Ambitious doesn’t even begin to describe Generation of Vipers, the first full-length AND concept album from YESTERDAY’S SAINTS, based out of Washington, D.C. First of all, listening to it is a workout in and of itself, with so many twists and turns, highs and lows, you may not know which end is up at the finish. Eleven tracks, divided into Acts I, II, and III tell the story of Satan, one of the most notorious characters in history, throughout time, from his desire to usurp God’s throne to his modern infiltration of mankind to the indication that all of Earth’s inhabitants are now his descendants. Satan…or as I like to call him, Dad. The story is mostly done in point-of-view of the characters, which I loved. Even when reading novels I prefer them written that way. Combining death growls, power metal vocals with a thrash and melodic death soundscape these guys are really onto something here.
It would be a disservice to the band as well as the story to try and do a track-by-track analysis. Besides, I really think you all should hear this one for yourselves from beginning to end. It’s quite a compelling story from start to finish. Vocalist Matt Rice has a commanding presence, whether he is assuming the role of God, Cain, or Satan himself. As soon as opener “Fall of the Ancients” begins you can just tell you’re in for something special with this one. Chronicling Satan’s loss to St. Michael and subsequent banishment to guard the Gates of Hell, the music is pounding from start to finish thanks to Witt Black (guitar), John Batease (bass, vocals) and Albert Born (drums). Second song “Origen Adamantius” is interesting because it shows Satan alone with his thoughts, not done yet, and still planning to usurp the throne of God. The brutality picks up right where the previous track left off and shows absolutely no mercy.
Other highlights include “Sands of Nod” which is mid-tempo, then blast beats, then mid-tempo, then blast beats and crushing riffs, Rice wailing away then shifting to a low growl. I can safely say this one was The Maestro’s preferred song of choice on this disc. “The Divine Tragedy” is another one that meshes the melodic with the evil and heavy, and it sounds even better with headphones on and the lights off. And I recommend taking a good hard look at all seven minutes of “Sangreale”. Wow, what a ride to open Act II. There are soft interludes, some beautiful piano melodies, and a constant contrast of the dark versus the light throughout this recording, and quite frankly, it is unlike anything I have ever heard in my life.
YESTERDAY’S SAINTS have crafted one of the most riveting albums of this very young 2015. They find way to tell a story without sacrificing good songs and it is my fervent belief that Generation of Vipers will be on many year-end critics’ and fans’ lists alike. The question now is will they perform the album in its entirety in a live setting? And if so, how soon can they play my town?? The album is out now via Draconum Records, so what are you waiting for? GO!!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Sands of Nod”, “The Divine Tragedy”, “Sangreale”, “Fall of the Ancients”, “Origen Adamantius”