42984Saviour Machine and Retroactive Records have re-released a massive collection of rarities for hardcore fans and new fans alike.

Title: Rarities / Revelations I-IV
Artist:Saviour Machine
Label: Retroactive Records
Time: 4 discs/64 tracks/5:09:36 hr.

For the uninitiated wondering “is this a new Saviour Machine disc?” – the quick answer is “no.” This is a re-issue of a hard-to-find massive four disc collection of rare songs, demos, alternative mixes, and live songs. That is over 5 hours of music, if you are counting. And the crazy thing is that it never gets boring. Saviour Machine could probably play elevator music and make it interesting.

Don’t look too hard for unreleased songs here, either. What you mostly have are different versions of songs that have already been released (in most cases). These range from early demo versions to acoustic unplugged versions to even alternate mixes of different songs. While none of these versions get my vote as superior to the original, they are still Saviour Machine songs and the quality of the song writing shines through very brightly.

My only real gripe is with the packaging. Each CD is basically the exact same package, except for the number changes with the volume and the songs listed on the very back reflect what is on the disc. But then every disc has a 2 panel list of all the songs in all 4 volumes. The story and image on the other panels are the same. No real notes on any of the songs. In all honesty, you could just buy one disc and then buy the other three digitally and not be missing anything (if that option is possible). I wish they could have dumped the song lists and repeated story and gave us some notes on each volume.

But part of me is guessing that real Saviour Machine fans already know the stories behind these songs. As for the songs themselves, all of them are pretty good to great quality. Here and there you can tell that you are listening to older demos or bootleg live recordings – but for the most part this is not the typical “was that guitar or singing” kind of filler you usually get form these types of collections. My favorite parts are probably the acoustic versions of older songs – I find the new arrangements bring some interesting light to the songwriting that I had never noticed before. The demo versions show either how different songs progressed, or how they were already great from the very beginning. The alternate mixes show case different sides of the songs from what you have heard before. The live tracks show how well the band call pull off these intricate songs live. Practice sessions must have been intense.

A special note about this collection is that a lot of it was originally compiled by major Saviour Machine fan Peter Kompanje. Sadly, he passed away in 2005, but his wish to have this collection of rarities available to all Saviour Machine fans can now live on again.

People like me that missed these discs the first time around will probably lament that they weren’t released in more economical box set versions or at least two double disc sets. Fans that are missing a random disc or two will be happy they can complete their collection. Either way, this set is a great way to round out your Saviour Machine collection.

By Matt Crosslin (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

4 tocks.
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