Ever since my first listen to Saviour Machine I back in May 1993, and after every following album, I have said and re-said that I believe that Saviour Machine is one of the best, if not the best band ever. Occasionally, doubts would pop up thinking that maybe I had overlooked a better band due to my intense love for Saviour Machine. Well, after hearing Legend III:I, all doubts have been erased. Saviour Machine is THE best band to ever exist. This album is by far the best album they have released. And it's not just because of the music, or the lyrics. It's more than just that. Saviour Machine is about boldness, integrity, creativity, originality. They are about going out on a limb despite what others think. They are about doing what God wants them to do regardless of the consequences. They are about loving God more than family, friends, or material things. And that just touches the surface. Saviour Machine is beyond any other band out there. They are the Michael Jordan of the music world. Yeah, there are other great bands out there, but none are in the same league as Saviour Machine.
This album I'm reviewing is the pre-release that was released at Cornerstone in July 2001. The cover artwork is really good, and as a special bonus, all 2001 copies are hand numbered and signed by Eric Clayton. (I have copy #661 for those interested). The first big difference you'll notice here is the production. It is SOOOO much more enjoyable listening to this album than any of their past stuff. The music is so powerful, it feels like you are right there when they are playing it. The band has Victor Deaton (ex-Wedding Party) as their new drummer and he does a terrific job. Also, the band has made one of their best moves ever in enlisting the services of CarlJohan Grimmark of Narnia. Now if you are a Narnia fan like me, you know that Grimmark is an amazing guitarist. Well, he does not disappoint here. His intricate/technical guitar work and guitar solos are an incrediably special treat. The added acoustic guitars are also a big shot in the arm for fans of the band. Ever since "The Gates" on SMII, I've yearned for the band to use more acoustic guitars since they sound so good with this style of music. Well, the band has finally delivered in a big way. The choir that they use from Germany is also a vast improvement. This choir is beautiful and haunting and really does a great job. The keyboard work by Nathan Van Hala is also as expected...breathtaking. This man does such fantastic work. The atmosphere and haunting emotion that he adds to the band is absolutely essential to the band's success. And of course, Eric Clayton's vocal performance is better than ever. How he continues to improve is beyond me. His voice is more powerful, deeper, and more haunting than any thing he's ever done.
The song's themselves are nothing short of amazing. Every song is top-notch and never is there a let-down. If I had to pick favorites it would be next to impossible to name one, but to name a few I'd have to say "Twelve-Hundred-Sixty Days", "Revelation 13", "Legend III:I", "The Ancient Serpent", "Rivers of Blood", and "The End of the Age". Although Saviour Machine I was their heaviest all around album, I think there are many heavier riffs on this album. One listen to the opening two songs or "Antichrist III" will prove this true. The building intensity and amazing guitar work by Grimmark in "Revelation 13" might well be my favorite highlight of the album.
To sum things up, this is absolutely the best album ever made. It is as close to perfect as I've ever heard. Although, Legend III:II might prove more-so. If you are alive and breathing...this album is a must have. Pay no attention to the nay-sayers. They lie most dreadfully. This is THE album to get. I pray God continues to bless the band. Satan doesn't like hearing about his coming doom, and Saviour Machine not only is taking this message to the church, but to the whole world. The end is nigh, and Saviour Machine, I believe, is a strong warning that God is using to alert those who have yet to believe and yet encourage those who's future is secure. (Review by Matt)