Wednesday, November 25, 2009


A powerful storm is brewing to take place in 2010 and at the center of that storm is the latest album from Oregon Headbangers Saint. ‘Hell Blade’ hits the stage with all guns blazing and ready to take no prisoners. This is a tremendous heavy machine that is simply hitting on all cylinders with this disc.

Richard Lynch (bass) and cohorts Josh Kramer (vocals), Jerry Johnson (guitars) and Bill Brost (drums) have assembled a massive array of heavy metal thunder. Josh is in full throated glory here blasting it out with the best of them. The drum sound Bill was able to obtain just drives and plows this release in total submission. Richard was able to couple his blasting bass with Bill’s drums and they lock together nicely. However it must be pointed out the Jerry Johnson’s guitar playing is forthright and dominant.

There are many different elements to dissect on this record. On the production front, it’s solid, big and demands your attention. Energy just oozes out of the performances given. A darker feel is predominant that I think was intentional is very dominant. Lyrically the end times still plays a major role in the themes explored. Yet coupled with the overall feel and vibe it’s almost epic in its presentation. Struggling with temptation is the also explored.

Top players include ‘To the Cross,’ ‘New World Order,’ ‘You and Me,’ and ‘Hell Train.’ ‘Hell Train’ being a nice production piece that has lots of atmosphere and is just eerie with a very staccato like riff from Jerry. The thing I noticed the most is that the collaboration of Jerry and Richard brought the catchiest songs. The title song itself is very reminiscent in theme of the song ‘Times End.’ If you compare the two lyrically I think they make a nice pairing.

This is a heavy album, but there isn’t a speed killer here. Most of the tunes are mid-tempo with one or two up-tempo songs. A song like ‘Through the Night’ would’ve been killer as I think it would’ve fit the vibe, but alas there isn’t one. The one ‘commercial’ oddity as it were is the song ‘Crying in the Night.’ This song is about as commercial as say a ‘Heading Out to the Highway’ still a bit heavier and a good song non-the-less.

Saint fans should be scooping this one up by the bushel and hopefully some newer fans as well. This is crunching heavy metal that is a must buy and listen. Boy could I see a Saint/Ultimatum/Jacob’s Dream tour. Am I the only one who thinks that would be a scream? Headbanging glory my friends.

There has been so much anticipation for this disc that I do not want to overhype it. You know what happens, it’s eventually not as good as you’d like. So let me say this, Hell Blade is a great heavy metal album. A classic? Only time will tell that, but until then Keep Rockin’ till the Final Day!!!

8 axes

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