If you’re looking for a good old-fashioned hard rock/metal band, look no further than the new American band Sault. Sault is the creation of founding member and bassist Sean Tibbetts of legendary symphonic metal band Kamelot. This new venture is a great throwback to the sounds of the 80s and 90s but with a bit of a modern flair. It takes heavy, crunchy guitars, in your face bass lines, and bombastic drums tied with strong rock vocals to that take the music to new heights.
Originally meant to be a solo band for Tibbetts in 2014, Sault eventually became a full-fledged band in its own right. The name Sault comes from a line in the movie Gangs of New York where Leonardo DiCaprio said, “Do they have the salt of the dead rabbits?”
Tibbets selected Casey Grillo (formerly of Kamelot), alternating tracks with Matt Thompson (King Diamond) for the drums. Finding the guitarist was the result of being in the right place at the right time. Tibbetts and Curtis Jay (who had been most recently working on a solo project himself called Inside the Machine) met while in a tattoo shop in Florida. To round out the band, Tibbetts asked tour-mate Kimberly Freeman of One-Eyed Doll if she knew of a good singer for the band. She immediately thought of her friend Benjamin Riggs from the metal band Arcanium and introduced the two. And thus, their debut album Seeds of Power was born.
Guilt starts right out of the gate with a fast groove using really hard-hitting bass lines that stand up and say hello. It definitely has a 90s alternative vibe going, it’s more of a metal song than hard rock. Riggs has a very strong voice here, and even throws in some harsh vocals here and there. Really catchy hooks and solos – and overall slams right up in your face, but it doesn’t feel too long either. However, I feel at times it seems that Riggs tries too hard and it seems that he’s yelling more than he’s singing.
The first single off the album Adonai, which is a Hebrew name for God, has that 90s alternative sound going for it. Song starts off with strong guitar riff, while Riggs’ vocals guide you through the catchy choruses. The song is about a hero running from and eventually doing battle with an ancient creature. I think this is the most melodic song on the album and my personal favorite.
Entropy starts out with singing guitars with a great bass line. Riggs’ is channeling his inner Layne Staley (Alice in Chains) on this one, definitely giving this a deep 90s alt rock vibe. Kimberly Freeman of One Eyed Doll provides guest backing vocals that blend in nicely. Riggs’ singing style is well suited for this song. Fragile features downtuned guitars that pull you in. Riggs’ singing in this song is full of angst and really conveys the fragility about life. It pulled at my emotional strings and even had me thinking about my own issues that I face.
Peaceful Moment is anything but peaceful! It captivates you with heavy guitars and blending melodies in the chorus; the kind of song where the verses stand out just as much as the choruses. This song contains a great blend of guitars, bass and drums.
Save Myself is another intensely immersing sonic experience that again pulls from the Alice in Chains alt-rock scene for both the music and vocals. Makes you pay attention and listen to the solid guitar lines and low tone melodic vocals. Last Man Standing, the second single, starts off strong, featuring layered vocals, a great guitar solo, and a strong drum beat throughout. I really loved the extended solo with the hard-hitting guitars. The song definitely takes control. Null Space showcases Jay’s guitar chops, featuring layered guitars, with a choppy riff and a very outstanding guitar solo. I liked how the harmonies in the chorus really make the song stand out.
After all these hard hitting songs, Broken Tongue brings a peaceful end to this hard-hitting album with a nice blend of acoustical guitars, yet still keeping that 90s vibe. It brings a nice calm ending that brings you down from an adrenaline rush. I really liked how the guitars sounded like they were singing.
Overall Sault is a unique fusion of old school hard rock and metal, yet has a nice 90s Alice in Chains and Soundgarden alternative rock vibe going for it. If you love a wall of sound with a strong guitar, drums and bass – this is your band. I felt that this is pretty good for a first effort, but I was hoping that Riggs’ vocals were more polished. Many of the songs had the same underlying theme and sound – I personally would have liked to have a bit more variety in the music as a number of songs sounded a bit too similar. However, I’d love to see them take this on the road and seeing them live because you can tell that is what this music is designed for.