Welcome to Doomtopia, where the barren wasteland is pockmarked by dead trees bearing decrepit branches, rabbits lay dead in fields, and rotting corpses serve as reminders that there is but one escape. This hellscape’s soundtrack? Salvor by These Beasts, a three-piece operating out of Chicago.
The EP’s opener, Bone Marrow, sets the mood with a slow, doomy, drum-and-bass line before the sinewy guitars kick everything into full gear. The chanting chorus of Chris Roo and Todd Fabian sounds almost anthemic. The sludgy riff that comes thereafter reminds me of something off Mastodon’s Remission. Sidge continues the motif of the drum-and-bass opening, building the suspense of an abandoned mental hospital until a deranged patient jumps out.
While the first two songs are structurally similar, 40 Hours brings something different: a chugging, crusty punk song casting dark glances at the forty hour work week, that really shows off the strength of this power trio. Black Friday is a short instrumental that takes the listener on a twisting, turbulent ride, invoking images of horror. The album ends with Paths, a refreshingly catchy tune that encapsulates just how condemned our walk through life truly is.
The EP is just the right length, not too short but also just long enough that I find myself hypnotized by the riffs, almost lost in time. The growls featured in several songs are almost painful to listen to; the singer’s sounds like he’s choked with gravel. It made me wonder more than once if they were painful takes. But if you’re looking for Sabbath-worshipping doom with a gallon of sludge mixed in, Salvor comes highly recommended.