SÂVER is a band we have some experience with and take just about any opportunity to cover for the simple fact that they’re extraordinary. Between a debut LP, a collab album with Psychonaut, and a split with Frødekal, they’ve made a hell of a name for themselves even without the Pelagic Records name behind them though I’m sure that helped a tad. Playing post-metal doesn’t make you extraordinary per se, but evolving, iterating, and mining every molecule of flair out of it does and that’s what SÂVER is so good at doing.
From Ember And Rust is a marvelous listen. Even as they delve into tropes of the genre, the execution is profoundly, expertly realized with the trio now. What little critique that could be mustered with their previous material is their use of weight and repetition was grating after time. Hearing the same chord pound over and over like in “Distant Past” from They Came With Sunlight didn’t have the effect it probably should have, but thanks to a number of things (better choices, better production, hell, probably even better writing), the band have mastered the tools at their disposal, debilitating you with the unfathomable heaviness their sound demands as opposed to annoying.
SÂVER really come in like they own the place with From Ember And Rust – “Formless” is gritty fun, packed with almost too many ideas for a six-minute song. It’s not bloated, I just can’t believe how many cool riffs and change-ups are in one single track, and an average-sized one at that. It feels like the beginning of a saga – one too big to be housed in one LP – and the rest of the album is similarly aligned. “I, Evaporate” is a sequel/callback to They Came With Sunlight‘s “I, Vanish” and contains a notable amount of more variance, using synths to bake you into the spacey mood of the album, but even this seemingly nice moment can’t escape sounding like a dirge. I wish there was a bit more of this stuff on the album, but we are afforded other ways of lightening up soundscapes.
“Ember & Rust” is a bit of a slow burner, relying on grumbling bass and an open-air atmosphere to let things breathe. When they’re filled, it’s usually with clean vocals which are a nice change of pace and gives this track a nice emotional tinge to it. This is a great way to anchor the album down at its center and while it’s not as pronounced or as heavy as other songs, it benefits from that. “All In Disarray”, the closer, is a fine mix of everything. Serene vocals and incendiary screams, hammering guitars and celestial synth work, and a harsh tone mixed with moments of unrestricted freedom that borders on whimsy. SÂVER never let things sit for too long and while this generally works in their favor, basking in some of the gentler scenes they set up would allow the mammoth, load-bearing instrumentation to hit harder.
That ultimately makes From Ember And Rust dominated more by its heft. It’s more burdensome than powerful, but that lends itself to the overall mood of somber, oppressive weight resting on your shoulders which is what post-metal does best. There’s supposed to be palpable despondency to it all and SÂVER capture that quite well between the instrumentation and knurled vocals. The actual construction and progression of songs bolster everything on offer which means it’s tough – nigh impossible – find point out a wasted moment or opportunity outside of my personal nitpicks of wanting more substantial occasions of ambience to complement the metallic bludgeoning better.
Still, what’s here shows SÂVER at an all-time high as far as their sludgy, dense, brutish metal goes. Time has served them well, as has their advancements in writing, songcraft, and production choices. From Ember And Rust is adventurous, as vivid and warmly colored as the art adorn its cover. You can practically hear the fiery orange skies in each burning riff, the sedate bluish-purple with each melodically sung lyric, and at the center is its molten core of transcendent hardness and beauty battery-powering the album’s locomotive nature. This album is resplendent for all its plunges into darkness, and that kind of multifaceted attitude is exactly what makes for a good post-metal album.