By Andrew Bansal
Santa Ana, California prog/alt metal quartet Saint Blasphemer is a brand new entity, having formed in early 2016, but have played shows on a regular basis and self-released their five-song debut EP ‘Simon Templar’ on October 15th 2016. In a plethora of metal bands vying for attention in Southern California, Saint Blasphemer attempt to do so with a fresh spin on music that has inspired and influenced them.
The EP carries dark lyrical themes, and the vibe created by the music goes along perfectly with it. The quality of the production is always a crucial factor when it comes to new/local bands, and is decisive in the first impression the band makes on the listener. Saint Blasphemer excel in this aspect and the EP is very listenable with a balanced mix, but at the same time is not overly polished and does not lose its edge. The music itself is very reminiscent of the likes of Tool, and the crooning vocal style has that instantly recognizable ’90s prog/alt metal feel. The bass plays a prominent role in the sound and boasts of some crafty licks, while the guitar stays on the heavy and dirty side with solid riffs and short but concise solos. The EP is mostly low-tempo, and the drumming keeps the rhythm and groove intact throughout. ‘A Perfect Rose’ is the standout track, and the finish is strong with ‘Breaking Just To Bend’, the fastest and shortest track on offer.
One could say that Saint Blasphemer’s musical style isn’t original by any means, but in 2016, not much in music is really original, and it’s more a matter of whether it’s well done and not whether it reinvents the wheel. Grungy alt metal had its heyday in the ’90s and for the most part, died at the turn of the century, but clearly still has fans, and influenced some musicians even in the 21st century to play the style and attempt to recreate that atmosphere. Saint Blasphemer’s ‘Simon Templar’ is a throwback to the era and instills a nostalgic feeling inside those that can claim to be ’90s kids, and a well-orchestrated one at that.
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Release Date: October 15th 2016
2. Simon Templar
4. A Perfect Rose
5. Breaking Just to Bend