"What the Fuck!", some might say - a Saga review on a metal site ... Well Saga has been a favorite of mine since the early 80's, and I have a soft spot for this Canadian band. And besides my preference to them, I know they have many fans in the metal cummunity and is also signed to a metal label.
This is the first album with Christian Simpson replacing Steve Negus on the drums, and I must say that this has had a bigger impact on their sound than expected. The drum sound on this album is more fresh and crisp and has moved forward in their sound, which together with Jim Crichton's bass builds a great foundation for all of the songs. But Saga's music is still all about Jim Gilmour's huge keyboard sounds setting the tone, with Ian Crichton's rhythm guitars creating their rather unique sound, and with familiar fashion Ian also throws in great soli left and right. And above all of this is off course Michael Sadler's excellent voice, and I think he once more shows just how great a vocalist he is.
The Saga dish is this time 10 songs, and has maybe a ballad too much - 3 out of 10 is a bit too much for me, that said; "Believe" is an excellent ballad with it's gentle piano, Michael's vocals and an excellent guitarsolo from fade out the song.
This album is at the same level as "House Of Cards", which means I think it's better than "Marathon", but it only reaches the level of their brilliant first 4 albums at the very end with "Don't Make A Sound" - a song that easily could have been on any of those albums. I am pretty sure Saga fans' out there will find great pleasure with this album, not so sure this will bring them many news fans though!
Ohh yeah - if they should stop by anywhere near you, go check them out, because they rule live, and is to this day, perhabs the tightest band I have ever seen live .... !!!
Recommended tracks: "Live At Five", "Believe" and "Don't Make A Sound"