. Not so. This album is so hard to categorize musically that it's taken about three spins to get any sort of an idea, and even then I'm still not sure!
Anyhow, my impression of this entirely instrumental album, is that Savage Blood sounds somewhat like Alcest playing slightly proggy folk music(!). At first I really wasn't that keen on it (the first track "Transfer" in particular has the odd moment on it that sounded as though some crappy indie band had written it upon first listening), but given time to let the album grow, the musical moods, atmosphere and emotion flows from the album in torrents. Slight similarities can be heard to the likes of Tyr in the epic riffwork of "Insurgency", and the acoustic noodlings throughout the album can easily be likened to Agalloch's most inspiring efforts. Cales create huge sounding music, brimming with feeling and texture. Even when the riff work begins getting all technical on us, it never stops from injecting your ears with a beautiful musical vibe throughout. All the individual instruments can be heard clearly in the beefy production, with the lack of vocals allowing extra room for you to sink into a reverie whilst allowing the music to wash over you — and it is pretty awe inspiring at times.
Flicking through the booklet, you see some old weaponry laid out neatly, pictures of natural landscapes and forests, an owl and a close up of a hawks head. Lovely. So, even with their minimalist artistic ideas for the booklet, Cales aren't the slightest bit lacking in musical ability thankfully (and hey, at least it's better than some Black Metal band booklets which comprise of two black pages — jeez, I know you're trying to be kvlt but c'mon guys). Thus, all in all this is not the sort of album you put on when wanting a fist-pumping metal fix, instead, it's an album you put on during a cold, rainy day to stare pensively out of your window at the grey skies above.
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