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Saffire ‘Where The Monsters Dwell’ Review

Label: Perris Records

Genre: Classic Rock

Release Date: 20 April 2018

Tracklist:

  1. Wolf Among The Sheep
  2. Hard To Keep, Hard To Find
  3. Valley Of The Damned
  4. Broken Crown
  5. Where The Monsters Dwell
  6. How Cold Is Your Blood
  7. Road To Paradise
  8. Perfectly Worthless
  9. Dark Horizon
  10. Fortress
  11. The Rainmaker

Members

Victor Olsson – guitars
Tobias Jansson – Vocals
Dino Zuzic – Hammond & Keys
Magnus Carlsson – Bass
Anton Roos – Drums

Hailing from Sweden and formed in 2005 when Victor Olsson and Dino Zuzic were still at school together, ‘Saffire’ is a strong example of what can be a spectacular result of years of listening to old school 80’s rock.  With maturity and melodic accomplishment, ‘Saffire’ have injected their love of Whitesnake, Deep Purple and Rainbow, with a Nordic modern twist, which enables the listener to enjoy the retro sounds of the past, but in the modern era. ‘Where The Monsters Dwell’ is the third album from the band.

A very strong ‘Wolf Among The Sheep’ opens with synths, and leads into a Scorpions blend of classic rock excellence, the perfect way to begin this album and keep the attention, with a blend of guitar and keyboard enjoying their musical battle throughout and topped off with screaming vocals.

‘Hard To Keep, Hard To Find’ has an uplifting guitar and skins with a tribal beat which is preparing you for the crescendo of vocals and driving rhythm guitar, making this a brilliant track for driving to.  Whilst ‘Valley Of The Damned’ has superb keyboards coming into play again, which are in perfect combo with the guitar and drums, the vocals leave no doubt as to the influence of Rainbow and the Nordic flavour and heritage of ‘Saffire’.

‘Broken Crown’, with its double bass drumming leading into a wailing guitar and melodic blend of interestingly mastered keys, drums, guitar and vocal, has a definite nod to old school Whitesnake.

‘Where The Monsters Dwell’ …the title track from the album, opens with a heavy back beat and even heavier vocals, quite a difference to the rest of the album so far, probably my favourite. Atmospherically nightmarish …but in a good way!

The ghost of Jon Lord seems ever present in the first few notes of ‘How Cold Is Your Blood’ bringing it neatly to an anthem of stadium proportions.

The live wire of ‘Road To Paradise’ is an electric race of a treat and leads nicely into the more mellow ‘Perfectly Worthless’….and proceeds through ‘Dark Horizon’ and ‘Fortress’ until finally the boys end on a high with the finale of ‘The Rainmaker’.

The ghosts of Deep Purple, Rainbow, Whitesnake and The Scorpions, are indeed ever present on this album, however ‘Saffire’ do not seem to make any apologies for this, but instead have squeezed all that is good and melodic from this genre, highlighting it and giving it a modern classic rock make over.

I give this a sweet Swedish 7 out of 10

Reviewed by: Francijn Suermondt

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