|Album Review: Savant – Zion|
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Aleksander Vinter, formally known as Savant, has just released his tenth full length album in only the past five years. Originally from Norway, Savant is now 27 years old and is a multi-talented musician in electronic music. This new album titled Zion concentrates on Aleksander's interest about conflict in the middle East. He uses experimental arabic melodies matched with his own signature style of bass production to create a surreal masterpiece known as Zion. EARMILK has one of the first official full streams so check out the sixteen track work below.
Vinter himself comments on Zion saying, "This album is really a mix of short, beautiful jingles and a lot of hardcore metal/punk-esque riffs, all created with electronic music tools. But no actual instruments or hardware were really used: this is pure electronic music.”
"ANNUNAKI" is a cinematic beginning to the entire album and immediately places the listener in a surreal soundscape outside of just the music. The opening track feels almost as if you're about to play a video game rather than listen to a whole album.
"APOCALYPSE" is easily one of my favourite tracks on all of Zion because of the energetic atmosphere that is built up continuously. The song moves back and forth between a melodic uprising and acid stabbing osculation.
The third track finally moves the listener from the realm of video game music into some sort of genre that's more pop infused. "ARRIVAL" is evidently glitch inspired and packed with vibrant sounds that surround the mood created.
"CASTLE OF GODS" did not particularly stick out to me because of the ill suited transition from an arabic melody structure to a harsh dub breakdown.
Luckily, "CRUSADES" comes in next and is a second personal favourite track because of the high energy and distorted sounds that work seamlessly with the beat. Using elements from dubstep production and Savant's clear obsession with making melodies, "Crusades" manages to completely entice the listener until the second drop where the tempo completely changes.
"DESSERT EAGLE" moves onto an interesting mix of complex sounds and distorted bass.
The next song, "MECCA" is by far one of the most memorizing songs, using arabic singing for vocals and opening on a mystic start of washed out samples. All of a sudden, you're hit with a massive wave of glitch bass music that mashes Savant's cruel arrangement of bass with vocals.
"MESHUGGA" was another favourite that immediately stood out after my first initial listen of Zion. As the longest track on the entire album and directly half way, this song seems to create a brief intermission between both halves. The screeching dubstep seems mixed with elephant noises that create a perpetual eight minutes of bouncing bass.
Next up is "NAZARETH", a taste of new treats from Savant as it spreads over into the trap style. The song is completely packed with fresh sounds and groovy melodies from the far East.
"OUTCASTS" is yet another new vibe to Zion that shows a jazz fused side of Savant. It's slow and acts as a nice breath of new air to relax and let a musical palette wash over you.
As exciting as the title sounds, "PRINCESS OF ZION" certainly had me intrigued. The shaky intro put me on a rough start with unstable female vocals, but I'm instantly hit with violent dubbed out sounds. This song is all over the place in a chaotic web of sharp sounds, but starts on a less hectic note.
"ROYALITY" is darkly opened and spookily introduced, it builds with intensity until a light beat completely takes over. Even this total change of mood doesn't last long before Savant closes the song on a more rushed pace.
One of the last explosive songs on Zion is the erruptive single titled "SHAZAM". There are lasers firing out of the synth breaks and bright lyrics that are layered behind most of the structure, just faintly heard on repeat.
One of the most glitchy works by Savant is his track, "SONS OF BABEL". The thick and exotic beat is woven in with an electronic melody, before Savant creates a pause-push tempo that sounds similar to something expected from The Glitch Mob.
"SPIDER" brings all of Zion closer to a trance-like finish by teasing the listener with a introduction in shambles. The song moves into a progressive build before a scratchy synth comes striking back and forth at the beat.
Finally on all of Zion is the self titled single, "ZION". This reggae treat and wrung out dubstep finish is just what Savant needed to bring his tenth album to an epic conclusion. The lyrics sing out about a magical place called Zion that I feel Vinter aimed to create an atmosphere around with this entire album.
Overall, I enjoyed several aspects of Savant's tenth finished official album, Zion. To conclude by saying that this sixteen track album shows a massive amount of creative knowledge would be an understatement. Clearly Vinter is constantly pushing his own musical abilities by solely producing most of his work in an unfathomable time schedule. I suppose the impressive rate of production has something to do with his Savant Syndrome.
Yet despite his talented creative skills and ability to cross genres with ease, there is somewhat of a disconnectivity as I move from "ANUNNAKI" to "ZION". Yes, both tracks that start and finish Zion are cinematic and sound as if planned for an intro and exit point. But my discomfort rests in the lack of clarity from one track to the next, as complete albums should be structured. This is the reason why Savant's album scores an eight and a half out of ten.