Five songs in the lot, and they’re long; a bit too long when you get down to it. Naturally, doom of this ilk likes to take its good old time, trying to milk the listener for all their worth, eventually wearing them down. That’s what Salvation does; it’s not as immediate as some of the band’s previous albums, probably because at times, it gets lost in its own desolate fields of drawn-out arrangements and sparse moments of intensity.
The title track gives first indication of this, as a soft, gentle guitar riff serves as the song’s base, only to be divided up the occasional death metal vocal rip-roar from Matt Lawson. But by then, a good 13 minutes have passed by.
Lawson is the album’s focal point, oftentimes letting his graceful clean vocals get a little too generous. The build-up on “Released” is a sterling moment for the man, though, emerging as the album’s highlight. From there, the chugging unearthed on “Reflections” is a winner, with again, more subtle guitar lines (lots of clean channel guitar work), while “In Silence” falls flat due to its repetitive nature.
Obviously, Salvation is not The Prophecy’s finest hour. That would be Revelations, which cannot be recommended by this scribe enough. Nevertheless, the Brits serve as the proper alternative to the meandering, yawn-a-second funeral doom scene, and yes, they’re still in line for the My Dying Bride throne, whenever it happens to be vacated. It just won’t happen with Salvation.
(released February 5, 2013 on Code 666 Records)