Label: Sexy Sloth Records
Release Date: October 11th, 2019
Sometimes you hear something, and it hits you so hard it automatically becomes incredibly special to you. That has been my experience with Saboteur and Sandveiss.
I have listened to this album obsessively, trying to figure out how I can begin to do it justice with merely words. Each time I had the time, no, pleasure of listening, I felt transported into another dimension. A dimension enriched with heart and soul to the fullest degree. It digs deep into my foundation of what music is, what I love so much about it. The prodigious talent and composition topped with an impressive vocalist, is more than I could ever hope for. I simply cannot speak highly enough about it. Let’s learn who the wizards behind the Sandveiss are.
Sandveiss arises from Quebec, Canada and consists of members; Luc Bourgeois (vocals/guitar), Shawn Rice (guitar), Maxime Moisan (bass), and Dominique Gaumond (drums). On the album is ex drummer Dzemal Trtak. They began their musical journey in 2011. This is their second full length album, followed by Scream Queen on December 8th, 2013, as well as two single releases; Save Us All, 2016, which included “Save us All” and “The Unspoken Speech”, and The Divider, with track “The Divider” also on this album. Now let’s jump in.
Introducing the album is a steady and alluring riff from the first song, “Sands of Time”. The 60’s and 70’s groove feel with a stoner rock connotation is the impeccable mixture that makes this song faultless. I could not keep my eyes open as I repeated this track over and over. “This time, things won’t be the same. No way out, no one takes the blame”. Bourgeois vocals are expressive and passionate, and that solo, I got completely lost in it and felt ever note. “Dead Inside” starts with a heavier stoner rock riff and growling bass. This song sticks with me, I hear it playing it in my head long after I have listened to it. Another incredible guitar solo full of spirit and a catchy chorus. The solid hammering of the drumbeat brings this song together beautifully.
“The Masquerade” slows it down, almost to a bluesy rock feel initially. You can’t help but appreciate the dynamic change from one song to another. The experience I have had during this one is otherworldly, it takes me on a journey, an epic adventure rolled into a song. Slow and somber, then progresses into a grittier, harder melody with Trtak keeping the perfect pace. Do I hear another extraordinary solo? Yes, I do, two in fact. Just as full of life as the others. Do not be mistaken though, every one of these musicians are extraordinary. This song is definitely my favorite.
“The Divider” has been previously released and is a perfect example of great stoner rock. I especially enjoy the quick small pause in between beats around time 1:24. There is a gratifying riff a little over halfway through that is insatiably memorable. It ends with a crunchy zest.
“Saboteur” begins with an almost haunting guitar melody and a drum beat that is profound, and rips right into a delicious riff. It is energetic and groovy. A little over 3 minutes in, there is swift change and the guitar erupts with another dramatic groove change that appeals to the ear. I felt like I was in a video game battle the whole time. With lyrics, “can’t find a way to process, all this pain” you know the lyricist has been through tough times. I think we can all appreciate the transparency of lyrics when it is filled with emotion and brutal honesty. “Broken Man’s Mind” is distorted and heavy fuzz execution with an ominous vocal vibration. I felt this track with so much depth I was unsure I would find my way back to reality. The story telling is genius and heartbreaking. “Time has tried to keep him alive and the sounds still resound in the broken man’s mind”.
“Burning Ropes” adds a fresh new touch to an already amazing album. It starts with a folky enchantment and has an enduring vocal incantation. It is definitely my second favorite song. The entire song is completely spellbinding. The acoustic guitars add a bit of magic and allurement, as the vocals carry you into a dream-like state. It is absolutely the definition of a beautiful and nearly perfect song. What a captivating way to end an insanely flawless album.
Bourgeois states, “there is one common theme that keeps coming back in a few lyrics. And that would be fear itself, interfering in our perception of things. In many ways it is sabotaging our choices, our lives and of course our society. And that’s what we tried to express with the cover artwork. What you think might be skull, or something menacing lurking in the dark on the cover is in fact a dead flower. Things might not be what they seems.”
I have felt more emotions with Saboteur then I have with a majority of albums I have listened to throughout my years. This says a great deal since music is an extremely emotional thing for me in general. The lyrics are dark, but wonderfully dark and pain stricken in the most majestic way. I did not want it to end. If you like any kind of rock music, I would highly recommend this album. I would honestly recommend it to any music lover. Take a listen, turn all other distractions off, close your eyes, and feel it as deeply as I can only imagine it was created to do.
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