Independent music acts deserve far more credit than they get from the mainstream. This critic can attest to this statement as time and again, so many unsigned and indie acts that this critic has listened to have proven with their records, to be able to hold their own against their more well-known counterparts in the mainstream. Independent hard rock band Saul is just one more act that proves that argument true. Its new EP Aeons holds its own against records from the likes of Disturbed, Korn and Breaking Benjamin. This is proven in part through the EP’s lead single ‘Brother.’ The EP’s opener, ‘The Toll’ supports the noted statement just as much as its lead single. It will be addressed a little later. ‘I Am HIM,’ the EP’s penultimate song, is one more example of what makes Aeons a work that will appeal to the noted audiences. When they are considered alongside the EP’s other two songs – ‘Bolide’ and ‘Aeons’ – the whole of the record proves to be a good effort from the Iowa-based band.
Aeons, the new five-song EP from Sioux City, IA-based band Saul is a good effort from the independent hard rock quartet. It is a work that is certain to take listeners back to the late 90s and early 2000s with its musical arrangements and lyrical themes. That is proven in part through the EP’s lead single ‘Brother.’ The band’s members waste no time launching into the nearly four-and-a-half-minute song’s musical arrangement, taking off right from the song’s outset. The crunching guitars, bass and drums couple with front man Blake Bedsaul’s vocal delivery to instantly conjure thoughts of Hellyeah, Disturbed and Breaking Benjamin. It doesn’t let up until late in the song’s run, either. That moment when the song’s energy pulls back is well-placed, too. That is because it helps to heighten the emotion in the song’s lyrical theme right at that moment.
Speaking of the song’s lyrical content, Bedsaul explained in an interview about the song’s topic. “Lyrically, this song defines what I should have said to my brother in his last moments,” Bedsaul said in the interview. “This song cuts deep for me, and it’s a constant reminder that life is fleeting. Tell the people in your life that you love them.” This message is delivered clearly as Bedsaul sings in the lead verse, “I write this letter/It’s a letter I’ll never send/Words I’d never say/Would you read it anyway/Tell me brother, what’s my fate/Did you see the sunrise/Did you see the rain/We’ve come so far/Penniless in pain/This is my fate/The world awaits/Hold my hands and tell me that it’s alright/Are you proud of everything I’ve done in my life.” From here, Bedsaul goes on to sing in the song’s chorus asking pleadingly to his brother “Are you still proud of me after everything that I’ve done?” Bedsaul continues in similar fashion in the song’s second verse. Ultimately what this comes across as (at least to this critic) is a person who is dealing with a lot of personal guilty and heavy feelings in general. Those thoughts and feelings are translated very well. When it is considered alongside the companion that is the song’s musical arrangement, the song in whole becomes a work that easily holds its own against its more well-known noted counterparts, and proves easily that it could just as easily be played on any mainstream/active rock station along with songs from those bands. It is just one of the songs featured in this EP that makes the record appealing for its noted audiences. ‘The Toll,’ which opens the record, is another example of what makes Aeons a noteworthy record.
‘The Toll,’ is a strong first statement from Saul on this record. The down-tuned crunching guitars couple with Bedsaul’s vocal delivery this time to just as easily conjure thoughts of Breaking Benjamin. The same can be said of the subtle introduction of the keyboards in the song’s chorus. The song’s ability to grab its targeted audience with its musical arrangement ensures that those listeners will pay just as much attention to the song’s lyrical content.
Bedsaul sings in this song, seemingly about facing the trials and tribulations and not letting those obstacles get in the way. He sings, “I know I’m not giving in” and of “the toll it takes/the price we pay.” Bedsaul never fully makes clear what is taking a toll, only hinting that maybe he is referencing facing life in general, as he sings in the lead verse, “Consider this/Like nothing left.” Not having a lyrics sheet to reference, it is difficult to fully decipher Bedsaul’s words. That aside, enough is understood that it is clear this is a song that lyrically sends a message about pushing through life’s adversity, which is always a welcome message. The fire in the song’s musical arrangement couples with the strength of Bedsaul’s words to make the song in whole another standout addition to Aeons. It is just one more of the songs that proves the record’s appeal. ‘I Am HIM’ is one more way in which Aeons proves its appeal.
‘I Am Him’ once again conjures thoughts of Breaking Benjamin with its musical arrangement. At the same time, though one could also argue that there are hints of In Flames and other similar acts. It is by far one of the EP’s heaviest tracks, if not its heaviest arrangement. In reference to its lyrical content, it is difficult, again, to decipher Bedsauls screams and growls when coupled with his band mates’ work sans lyrics sheet. However, it can be inferred from what is decipherable, that perhaps this song is addressing matters of the past. He notes late in the song, “say what you say/You cannot walk away/You know not what you’ve done.” He is rather cryptic here and throughout the song, especially considering the addition of some religious imagery. Simply put, this song is certain to generate plenty of discussion among listeners. That is not a bad thing. In fact, the fact that it will generate so much discussion makes it stand out that much more. Considering that, it is clear why this song is so important. It will get people thinking and talking. The song’s heavy musical arrangement is just an added bonus. When the two elements are joined with the music and lyrics in the previously discussed songs (and those not directly noted here), the end result is a record that makes Saul’s new EP just as viable for any mainstream/active rock radio station as the band’s more well-known counterparts and contemporaries.
Independent hard rock band Saul’s new EP Aeons is a good effort from the Midwestern outfit. It holds its own well against records from the likes of Disturbed, Korn and Breaking Benjamin. All three of the songs discussed here serve to prove that statement. The EP’s other two songs that were not directly discussed do just as much to support that statement as the noted works. Each song is critical in its own way to the EP’s whole. All things considered, the EP proves to be a record on which any mainstream/active rock radio programmer should take a chance. It is available now. More information on Aeons is available now along with all of Saul’s current live dates and more at:
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