“A while back it didn’t feel like we were even going to get here”, Saviour frontman Bryant Best tells Blunt Magazine. “We’ve been working on this album for friggin’ years”. The album he refers to is Saviour’s upcoming LP A Lunar Rose, which was surprisingly ready to go twenty-four months ago.
“I booked a tour thinking that was going to be the album tour”, he continues. “But our studio situation ended up getting very complicated”. Sitting with an album for that long brings rise to a new kind of pressure, where holding onto it for so much time means that it has to end up perfect when it finally gets unveiled. “It just doesn’t feel real after holding it to our chest for so long”, Best adds. “But look, I’m super proud of it”.
Saviour picked a challenging release date in February, with contemporaries The Amity Affliction and Polaris also gearing up to drop their upcoming records this month. With bands of their repertoires, it’s only a wonder that Parkway Drive haven’t also risen to the occasion and dropped something to overshadow the indie release of a small, yet exceedingly successful metalcore band heralding from Perth.
“When we were looking at releasing an album around about this time this year, and probably two of the biggest Australian bands are releasing the week before us, it was just like: ‘oh no, what have we done?’”, Best recounts.
“Hopefully people have got enough money to buy three vinyls”. He’s a big fan of Polaris and obsessed with the latest Counterparts record, so while it’s an unfortunate coincidence, there’s no blood in the water. “I’m a big fan of melodic hardcore, I’ve been thrashing the new Counterparts album like no other album exists. I’d definitely get around a few beers and watch them intently”.
In the spirit of metalcore’s definitive trait, Saviour’s journey over the past few years has also put them on the path of pursuing a heavier sound, a decision that not all of their industry supporters were fully on board with. “We really wanted to take this band heavier, and all of a sudden, in the crosshairs of different views of the future, we kind of lost communication”. The consequence was Saviour becoming an independent band, with Best at the helm of DIY label duties.
“It’s been a learning curve”, he notes, “I’ve gained heaps of skills actually just getting in touch with people, sorting out everything from the artwork to the PR to the printing…back in the day we used to just send off the tracks and shit would happen. But it’s a different ballgame these days”.
The decision to put the metal in metalcore doesn’t just mean more breakdowns to Saviour – they’ve described the record as “real heavy on the heavy, and heavy on the feels”, adding that “it’s sort of melodic”. Like many of its kind, “once you look past all the breakdowns, it’s actually a pretty sad album”. Despite its origins tracing years back, Best can “still relate” to it as a “real, heavy, melodic, sad-boy album. That’s what we were going for and I’m pretty sure that’s what we’ve achieved with this one”.
While musically Saviour, over the course of their career, have nurtured a loyal following, they’ve also attracted a fanbase on the principle that they’re pretty good people. “We’re a group of absolutely chilled units”, Best laughs, and unlike some of their line-up mates, “it’s normally good vibes” with them. “I really wanted this band to be about that, just somewhere that we can have fun”, he adds.
It’s interesting to see a band like Saviour return to the buzz that they’re surrounded by, with followers waiting patiently for the announcement that came earlier this year. “We’ve got such cool fans”, Best notes, “just some real loyal hardcore people that absolutely live for it. It’s always super humbling coming across those people and seeing it in real life”. It’s that sentiment that “makes it all super worth it. I really hope that [the album] doesn’t disappoint them. It’s been one of those journeys that’s come to a conclusion and it’s going to be a real big relief for us all”.
A Lunar Rose is out on February 28.