Instrumental music is tough to pull off. Many bands have tried and failed to create emotionally impacting music devoid of that human touch that comes from having a strong vocalist. I’ve learned to appreciate bands that are able to draw me into their music completely without the use of vocals. Scale the Summit, Hitwood, and Celaphais make up the majority of my instrumental listening. But Saint is a young, ambitious one-man band with a three-song EP that managed to keep me both interested and engaged, despite the absence of vocals.
Saint’s self-titled EP is a well-composed, well paced affair that clocks in at roughly 12 minutes. In an age where EPs can be up to 40 minutes long, it’s nice to have such an easily enjoyed, concise slab of music. The EP opens with “Before the Others.” It’s a slick, riff-heavy and unapologetically modern little number with some seriously great riffs.
“Amen” shakes things up by starting off with some clean piano playing before the guitars kick in. It’s got a chunky, aggressive buildup that leads very well into the first “verse.” It’s a catchy, well-paced song with a strong ear for melody. The core influences are plentiful, but the song leans more towards thrash metal than metalcore. However, I can’t help but feel that the song was written to be sung over, and it feels like there’s hole that vocals were meant to fill.
The EP ends with “The Devil’s Halo,” a five-minute track that opens with ambient sampled sound effects and ominous clean guitar. The song spends about a minute building its sinister atmosphere before blast beats make their first appearance on the EP. It’s the song that’s closest to death metal, and it’s certainly the most brutal of the bunch. At the same time, it’s still as slick and fun as the rest of the EP’s material.
This EP is a promising start for Saint. Whether or not they continue on as an instrumental act remains to be seen, but either way, the foundation for some great music is already there. With time, I feel like there’s some serious potential that Saint is going to grow into. For now, the self-titled EP is a fun, amalgamation of several different styles performed gracefully and expertly.
You can find Saint on the band’s YouTube channel.