The first half of 2018 is filling up with more favorites than I can keep track of. Like Soft Kill who I came across thanks to Decibel, the only magazine I still read, simply because they shared the same review space as Fotocrime (We’ll mention that band again a little later) for coverage of their latest magnum opus Savior.
But before we get to the nuts and bolts of the thing, let’s be clear: Savior is a heavy album dealing with loss and addiction. It’s also a record that sounds triumphant despite the dark cloud hanging overhead.
“Swaddle” starts as if it’s a lost INXS classic then quickly swoops down to the lower depths of Disintegration-era The Cure with this sound that just wholly envelopes listeners like the name implies as listeners conjure images of Tobias Grave just strumming away on an acoustic in a ludicrous fashion to accent each and every note.
“Trying Not To Die” really encapsulates that sound The Cure manifests with these, ahem, Gallup-ing bass lines (Like Simon Gallup of The Cure. Get it?) by Owen Glendower but strays from the path when it comes to Grave and his hypnotic dream-state delivery. “Bunny Room” is desolate and bleak and oh so divine with these spiraling guitar lines amidst this gothic soundscape building to Grave stretching beyond his baritone to strained, yet effective new vocal heights.
The title track really sinks its’ teeth into those aforementioned goth aspects as Grave adopts a Peter Murphy vampiric tone with Adam Bulgasem’s cymbal crashes accenting the impending dread that Glendower’s sinister bass is warning of underneath as Conrad Vollmer’s guitar screams cry out from the dark.
“Missing”, on the other hand, almost brings some brevity with a fast-paced number that brings to mind contemporaries like Eagulls or the later recordings of Coliseum (Whose own Ryan Patterson went on to form Fotocrime: See, told you we’d touch on them again!) “Dancing In Glass” follows a similar blueprint and was the track that initially grabbed our attention and caused a further investigation into the sounds of Soft Kill.
Later on, “Cry Now Cry Later” is reminiscent of U2 at their most uninhibited and pure with these The Edge-style guitar lines surrounded by a blanket of synthetic beauty to take the track somewhere beyond that iconic Irish band’s beginnings as Grave opens up again, sounding almost like Tears For Fears’ Curt Smith.
From there, Soft Kill prepare for the inevitable end with the thunderous pace of “Do You Feel Nothing” paving the way for “Hard Candy” which begins as this fuzzed out beast but yields to a magnificent, yet still haunting soundscape to close out Savior.
Savior is out on May 11th through Profound Lore. You can getcha pre-order on by clicking here and if you go physical, make sure you get the CD for a bonus track because if listening to the rest of their discography is any indication, any Soft Kill is good Soft Kill. For the latest on the band, head over here.