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Salva - 'Thirst' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/0a/be/b6/2316_salvathirst_1339695187.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     June 14, 2012    
 
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Wonderfully played, intelligently constructed and exquisitely sung music.

Oh dear! My bank balance is really going to suffer as a result of the albums I have reviewed this time, for here is another band that is new to me, and has two previous releases ‘A Handful Of Earth’ (2004) and ‘Left To Burn’ (2007) that I have a definite urge (even “need”) to add to my collection, on the evidence of what ‘Thirst’ has to offer…seven tracks and 55 minutes of tremendously engaging music.

For those, like me, previously unfamiliar with this Swedish band, their Biog tells us that Salva was conceived by vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Per Malmberg and became a reality in 2003 when he and long-time friends, keyboardist Johan Lindqvist and guitarist Stefan Gavik formed the band. Johan’s younger brother Fredrick and Lasse Brolin completed the line up on bass and drums respectively to contribute to the second album and it is this quintet that have released ‘Thirst’.

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Salva is quite difficult to pigeonhole as to genre, so I am going to go for a broad brush approach and tell you that while they definitely fall into the progressive music category (and both the rock (more) and metal (less) varieties of this) they also have strong MHR, symphonic and folk influences, and what is, perhaps, more important that you know is that these are melded together quite seamlessly – and especially on the two longest tracks ‘Adjustment For All’ and ‘One Week’. While the technicality of prog metal and various time signatures are to be found superficially in both of these extended numbers, there is a palpable quality of a languid, flowing structure to the music too, and absolutely blissful lead and harmony vocals – a feature throughout the album. At 09:14, opening track ‘Exclamation Point’ is nearly as long, and here too one is struck by the way in which the various influences are combined into another wonderful, imaginative piece of music that seems to pass very quickly.

Two of the tracks actually do pass very quickly, for they are much shorter songs: the initially rather melancholy ‘Can Of Worms’ which has a definite nod in the direction of Threshold (and is sung by Gavik) and ‘Losing Battle’ a heartfelt ballad with predominantly a simple piano accompaniment. ‘Primoris Iugum’ has the most obvious folk-inspired qualities, and this is reinforced by Malmberg’s splendid Accordian playing.

I fear it may not just be my own bank balance that could be significantly depleted, for here is another album that I have to heartily recommend to connoisseurs of wonderfully played, intelligently constructed and exquisitely sung music that cries out to be added to your collections…

Paul Jerome Smith

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