Saints Of Never After are Fort Collins’ answer to the amalgamous sub-genre known as post-hardcore. Combining the somewhat contrary elements of metal and emo to create a truly unique sound, the band returns with full force on their latest EP, Return to Tower: Part 2.
Last spring, Saints Of Never After gave fans a taste of what was to come with the release of Return to Tower: Part 1, (please do dig this D&D inspired video) and what has arrived in 2020 is nothing short of a post-hardcore masterpiece.
The record kicks off with a perfect example of Saints Of Never After’s capabilities: the abrasive yet melodic “All I’ve Known.” The track showcases Nathan Lee’s impressive lead guitar work, paired with Brian Robertson’s wide vocal skill set, channeling the “emo clean” singing style of New Found Glory and Jimmy Eat World, to full-on death and black metal screams. Robertson can literally sing you sweetly to sleep or scare the hell out of you. All the while, Brenden Tharp and Jordan Persons fiercely hold down the rhythm section on drums and bass, respectively.
The title track to the record, “Return to Tower” employs the same post-hardcore style, with the surprising addition of proggy passages which feature piano and even bongos. But don’t think that the guys are getting soft — the track transitions from mellow to brutal with impressive guitar solos, a very long scream from Robertson, and an ending that sounds like a full-on sonic brawl.
The album wraps up with songs about love and loss. “Wherever You Go” may be a bit mushy when it comes to subject matter, but it is far from a flat ballad, showcasing the band’s musical virtuosity and underlying brutality. Finally, “Not Over You Yet” is a piece about exactly what you’d guess, exemplifying Saints Of Never After’s ability to balance emotive vulnerability and sheer heaviness.