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Saber Tiger - Obscure Diversity Award winner

Saber Tiger
Obscure Diversity
by Kevin Burke at 09 December 2018, 4:59 PM

SABER TIGER, the long-running Japanese based outfit has released “Obscure Diversity”, a concept album which rolls out as if a war has erupted, it displays a band who may be on the scene a number of years but, they are at their creative peak only now. The album glides back and forth across that line between progressive and straightforward balls out metal, a winning combination if done right, SABER TIGER hit the mark in every sense.

“Obscure Diversity” sets an ominous theme early on, opening with demonic chants In “Daguerreotype Of Phineas Gage” the listener is transported to a monastery as voices of doom echo in the stonework, this overture is chilling, all that changes as they come to a hellish-choir climax and the drum pulse of “The Crowbar Case” ignites the fuse of the album, an atomic assault of epic proportions, as Takenori Shimoyama tells the story of the protagonist Phineas Gage, a stunning track of menace and destruction to outline this concept album.

“The Worst Enemy” continues along the story path, again it is a massive volume intense number, the clever way the album is stitched together makes the tracks stand up outside the narrative, it becomes second place to the skillful delivery. “Stain” stutters onward, pulled back in speed but dense with sound nonetheless, as the listener enters the domain of “The Shade Of Holy Light”, a more reflective sound, the extraordinary passion  in the vocal work of Takenori Shimoyama is astonishing coming to a height of grandeur, the band as a whole are a vehicle straight out of the pits of fire, the exploding guitar work of Akihito Kinoshita and Yasuharu Tanaka is as good as anything you can expect on a rock album in the 21st-Century.

As “Permanent Rage” detonates, the flames burns bright from the talent within the band, the drum sound throughout by Yasuhiro Mizuno is the cornerstone to the success of “Obscure Diversity”, they are at top speed though remain accessible throughout, this is the key here because they are in no way simply painting-by-numbers or going through the motions. There is a hint of PANTERA within the album’s framework, although wholly original it is hard to pinpoint the actual influences of SABER TIGER, the album is apocalyptic-progressive-doom, there is a lot here to enjoy here, the rage is relentless ticking all the boxes of brilliance.

A standing ovation goes out to the closer, the atmospheric “The Forever Throne”, the vocals again switches from melancholy reflections to a vicious menace of destruction. The band does appear to strain holding back the wall of noise they flourish in, but the track comes back again as an acoustic bonus track, with emotional vocal lines it heralds a spirited end to the affair.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Daguerreotype Of Phineas Gage
2. The Crowbar Case
3. The Worst Enemy
4. Stain
5. Beat Of The War Drums
6. Distant Signals
7. The Shade Of Holy Light
8. Permanent Rage
9. Seize Your Moment
10. Divide To Deny
11. Paradigm And Parody
12. The Forever Throne
13. The Forever Throne (Acoustic Version) (Bonus Track)
Lineup:
Takenori Shimoyama – Vocal
Akihito Kinoshita – Guitar
Yasuharu Tanaka – Guitar
Yasuhiro Mizuno – Drums
Hibiki – Bass
Record Label: Sliptrick Records
     


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Edited 24 May 2019
 

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