Company: Draconum Records Release: 2015 Genre: Extreme Reviewer: Greg Watson
A masterpiece of a story
Washington, D.C. is the home to the President of the U.S. It is our nation's capitol and has also produced a few well known heavy metal and hard rock bands. Well, the next band to come out of there that people should take notice of is--Yesterday's Saints. Brandishing an amalgamated sound of Death, Doom, Power and Thrash metal, "Generation of Vipers" is an incredibly complex, intelligent and scorching debut. A concept album through and through, "Generation" is broken up into three parts detailing the history of Satan from his creation to present time with a few twists in there for good measure. what's more metal than an album chronicling the history of Satan? The first thing that hits you is the sheer heaviness that Yesterday's Saints possess. Riffs that are suited for monstrosities like the mythological Kraken or Thor litter most every song on the album. The riffs aren't heavy for the sake of being heavy either. They're well-thoughtout, strategically placed, and are bone-grindingly heavy.
The album's opener, "Fall of the Ancients" sets the tone for the album as the band incorporates every element described in their sound. The song starts out with a traditional death metal riff with classic death metal vocals and transitions over to a more thrash based riff and vocals. Then the chorus hits and the vocals shift to more of a power metal delivery with a death metal blastbeat accompanied by melodic guitar work. Vocalist Matt Rice's ability to transition from death to thrash to power metal and back to death vocals and all points in between is just incredible.
Most of the tracks do incorporate the multi-genre style that comprises the band's sound, but there are a few tracks that are more singular in style, such as "Sangreale" that has a power metal feel throughout with majestic acoustic guitar work and more heartfelt and emotive vocals all sung cleanly for the most part. As the album progresses and the story unfolds, the listener becomes immersed in an everchanging soundscape and story, making this album an incredible listening experience from start to finish. It's albums like this that I live for; albums that really make you pay attention to what's going on. The variety on the album, particularly with all the genres represented, makes the album accessible on so many levels that any metalhead can pick this album up and find a song or two that they can grab hold of and relate to. And while the music is phenomenal, the songwriting surpasses that in the magnificent story that the album tells and the thought and references made in the lyrics. These aren't lyrics that the band wrote on the fly; they took their time with them and made sure every piece fit together perfectly to paint the clearest picture possible. The production on the album is pretty solid, with a few hiccups here and there. I do wish that the death metal vocals didn't sound so muffled at times and that the bass was a little more prevalent. But overall, I was pretty happy with the overall sound the band achieves.
The more I listen to this album, the more invested and further entranced I become not only with the story but also with the band. "Generation of Vipers" is one hell of a debut. Yesterday's Saints have truly crafted a masterpiece of a story. Go out and buy this album or feel the sting of the viper's bite!
About this Writer: Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.
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