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Saints Of Death – Ascend To The Throne

Saints Of Death
Ascend To The Throne
by Thomas Kumke at 20 October 2020, 11:40 AM

SAINTS OF DEATH hailing from Vancouver, Canada were formed in 2014 initially as MOTÖRHEAD tribute band. They play a mix of Thrash, Grove, and Death Metal. Special feature of SAINTS OF DEATH is the presence of two bass players with vocalist Twan Holliday playing an 8 string bass in addition to bass player Juan Helluva. After their debut EP back in 2015, “Ascend To The Throne” is the band’s first full-length release via Head Rattle Production. It has a total length of more than 26 minutes. As a side note, Twan Holliday is also credited for acting in several American movies and he was a professional wrestler.

After a grim, atmospheric intro, SAINTS OF DEATH come really to business with the title song: strong and heavy rhythm guitars, sharp and catchy riffing, vocals that sound somewhere in the middle between Thrash and Death Metal (Twan Hollidays vocals remind me a bit on Randy Blythe), a clean and simple song structure, mostly kept mid-tempo. It is really a good opener which is followed by “Watching Me Die” that has really good grooves and the catchy rhythm continues. The lead parts in both songs are kept short and simple. I feel that a bit more technicality would have made both songs more comprehensive. However, especially “Watching Me Die” is really good head-banging stuff. It all continues with “God Can’t Help You Now” in the same way. Here the lead guitars come finally to life at a faster sequence of the song. While the stomping rhythm is kept for the majority of the song, there is a bit more variation in speed.

Repentance” is a bit different, the sound is dark while the tempo is slow during the first half of the song. There is a break in the middle of the song when the rhythm speeds up. “Repentance” was also released as video and it reflects the dark nature of the song. The YouTube link is given below. “You Can’t Run” was also released as video and contains a compilation of footage from the SAINTS OF DEATH tour in 2018. The song is the fastest on the album, includes a good lead guitar section and is essentially pretty different compared to “Repentance”.

SAINTS OF DEATH finish things off with “Soldiers Of Metal” which is the longest song with almost 6 minutes. Beside the fact that the title is a bit cheesy, the song itself is below the standards set in “Ascend To The Throne”. SAINTS OF DEATH deliver a good Groove Metal album that contains a few Thrash and Death Metal elements. It is dominated by strong and heavy rhythm guitars. I paid attention to the 8-string and 5-string bass and I feel they do not really make a difference. While the first few songs on the album are really good songs, I had the impression, the quality of the songs dropped a bit during the second half of the album. I liked the energetic performance of Twan Holliday, he was for me the outstanding performer. The album is well produced, although the setup with two bass players could have been accounted for in the production. “Ascend To The Throne” will have their share of fans and SAINTS OF DEATH are surely a band to watch.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Call Of The Kings
2. Ascend To The Throne
3. Watching Me Die
4. God Can’t Help You Now
5. Repentance
6. You Can’t Run
7. Soldiers Of Metal
Lineup:
Twan Holliday – Vocals, Bass (8 string)
Ashley Blue – Guitars
Christopher James – Drums
Juan Helluva – Bass (5 string)
Record Label: Head Rattle Productions
     


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Edited 03 December 2020
 

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