Saosin – Along The Shadow
Released: May 20th 2016
Anthony Green – Vocals
Beau Burchell – Guitar
Chris Sorenson – Bass
Alex Rodriguez – Drums
Where does one even begin with this new venture for Californian post-hardcore outfit Saosin? Following a very public ousting of former front-man Cove Reber a few years back, the rest of the band were sort of in limbo but when 2015 rolled around fans were delighted to hear they had teamed up again with their original front-man from 2003’s Translating The Name album Anthony Green and when they got on stage for the first time in 12 years it seemed as if no time had passed.
Now we finally get to hear their first piece of work together since that album and as far as expectations were to be met, it’s safe to say I loved what I heard. The album kicks off straight away with “The Silver String” a song which was gifted to the world back in March as the first sample of music from the album, it’s corresponding video clip also released at the same time too. The band wastes no time in reminding us why we love listening to them with a combination of melodic singing and crisp screaming from a man who sounds like he’s channelling his inner rebellious 15 year old. I sit here, for the first time focusing on the song and can’t believe the voice Anthony has on him. When the band/song slows down midway through it’s Alex Rodriguez‘s drumming which catches my attention as he seamlessly continues playing fast but it somehow fits in with what the rest of the band are doing. Moving onto “Ideology Is Theft“, we’re greeted by another ballsy in your face guitar and drumming combo before the hauntingly arousing vocals make their way into my ears, but that doesn’t last long before the aggressive screaming forces me to the back of my seat. This song feels like the first time I discovered the band earlier on in my life, almost as if they wrote this song for an earlier album and it just didn’t end up getting released. Up next we’re greeted by the second song which was released from the album “Racing Toward a Red Light” and just like the title suggests, Saosin sound like they’re certainly racing toward something with this fast paced emotion filled banger. Putting aside the rest of the band, guitarist Beau Burchell really shines with his technique throughout the song (which has hints of sounding like something Protest the Hero could have co-written). Evidence of this can be seen in the band’s official video below.
Slowing things down for “Second Guesses” which at times feels like a sped up ballad type combining that “fun road trip” style with Anthony’s signature “youthful” screams filling places of the song you wouldn’t imagine, yet it just works well. The song leaves you feeling all kinds of good and relaxed as they lead into “Count Back from TEN“, another mix of slow and fast (but fierce) attack on the senses, a theme which continues into “The Stutter Says A Lot“, at first listen, all three of the previous songs could be played one after another and the change would only be noticed by hardcore fans who knew exactly what was going on. A continuous melody of songs so early into the album that grab hold and entice you to keep listening. “Sore Distress” while slightly different in pace to the previous three songs, features more of a dragged out lyrical experience for the listener. I’m probably going to be accused of pulling a few cones before writing this next part, but in some places it almost sounded like a softcore “industrial rock” song. Maybe my hearing is off, but thats what’s coming through my speakers. “The Secret Meaning of Freedom” brings back the heavy, intensively fast paced music I heard earlier on the album and at good time too, I was beginning to think we wouldn’t get any more of that awesome stuff before the album’s end. If you’re looking for a new song to add to your running playlist, this is the one you’ll play during that last sprint towards the finish line. But if you’re like me and couldn’t be fucked going for a run, playing this song while driving to the shops (and no, not for munchies) will certainly get your blood pumping. Just try not to speed along the way.
“Old Friends” is next and just when you were getting excited and ready to jump through the walls of your house, we’re slowing it down once again with yet another technical showcase of Alex’s exceptional drumming skills, but moving forward, it seems like this album is a showcase of not only how this band can work together again to make great music, but a showcase of what they’re capable of now as musicians and how far they’ve come over the years since first forming the band back in 2003. “Illusion & Control” is evident of this, bringing you in to hear how they all just bounce off each other so well before the final 57 seconds of the song leaves you feeling like you’ve just been in a car accident. Wrapping up the new album is “Control and The Urge to Pray“, which starts off like something the earlier editions of Guitar Hero would have put on their playlist to introduce gamers to the band for the first time. I haven’t mentioned Chris Sorenson’s bass yet (mainly because the other members took the reigns in previous songs) but FINALLY we get to hear him smashing it. The heavy riffage, compliments Beau’s guitaring as Anthony belts out his signature singing/screams once last time and Alex just smashes away like it’s his final show ever.
I don’t know about you but I feel the now four piece Saosin are back to where they once were, heavier than their most recent releases and more in sync with each other musically then ever before. An early press release stated the new album is both “pretty and brutal” and to be quite honest, I couldn’t put it any other way than the spot on explanation. All that’s left to say now is welcome back Saosin, we’ve missed you.
Saosin – Along The Shadow tracklist
1. The Silver String
2. Ideology is Theft
3. Racing Toward a Red Light
4. Second Guesses
5. Count Back from TEN
6. The Stutter Says A lot
7. Sore Distress
8. The Secret Meaning of Freedom
9. Old Friends
10. Illusion & Control
11. Control and The Urge to Pray
Grab your copy right here
Until next time, rock the fuck out