One of the more celebrated metal bands to come out of Oakland in the wake of East Bay juggernaut High on Fire, Saviours has built an international reputation with its string of progressively more savage and intricate albums as well as a brutal touring schedule. Formed in 2004 by principles Austin Barber (vocals/guitar) and drummer Scott Batiste, within a year the group had issued its debut EP Warship and scored a deal with Kemado Records. The group's early efforts nodded to the ferocious sound of thrash pioneers Venom, Slayer and Metallica while developing their own complex, interwoven guitar style and dynamic range.
Given the group's staggering amount of roadwork – they've trekked through the U.K and Europe several times and have even visited Japan – Saviours have maintained a steady output of new music. The band's 2008 album Into Abaddon touched on elements of psychedelia and doom while displaying dynamics and versatility rarely heard among most modern metal bands. On Saviours' follow-up effort Accelerated Living, Saviours continue to refine the hectic riff alchemy that has become the band's trademark with the deftly harmonized twin-lead guitars and a seemingly endless fusillade of riffs.
Although Saviours went through another line-up change with the amicable departure of longtime bassist Cyrus Comiskey (Annihilation Time/Lecherous Gaze bass player Chris Grande filled in until Parchman Farm/Dirty Ghosts bassist Carson Binks joined), the band continues to be a ferocious live act, decimating crowds whenever it takes the stage. The band was particularly busy in 2011, putting out two tour EPs featuring exclusive tracks leading up to the release of their most recent studio album, Death's Procession.
The band has enjoyed some down time since that album and touring cycle, with Barber relocating to Los Angeles and teaming up with Black Mountain mainstay Stephen McBean and switching to bass for their corrosive punk band Obliterations. While they regrouped to play a couple of tenth anniversary shows last year with new bassist Andy Anderson, the band's current West Coast tour that stops at the DNA in San Francisco Friday night. The show will featured the group working through some of the new material that Saviours will record for their forthcoming album to be released through new record label Listenable Records in the fall. The group will be joined by local doom metal act Tomes and Hawkwind-channeling heavy rockers Glitterwizard.
Friday, March 20, 8:30 p.m. $15-$18