Lo-Pan
Salvador


4.5
superb

Review

by Greg Fisher STAFF
March 27th, 2011 | 94 replies | 16,031 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Filled with bludgeoning riffs, pummelling bass lines, pounding drums and soaring vocals, "Salvador" is a stoner rock album that does slay hard.

The Columbus quartet Lo-Pan has been a big deal in the flourishing stoner rock scene since the release of their sophomore album "Sasquanaut" two years ago. The album showcased the band's progressive-inspired fuzzy variety of heavy rock that resulted in some truly unforgettable tunes in "Dragline," "Savage Henry" and "Vego" to name a few. After having been taken under Small Stone Records' wings, they decided to trod more or less the same path with their new endeavor. This definitely cannot be regarded as a downside since "Salvador" happens to be a major improvement over their previous discs providing an ingeniously crafted collection of songs being equally ballsy and clever.

Abounding with walls of six-string distortion, enormous bass lines and pounding drums, the whole album sounds massive from start to finish. This is accompanied by crystal-clear, polished production which makes every instrument sound perfectly audible. Aside from some really imaginative guitar/bass interplays courtesy of Brian Fristoe and Skot Thompson, what chiefly impresses is the cerebral atmosphere ingrained in the immensely heavy, yet warm soundscape of the record. "Seed" might serve as an example with its expertly executed bludgeoning riffs, an impressive guitar solo and groovy bass slaping. Other than that, such tracks as "Bleeding Out" and "Generations" have a truly infectious old-school heavy metal vibe to them.

What's more, the songwriting on "Salvador" is more concise than on "Sasquanaut," which results in a way shorter compositions. That doesn't mean that Lo-Pan have resigned from their progressive inclinations to experiment with song structures since there are many additional shades and textures evident in the majority of tracks. For instance, "Bird Of Prey" starts with a meditative mellow riff only to transform into colossal heavy rock in the chorus, while "Deciduous" surprises with its sudden turn into slower distinctively haunting passages halfway through.

"Salvador" certainly wouldn't be the same record without the amazing vocals of Jeff Martin who is the heart and soul of the quartet. Even though his delivery is heavily rooted in the classic hard rock singing with a hint of Maynard James Keenan influences, Martin comes up with the type of powerful soaring vocals that add another new layer to the table. His arguably most accomplished work occurs in balladlike "Struck Match" being never less than moving with its personal, immensely affecting lyrics. In general, the lyrics can be described as thoughtful, metaphorical and not easy to decipher, which poses a challenge to any inquisitive listener.

Overall, "Salvador" is most definitely an early contender for the title of the rock record of the year. With enough stoner rock goodness to destroy bridges and skyscrapers alike, Lo-Pan show that they are one of several absolutely essential rock outfits working today and a major force to be reckoned with.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2011



7166 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The album can be ordered or legally downloaded via iTunes:

http://www.smallstone.com/albuminfo.php?album=112

Digging: Floor - Oblation

Rev
March 27th 2011



9301 Comments


There's a flourishing stoner rock scene?

What am I missing?!

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2011



7166 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

A lot. But the bands are not very popular on here. Check out some of my other reviews. I've just
realized this is my 8th stoner rock review.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2011



7166 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Bleeding Out:

http://www.brokenbeard.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/02-Bleeding-Out.mp3

Jethro42
March 27th 2011



12089 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, dude. It makes the album still more appealing. I want this.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2011



7166 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for your continuous support. It goes without saying that you must acquire this album. You won't be disappointed.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2011



8223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is accompanied by crystal-clear, polished production
Imo stoner rock/metal really shouldn't be crystal clear and overly polished as such production totally ruins the mood but aside from that, you make this sound very promising and I'll check this out for sure.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2011



7166 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ah yes. I think it should. It's really essential in this genre to have this huge sound well projected.
My favorite records in the genre are actually very well produced (Clutch, Dozer). Lo-Pan's previous
album sounded not very good before it got remixed/remastered early this year. This is awesome
production-wise imo. Thanks a bunch for your support, man.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2011



8223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah I mean, I don't expect/want it to sound bad obviously haha. When it comes to stoner, I prefer either fuzzy, slightly muddy or gritty production because they channel the mood and chill factor better imo. Clean production is fine too when not overdone, but I prefer the former ones.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2011



7166 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I meant 'crystal-clear' in the sense that you hear all the instruments clearly all the time. Still,
there's a lot of fuzz to be found on this record. Definitely you should give this one a spin. In
short, it sounds like a cross between Kyuss and Solace.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2011



8223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'll get on it during the next week for sure. Hopefully tomorrow but since my time schedule seems to be ever-changing recently I can't make any concrete promises haha.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2011



7166 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah. I sometimes have the same problem actually. Drop me a line after you give it a spin.

DoubtGin
March 29th 2011



6687 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

everything that remotely sounds like Solace - 13 has to be good. Listened to that album last week and it blew me away.

will check this one out

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 29th 2011



7166 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cool. Lo-Pan are similar to Solace because they have the same progressive influences in their music.
So you must give it a spin. People on this site don't know what they're missing.


Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 29th 2011



8223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gave this my first listen today, and it's really really good. Like, seriously good. Thanks for the review Greg.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 29th 2011



7166 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ha. Welcome. Did you have any doubts?

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 29th 2011



8223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not really but I wasn't sure if it will wow me. It did.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 29th 2011



7166 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I wasn't really surprised as I've heard their previous album which's great and had high expectations.
How about the production?

BigHans
March 29th 2011



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Gonna have to get this.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 29th 2011



8223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Greg
Not gonna lie, I enjoyed it haha. You were right, it wasn't overly polished or anything, just really clear. Just a tad more fuzz would've been great I think but it's fine as it is.



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