SEEDS OF POWER
Saulty Records / Independent
Released: March 2, 2018
Sault is the brainchild of Kamelot bassist Sean Tibbetts, who originally wanted to create a bass-driven instrumental album. But his desire to take his new music on the road led him to put together a band. And with the help of his friends and fellow musicians, he found his bandmates – singer Benjamin Riggs (Arcanium), guitarist Curtis Jay, and drummer Casey Grillo (ex-Kamelot). But due to other engagements, Casey couldn’t finish his drum recording so Sean asked Matt Thompson of King Diamond for his help in this matter. The end result is a band with a very unique sound, which is something in between hard rock and metal with a dash of grunge.
And the music on “Seeds of Power” is, for the most part, much heavier for it to be considered a simple rock album, and quite as complex as a metal album generally is. The band uses the core elements of rock music – guitar, bass, drums, and badass vocals – to create rhythm-driven songs, where all the instruments work to complement and complete each other, while also giving enough space for the vocal melodies to be develop and be as catchy as possible.
4. Entropy (ft. Kimberly Freeman)
6. Peaceful Moment
7. Save Myself
8. Last Man Standing
9. Null Space
10. Broken Tongue
It’s a stripped-down album, which should remind listeners that music doesn’t necessarily have to rely on backing orchestrations, choirs, or keyboard soundscapes to be enjoyable.
The album starts with “Balance”, an almost an acoustic piece with only guitars, drums, and spoken lyrics, which gives way to “Guilt”, one of the heaviest tracks on the album, a complex piece, with a good rhythm to it, semi-harsh vocals, and a groovy guitar solo. Stand-out tracks “Adonai”, a personal favorite, and “Entropy” are a bit more rockish and straightforward than “Guilt”, both having melodic vocals, interesting guitar riffs and hooks, and very catchy melodies. At this point we are about 10-12 minutes into this rather short album (total playing time is 36 minutes) and I am already impressed with Benjamin Riggs’ vocal skills, as his voice fits so well with the melodies. I enjoy the fact that he adds a bit of rasp here and there to give the songs some extra punch.
“Fragile” is another stand-out track, with a darker melody to it because the bass is more upfront, which I can’t help but love, while the vocal delivery gives it an underlying dramatism that goes hand in hand with the lyrics. “Peaceful Moment” (which ironically is not all that peaceful) and “Save Myself” are more up-beat and more rockish tracks, with catchy vocal melodies and a great guitar lines and solos halfway through. “Last Man Standing” is a very in-your-face and direct track, with a powerful vocal delivery and a very headbang-ish rhythm to it and another noteworthy guitar solo by guitarist Curtis Jay. “Null Space” feels like a lost Stone Sour song from any of their earlier albums, because the vocals and the delivery (especially in the chorus) remind me so much of Corey Taylor’s voice and style, while the alert guitar lines and drums make it another headbanger-friendly track. “Broken Tongue: is a beautiful bass-driven outro which makes me want to hear more bass solos / intros / outros / lines from Sean in the future.
I really enjoy the pace, diversity, and the neat way “Seeds of Power” flows from one song to the next. It’s also very cohesive and melodic, and could appeal to both rock and metal fans, as it is packed with memorable moments, intense instrumentals parts (especially guitar-wise), a great vocal delivery (I am repeating myself, I know, but I can’t avoid putting the vocals in the spotlight), and all around excellent grooves. As I said in the beginning, the album is rhythm-driven and it will definitely get the listeners moving one way or another (be it headbanging, trying out their air guitar solos, or tapping their hands on the table). All things considered, I rate “Seeds of Power” with a solid 8 / 10.
Follow the band on-line:
Benjamin Riggs – vocals
Curtis Jay – guitars
Sean Tibbetts – bass
Casey Grillo – drums
Matt Thompson – drums (on tracks 1, 4, 8, 9)