Saint - Crime Scene Earth
Armor Records
9 songs (42'00)
Release year: 2008
Reviewed by Marty
Saint has a long history as a somewhat "underground" Christian heavy metal band that dates back to the mid to late 80's with albums like Time's End (1986) and Too Late For Living (1988). Dormant for most of the 90's, more commercial releases from the band appeared later that same decade. Saint returned in 2004 with The Battle, followed by The Mark in 2006 which saw the band digging back into their "roots" with the more traditional Priest/Sabbath/Accept style of their albums from the 80's. This new album, Crime Scene Earth lyrically takes a look at all the injustices and inhuman behaviour that has plagued our history as a race of beings; all with a very apocalyptic feel. Crime Scene Earth also features the classic original line-up of the band along with long time guitarist Dee Harrington. Lead vocalist Josh Kramer is involved in the project yet surprisingly only sings on a few tracks with bassist Richard Lynch handling the rest of the vocal duties.

I have heard some of the band's older 80's material and from what I remember, it was much better than what we get here with this latest album. The riffs, lead guitar work and overall sound of the band is very solid yet the vocals are a real low point for this album. Songs which feature original vocalist Josh Kramer fare a little better and includes a pretty decent cover of Judas Priest's Invader from the Stained Class album. The Stained Class/Hell Bent For Leather era of Judas Priest also serves as the inspiration for the guitar sound and production style of the album. Songs range from solid mid tempo heavy metal with thick riffs to more plodding and heavy Sabbath style tracks. Tracks like Half A Times Measure, the title track Crime Scene Earth and The Judas In Me all feature meaty and muscular riffs in the true Priest/Accept style with the choruses offering the only sense of vocal melodies to be found on this album. Aside from a few of the more catchier chorus sections, the vocals not only sound bad production-wise, they are not executed with much style, strength or quality whatsoever. Most of the vocal lines are nothing more than a "filtered" mix of raspy, shouting streams of words; offering almost nothing to compliment the songs. Too Many shows some similarities to Metallica's For Whom The Bell Tolls with Bended Knee taking on more Metal Gods like qualities. The album finishes with an ode to the 80's with Lost, a track that relives the glory days and mentions bands like Priest, Van Halen and MSG.

The music on this album makes it somewhat listenable with some solid heavy metal riffs and great lead guitar work but the attempt at "modernizing" their sound with vocal effects and an entirely different vocal sound sinks this album like a stone. Some may like the vocals and although they offer more of a tougher sound, you can't deny the fact that aside for a few catchy choruses, they are otherwise forgettable and irritating. I've read a couple of very positive reviews for this album and either I just can't understand what the appeal of this band is or, I know absolutely nothing about traditional metal in my over 35 years of being a heavy metal fan. I vote for the former.

Killing Songs :
Half A Times Measure
Marty quoted 60 / 100
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