Katarzyna NINa Górnisiewicz
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Yesterday's Saints - Gates Of Valhalla (song review) |self-released, Yesterday's Saints EP, 2011|
If you're hungry for intense thrash metal music, here's an indie band with all the features necessary to become your next favorite rockstars. Yesterday's Saints gain their influences from a long list of amazing, yet highly ranked bands that include classics such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Manowar, Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer and Testament as well as music by Vital Remains, Obituary, Pantera, Chiamara, Iced Earth, Arch Enemy and Lamb of God. This degree of heavy influences will undoubtedly draw the interest of many heavy metal listeners. But wait, there's more... the band has also been recently promoted through the live circuit, opening shows in support of Sepultura, Death Angel, Korpiklaani and Moonsorrow.
Yesterday's Saints are originally from Washington DC. Established in 2008, they released a two-track demo one year later. A heavy metal CD collection with tracks compiled by Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed, Kingdom of Sorrow) helped the band reach out towards a broader number of heavy music listeners throughout 2010. Their self-titled EP is their latest release which contains five songs on the tracklist.
"Gates Of Valhalla" is the first track on this EP and indeed, it's an in-your-face opening to the album! There are no mystical intro's or outro's. The song starts and ends with rhythmic riffs and concrete drum beats. This intense, raging and precise composition will make you headbang right away.
Professional vocals are at times shouted then growled within a range of over three octaves. The song contains lyrics that are masterfully mixed with spinning and chunky guitar riffs that stitch the song structures together like an overlock. Non-pushy percussive elements of the drums never predominate the other instruments, which may be a golden ratio for an intelligent form of metal music.
Finally, great bass lines stand strong to solidify the drums and accentuate the overall orchestration.
All of these elements are utilized in synchronicity to create a foundation for the song where the compositional aspect is complete and the arrangements don't miss a thing. These songwriting techniques are repetitive, thus you can spot some heavy metal melodies within, but they don't become at all boring. Additionally, these arrangements have been preventatively enriched with various matching and powerful segments which turn the listener's attention to the brute force of the music in an instant.
“Gates of Valhalla” was performed by Matt Rice (vocals), Albert Born (drums), Witt Black (guitar) and Phil D’Arcangelis (bass) who was replaced by Nick Gosseaux in 2012. The band has been currently working on a full length release intent on bringing more of a dark melodic feel that is based on death, thrash and power metal sub-genres.
Since words are limited and they can't perfectly express every single tune, you just need to listen to the music of Yesterday's Saints on your own. The best time would be during one of their live shows.
These guys may be sharing stages with many of the best known metal acts very soon, so get ready.
(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, August 21st, 2012. Proofreading: Scott M. Owens)
Buy: Official store