December 28, 2020

Saber is a relatively new band from Los Angeles, which we can safely put in the NWOTHM sub-genre. The band first released the speed metal flavored single Speed Racer in 2019, and in June 2020 “upgraded” it with another song in the new single Strike Of The Witch. This is the moment when Trevor William Church (Haunt, Beastmaker, Hysteria) entered the picture, with not only releasing the new single through his Church Recordings label, but also helping out with recording drums and production.

Without Warning is the full length debut of Saber, which will initially be released digitally on January 1st with pre-orders for the physical release to be launched the same day. The excellent old school artwork by Daniel Porta of The Pit Forge is the first thing to immediately warm your heart and from the first riff onward, it’s all traditional heavy metal worship, done right. The opening duo of Storm Of Steel and the title track speak volumes of just how much effort these guys have put into rehearsing and also thinking over the melodies and guitar harmonies. Saber sound really professional and it would be a stretch of the imagination to guess this is only their debut full length. While none of the eight songs display something we haven’t heard before from the genre veterans, you will find yourself tapping your foot and banging your head for either a monstrous opening riff or a fantastic double-guitar harmony or solo. With a style like this, you should at least try to outdo your direct competition with a “trick” or two and here some compliments should be directed to frontman Steven Villa, who really adds a lot of diversity with his singing and is raising songs like Outlaw and Leather Laced Lady to another level.

Without Warning is easily in the top 3 trad metal albums I’ve heard in 2020 (even if it comes out in 2021) and I very much hope Saber will be lucky to perform these songs live next year. This band deserves your support if you like pure, honest, by-the-book, competent heavy metal, with excellent sound and production. Check out the great promo video for Speed Racer posted below and you know what you should do on January 1st.

9/10

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