As a viewy new band in the classic trio format, Slavior are one of the first big surprises of 2007 with their self-titled debut album due this spring. Heavy rock has rarely sounded so fresh or modern. “It was designed for the masses” says the band themselves – Mark Zonder, Wayne Findlay and Gregg Analla.

The line-up is first class with a highly explosive artistic mixture. Formed around the nucleus of Fates Warning drummer Mark Zonder, MSG guitarist and keyboard player Wayne Findlay and former Tribe Of Gypsies vocalist Gregg Analla, Slavior present themselves as one of the big hopefuls for 2007. Their red-hot songs go far beyond the scope of common genre boundaries and yet they can be described with a clear and also simple statement by the band. “I would say we play modern heavy rock”, says founder Zonder. He adds, “We do have a progressive aspect too but I make sure that everything grooves and feels right. We don’t want Slavior to become too complex for the sake of it, moreover we want the fans rocking out and singing along to the songs. It was designed for the masses”. In actual fact, the music on Slavior’s debut release is not so easy to label.

Slavior came into being due to Mark Zonder’s wish to be finally able to create songs on the basis of interesting drum parts. “I’ve rehearsed long and intensively and in that course I have written some interesting drum parts. It would have been difficult to integrate them into existing song structures, so I started working on completely new compositions with the drums.” He played the results to Wayne Findlay who, with a nose for interesting hooks and dynamic guitar parts, brought in his own ideas and together with Zonder they worked out the arrangements for the songs. When the compositional framework was complete, front man Gregg Analla added vocal melodies and lyrics. “Actually everything was quite simple”, says Zonder.

Indeed, Slavior manage to avoid cluttering up strong basic ideas over instrumentation so as not lose any of the tension. There is a piece on the album called “Dove” which seems to be tailor-made for radio. “It’s a pretty commercial rock number with a great chorus and reggae style verses. ‘Dove’ could turn out to be a very important song for us”. Zonder hopes for a broad reception for this one and he names further tracks that in his opinion fulfil all the common radio airplay criteria. “‘Swept Away’ is also a piece that I could very well imagine being played on radio. Although it has a slightly unusual time signature, it still has a tight rhythm and a superb vocal performance by Gregg.” On the other hand there are songs such as “Red Road”, which reaches out to progressive territory more than any of the other songs; or “Another Planet” featuring a killer groove, which Zonder describes as “A very special piece”.

Much emphasis was placed on the album having a very natural, almost Spartan production sound, which was achieved by sound engineer Joe Marlett. “Unfortunately, we didn’t have the chance to play any of the songs live on stage before we went into the studio so we were really lucky to find a local engineer in San Diego who was perfect for what we needed. His influence and his skills added so much to this album. We were really enthusiastic about what Joe did to our compositions in the studio.”

In conclusion there’s only one question left – what about possible concerts? The band answers this question unmistakably and almost tersely, “If we had our way, we would come to Europe tomorrow to play our shows”. Maybe there’s some way to put the clock forward?

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