To understand the importance of the name of Saor is to know the name of an act whose wild success in the underground has been the stuff to make the Scottish act a modern phenomenon that takes metal to previously seldom-traveled locales. It can be one hell of a task to find your sound in such an unknown soundscape, but time after time we see Saor become all the more enraptured in the glory of nature and all of its sides with each record offering something new compared to the last. Thankfully, that trend only continues as Saor delivers us his fourth album of pure magic.
What I’ve always found to be intrinsically beautiful and gripping about Saor is how it feels like it’s taken any sort of blend between black and folk metal with an excellent atmosphere to another level as, truly, there’s only one other band that’s been able to even hold a candle to the top tier quality that we’ve constantly gotten from Saor even after now four albums of Scottish metal the likes of which we truly cannot get anywhere else. I didn’t know what sort of direction would be taken with “Forgotten Paths”, but after feeling and hearing the record for a solid few hours it’s easy to say that this feels the most upfront record from Saor to date as there’s not a lot of meandering in atmosphere or lingering on folk instruments. Those are all still there in the usual fantastic detail and exquisite execution, but it’s with this four-track animal that we see Saor bring in a sound that feels much more oriented on the metal side of things more so than other elements while still paying to the elements as those are what make Saor so glorious to begin with, and it’s clear that “Forgotten Paths” isn’t the start of a deviation from that. Keep in mind that “Forgotten Paths” is by far the shortest record we’ve received from Saor, but in no way does that mean there are any shortage of excellent moments and tantalizing pieces of godlike musicianship to go around throughout the entirety of this gorgeous album.
It’s very hard to become reliable in a scene where it feels like the tide can shift in any direction at any time, but it’s no wonder as to why people have looked to Saor for constant quality as even after more than a few albums, this act has become a massive go-to for many people wanting to hear metal taken to wholly unique places in a wholly unique fashion. “Forgotten Paths” is the fourth consecutive stroke of genius from the Scottish powerhouse, and it’s clear that the momentum will only continue as each record unveils even more greatness.
LISTEN to “Forgotten Paths” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Saor on Facebook here.