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Yesterday's Saints - "Generation of Vipers" (CD)

Yesterday's Saints - "Generation of Vipers" CD cover image

"Generation of Vipers" track listing:

1. Fall of the Ancients
2. Origen Adamantius
3. The Recruitment
4. A Priori
5. Sangreale
6. Cain's Agony
7. Sands of Nod
8. Generation of Vipers
9. The Divine Tragedy
10. Recursion
11. Luctus en Mane

Reviewed by on January 23, 2015

"'Generation of Vipers' is a clashing paradox of ideas, merging the intellect with the extreme."

“Generation of Vipers” is a grandiose first full-length by Virginian band Yesterday’s Saints. The group used material such as the Bible and Milton’s Paradise Lost to write a concept album about Satan and his presence throughout human history. The album was assembled like an opera, written in three acts with classical music pieces during the interlude and outro, while the band plays certain styles of metal during each act. The first act is primarily melodic death. The second act is doom, rock, power and thrash, and the last act consists of thrash and melodic death.

Matt Rice sets the tone of each non-instrumental song with his superb voice. He produces a wide range of voices from emotionally saturated power metal vocals somewhere between Matthew Barlow and Warrel Dane to demonic death growls to blackened screeches. His layering of vocals is very impressive. He or his band mates (not sure if this is entirely one person) trade off all three styles on “Recursion.”

The power metal vocals are at peak performance during “Sands of Nod.” This track reveals Cain being banished from the Garden of Eden to the desert of Nod and shows the band writing its most infectious chorus lines. The chanting on “"Origen Adamantius” is also very memorable, sounding spooky and not far removed from the soundtrack of “The Omen.”

“Generation of Vipers” is a clashing paradox of ideas, merging the intellect with the extreme. Even though the band says it plays melodic death metal only in the first and third act, this style comes up throughout most of the album. This style is a paradox in itself that works so well on the album. The first track “Fall of the Ancients” contains a down tuned riff that is reminiscent of Amon Amarth. Speed and brutality mark the early part of the song, sounding heroic at the first change. The song takes an epic turn when Rice changes to a clean, power metal vocal style.

The placement of classical pieces among harsh metal sounds is something At the Gates perfected on the classic “Slaughter of the Soul.” Yesterday’s Saints follows suit on “Generation of Vipers.” The sweet piano and string sounds on “A Priori” imbues the album with a sense of the philosophical, while the death knell church bells and fast violin leaves the album in darkness.

There are so many dimensions to “Generation of Vipers” and that's what makes it such a great album. From the melodies to the speed, from death metal to classical - Yesterday’s Saints play every section to perfection. The band was able to breath life into an overused character. Brilliant!

Highs: The power metal vocals are amazing.

Lows: Doom is suppose to be part of the styles during the second act, but I don't hear any doom sections.

Bottom line: Strong in every aspect, brilliant recording!

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)