SAOR – Origins
Nearly a decade in existence, founder, vocalist and instrumentalist Andy Marshall is sorely responsible into creating such amazingly and wonderfully crafted albums since his formation of Saor started back in 2013. His blend of atmospheric black metal with hints of folk tendencies in the mix not only is extremely captivating, memorable and jaw-dropping in my personal opinion but his visionary, intelligence and forming such a uniquely designed style of music that portrays his story about poetry, sorrow, Scottish history and nature really sets and matches the album’s moodiness and it makes me feel more vulnerable to know Andy not only has successfully made another great continuation to the lore of his chapter on Origins, but this album is packed with energy, compassion, dedication and his determination has never sounded this fascinating since his I got into his musical world back in 2016 with the album Guardians which I still stand this very a top ten atmospheric black metal album essential in the 2010’s.
Now fast forward three years later, Origins is the latest studio full-length recording and the follow-up to 2019’s Forgotten Paths which I enjoyed that album quite a bit. But I do feel Origins takes things more deeper, more emotional, more symbolic and Andy’s narration onto Origins is just fascinating and engaging all around. The album contains such a explorative universe that brings peace, relaxation and it sucks you in into his world full of imaginative wonders while you’re just sitting outside in a forest or walking at a private residential location and the first comes to mind is Andy’s music is chilling and warm-hearted as his instrumentation work matches the personification knowing how compassionate he really is blending the Scottish heritage themes to bring out the folk metal compositions can be a nice balance and pace.
Even on the first half his atmospheric black metal soundscapes brings out such a darkness and moodiness to forge and create a genre-diverse record. For only six tracks and clocking in at 41 minutes in length, the album has a sizzling rain effect as you wonder around the highest peak of the mountain and then your heart starts to have a adrenaline drive with songs like The Ancient Ones and Beyond The Wall featuring soaring and anguish vocals, celestial and ethereal like crescendos, black metal styled guitar riffing and drums bringing a emotionally draining but introductory ambient like tones sounds strangely enough exotic but pulled off such aggressive traits and balancing out the atmospheric layers and grandiose conclusions makes Origins Andy Marshall’s contraption records he’s done to date. Origins is one of the most heavenly, tranquil and serenely attractive black metal albums I’ve heard in 2022.
Overall Score: 9.0/10
Review by Jake Butler