When I wrote and posted my big ol’ article discussing how to intelligently incorporate sax into metal last week, we received an outpouring of positive feedback and a barrage of bands readers felt certainly met the qualifications I set forth. I have to say it was really awesome to see so many people on a similar wavelength as me sharing so many terrific artists and bands, many of which I hadn’t even heard of! As I alluded to in the article and in responses to commenters on it, there are so many great examples that it probably warrants its own compendium post at some point. I’d still like to do that, though that is certainly going to be a bigger project involving a bunch of us from the staff putting it together. I promise it’s in the hopper though!
In the meantime, I really wanted to share this one project because not only did commenters and one of our writers (Dave Tremblay of Can This Even Be Called Music?) tell me I had to check it out, but the man behind it very graciously reached out to me personally to share it. Resurrecting Id is the brainchild of Chris Herald, a talented sax player/composer and fellow metal nerd. The premise of Resurrecting Id appears to be answering the question of, “Hey, what would happen if there was progressive, djenty metal with sax playing the usual guitar lead and guitar playing support?” He answered that question in the form a self-titled 5-song EP last year, and I gotta say, it’s definitely worth the time of anyone who read my article last week, as well as any fans of interesting, technically-demanding jazzy prog metal.
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Upon hearing the first few notes of “Awake,” there’s no mistaking it. This is a S-A-X album. It’s alto, but relying heavily on the upper limits of the instrument, giving it an almost soprano-like sound, which is something you don’t hear much of in this kind of music. In a lot of ways, the music has the feeling of a heavier version of the very early output from Jaga Jazzist (back when none other than Jørgen Munkeby was a more integral part of the band’s makeup). Herald proves to be an incredibly adept and strong player in this lead role, able to blaze through labyrinthine riffs (often in unison with guitar) and just as smoothly dial it back into more dulcet tones and expressive solo work.
The jazz influence is certainly strong throughout, but this also excels as metal, which is crucial in a situation set up so heavily to feel like a novelty in itself (sax djent). Though the guitar (played by Jeremey Poparad, who also performed the bass parts) is often playing a support role further down in the mix, it nevertheless has a few moments to shine itself with some impressive solos on “Shifting” and “Resurrecting Id.” The latter, in particular, is a real tour de force of the potential in this formula, as the two play some head-spinning unison passages, trade off riffs, and burn through a couple of solid solos (featuring some heavy skronking from Herald). All in all, Resurrecting Id is a really promising debut for a project that has a lot of potential. It certainly passes muster on the sax in metal test, and, more importantly, it has a musical foundation that should serve it well in the future. Hopefully we’ll see more of these guys down the road!