[ALBUM REVIEW] We Are Riot – No Saints

NO SAINTS TRACKLISTING

Burning Alive
Daughters Of The Devil
No Saints
No More Lies
Wide Awake
World On Fire
You Get Me High
Young & Restless

 

 

Reviewed by Casper of Rohan

We Are Riot are a rock band hailing form Bremen in north western Germany and were first brought to my attention from a friend and colleague out that way.   Within seconds of hearing their most their most popular release I was hooked, Johanna the bassist was in touch and thus began what I’m certain will be a long exciting relationship  littered with my loud exclamations of ‘I knew them when’ as  they increase their global popularity and produce more melodic magic.

So here’s a massive THANK YOU MZ HYDE for casting my way such aural delights, although I must admit that my wait for post to arrive with the physical copy was long but tantalising with every seductive  listening to No Saints via YouTube.   But when over, it turns out the wait was worth ever second.

The blackened cover adorned only by a shattered halo aloft a battle weary skull, resembling more a Germanic helmet of centuries past than the anatomical remanence of human existence.  But the latter is represented beautifully as the words NO SAINTS below the imagery bring clarity to its meaning.  Just superb graphics by Ulrike Niebuhr and as one delves further into the package and make ready the disc, you have a reasonable expectation of some hard hitting Teutonic rock.

Burning Alive opens with a tantalising and hooky blues infused riff and as the track progresses the excited expectations are vindicated with the arrival of angelic tones delivered vocally by Jennifer Bothe. But heed warning offered aurally throughout this tremendous track that any reference to her angelic vocal range exists anywhere between those more virtuous winged entries aloft and the malevolent shrieking of a daughter of darkness thrown forth from the fiery depths.  Jennifer possesses a vocal capacity that is obviously capable of the truly astounding, but in brilliant hard rock form she hones her talent to match the tracks to perfection and offers occasionally a glimpse of her true ability.  The astounding talent of Lzzy Hale is an obvious reference point here, but for me that comparison is solely from a raw excitement perspective.  If forced to do so, I would prefer to liken the tremendous sound Jennifer achieves to a perfect blend of Orianthi Panagaris, Doro and Pat Benatar at the height of her popularity.  But comparisons are matters of opinion and sure to disappoint without the caveat that Jennifer is Jenifer, no one else and her astonishing talent is undeniable.

Equally impressive are the skills of the band and the sound they achieve together.  As you reach a melodic shift within the first 50 seconds of track one, a realisation comes to the fore of the bands capacity for diversity and superb style amalgamation.

The command of the kit provided by Paule Winter is impressive, not only from an essential drum skill perspective, but it is also quite evident that he has contributed significantly to the tempo shits and style bridging in each track.  But in equal measure of skilful delivery at the skeletal structure of each song is the brilliant work of Johanna Winter on Bass.  She stamps her authority on each track with beautifully blended leaps to the fore, works in rhythmic perfection with Paule and brings the bass to life in true hard rock style.

Daughters of the Devil is the perfect track to illustrate the magnificent guitar work of Kim von Salzen and Yannik Waßmann who together provide the perfect blend of rhythm and lead.  Brilliant rock guitar contribution from both and, although this collection is beautifully produced by Arne Kiesewetter and mastered by Florentin Adolf, the skill of these axemen is lifted to another dimension by their obvious contributions in the penning of the tracks. Their manage to ensure their instruments are intertwined in each offering as a perfectly choreographed ballet of raw shredding though to the light finger pluck in sections of No More Lies.

But back to the music and No Saints holds its own as the title work with its dark and twisted malevolent soul represented magnificently throughout with a slightly off tempo ‘skip’ in the instrumental chorus structure.   I may be on my own here but that slight step out of time is brilliantly representative of something inherently wrong and a darkness looming over the listener, much like a modern world of evil and sin in every shadow, No Saints and “no church to find shelter in”.  Beautifully and brilliantly executed form concept to delivery.  Brilliant.

No More Lies is a wonderfully restrained and superb rock song considering the subject, opportunity for venom spitting back at the foe and the simple fact that, well to quote William Congreve, “Heav’n has no rage like love to hatred turn’d / Nor Hell a fury, like a woman scorn’d.”  A thoroughly satisfying track with a unique appeal but then comes the sensational Wide Awake, which is equally as impressive in lyrics, vocals and instrumental construction.  The track is fashioned in such a manner that you feel the angst and urgency of time running out as the world around us turns to hell. A fantastic representation of contemporary concern around current affairs and a consciences crippled in guilty reflection.

World On Fire continues the sentiment from the former but calls you to awaken and take action in musical outrage.  The guitar solo section is unbelievably emotive and the whole track will see you forging forth to achieve before time runs out.  You Get Me High is superbly fashioned and provides satisfaction that you are now acclimatised to this sensational bands unique style.  Every instrument soars in turn throughout this track, equally as high and mighty as the voice of Jennifer.

Young and Reckless is listed as a bonus track and is a truly beautiful ballad but not lacking at all in rock appeal.  This leaning toward the popular genre with a light sprinkling of a country rock style is an extremely shrewd inclusion.  Clever because this song would work very well as a mid-album palate cleanser on a fifteen track collection and it has you wanting more from this exciting band.  Those begging for a full length album from We Are Riot will not be alone in their pleas.

During this song we are reminded that this band have mastered their own unique brand of music in a world of genres and stylistic pigeonholing, but they will not be contained by anyone or anything.  They are diverse, they are tremendous, they are skillful and exciting.  They are an emerging, mighty force in the world of global rock and they carry an organic appeal.  Watch out world, here they come and long live We Are Riot.