Album Review: Servers – “Everything Is OK”
Three mysterious hooded chaps from Barnsley known as Servers first came to the fore in 2014 by unleashing Leave With Us, a uniquely dark and brooding take on metal that we’d been crying out for in the UK music scene. Servers’ debut was full of melodic yet harrowing beauty, and luckily for us it’s only taken them a couple of years to get their next record, Everything Is OK, out to their faithful worshippers.
Opening with a six-minuter might seem brave to most, but for Servers Spells is simply an opportunity to lamp us right in the moneymaker with a colossally riffy beast. At times evoking memories of Host-era Paradise Lost, the song showcases an electronic evolution of Servers’ apocalyptic sound, mixing industrial samples into an absolute behemoth of a track.
Conceptually, the band still deal with themes of cult brainwashing, whether it’s in reference to nefarious figures from world history or through a critique of mainstream media, and this helps the lyrics throughout Everything Is OK to create an incredibly dark yet strangely euphoric atmosphere. On the heavy-with-samples To Hell With You, vocalist Lee Storrar mixes up his reliably harmonious lines with screams of utter face-melting intensity, while the creepy references to Charles Manson’s ATWA concept in Unconditional sneak into your soul and produce a bizarrely beautiful song full of intense lust and power.
There’s no mid-album slump anywhere to be found on Everything Is OK, with Codes kicking an 80s vibe into play, before the deliriously entrancing circus waltz of Recklessly Extravagant marches in with a gothic overture that wouldn’t be out of place on one of Cradle Of Filth’s devilish platters. It’s with these little diversions that Servers really show what they’re made of; their sound is magnificently original, but they’re also not afraid to pay a visit to Ghost’s organ shop for Into The Grave, or to swing by Blue Öyster Cult Boulevard for the floating refrain of Bodies In The Ground.
As the 10 tracks on offer fade away, it’s nearly impossible to resist the urge to immediately start all over again due to the sheer instant appeal and depth of this record. Where Leave With Us dabbled, Everything Is OK goes full-on in its relentlessly mesmeric stomp, helped by a killer production that brings out the intricacies in Lee Wilde and Ant Nettleship’s rhythm section brilliantly. Experimental yet hugely accessible and crushingly heavy all at the same time, this record will be making its way onto Album of the Year lists without fail.
A more layered record than its predecessor and yet far heavier, Everything Is OK takes the apocalyptic, cinematic Servers formula and dials it up to 11. This is 1984, Metropolis, Martyrs and Terminator 2 all rolled into one, with the band producing an outstanding combination of riffs, orchestration and melody to match. Everything is far better than just OK, this is near perfection.