Remember when Nu-Metal exploded and all these bands came out of the woodwork with these impressive anthems trying to hook new listeners for the long haul beyond the initial fad? Rise As Equals is like ALL of those songs collected in one place. And it’s freaking glorious.
With the intensity of Meshuggah combined with the passion and intricacies of Breaking Benjamin, Saul craft a hearty collection of modern Heavy Rawk classics for their full-length debut that’s sure to be the template for how a first album should sound for years to come.
If you’ve been following Saul since they first landed on the Heavy music scene then the beginning of Rise As Equals is akin to a greatest hits compilation with hit after hit reminding you why you fell in love with this Iowan quartet in the first place. For the rest of us out of the loop, it’s still kind of the same with track after track of just great, solid Rawk.
Album opener “Trial By Fire” is a a statement of sonic intent thanks to pummeling riffs from Zach Bedsaul with William McIlravy and Myles Clayborne’s bass and drums respectively accenting the awesome. Broken up by shimmering synth sounds and Blake Bedsaul’s masterfully mesmerizing vocals which shift from a gripping growl and a swooning soar from verse to chorus, “Trial By Fire” is practically the most perfect way to kick off an album.
“Lookin’ To Fight” shifts the ferocity in favor of a slower groove that’s no less massive as what came before and incorporates those synths yet again to transform something that could’ve been a typical Hard Rawk banger into an unforgettable mid-tempo rager.
Co-written by Disturbed’s David Draiman, latest single “King Of Misery” is everything you’d expect from a collaboration with the Disturbed frontman as biting sonic attacks interspersed with broad vocal passages bombard your earholes while “Get It Right” is an aural atom bomb with shredding guitars broken up by mystical synths sounds and huge choruses.
The title track is a beastly brute and sounds like the bastard merging of The Weekend and Bad Wolves with the way that it’s both catchy and crushing. Later, “Levee” sees Blake crooning amidst a backdrop of somber piano tones and a muted rhythmic synchronicity from bassist McIlravy and drummer Clayborne. “Here and Now” heats things back up with Bedsaul’s methodical mechanical aural assaults alternating between brutal and beautiful with “The Toll” following and continuing the pace during this epic stomper.
“Sticks And Stones” is destined to be a massive crowd favorite and easily the heaviest track on here with a monstrous sing-a-long chorus built for a live audience. And speaking of monstrous, check out Blake’s vicious performance throughout with the programming taking the track to a new level of heavy. Ending things with “Welcome To The Machine”, Saul look beyond with a track that’s moving, majestic, and wholly Metal.
Rise As Equals releases via Spinefarm Records on October 23rd. You can pre-order yours in a variety of formats by clicking here or here. For more on Saul, follow them across the interwebs by heading here, here, or here.