Tuesday, October 25, 2011


After a much prolonged wait all three of Saint’s first releases have been gloriously remastered and reissued with original artwork. As part of Retroactive Records ‘The Original’ series Warriors of the Son and Too Late for Living join the already issued Time's End to complete this metal tri-fecta.

Warriors of the Son was originally issued in 1984 on Morada Records, prior to Stryper’s Yellow and Black Attack. Actually Saint issued this 6 song EP independently on Rotton Records. The cover art was different and had some different mixes, particularly the vocals on Vicars of Fate. Retroactive has reissued the Morada version. (This EP was re-recorded in 2003 with 2 extra tracks. A solid find if you can snatch a copy)

The recording hasn’t aged quite as well as one would hope, but according to Saint mastermind Richard Lynch they spent about $1000 on the original and that was 25+ years ago. Even though I fondly remember this EP as a metal masterpiece only Vicars of Fate and Legions of the Dead have transcended the years gracefully. The songs at times are a little too simplistic but laid the groundwork for what would come later. I dig this disc but if you’re a new comer to the Saint catalog I might suggest some of their other releases first. The elements of Judas Priest had yet to spring forth in this field.

J Powell at Steinhaus oversaw the remastering and was able to bring the bass drum back into the fray. The guitars still have a little more bite than they probably should (at times almost shrill) but chock that up to source material. Remaster from vinyl if my information is correct, again far and away better then what was previously available.

Warriors of the Son is still a headbanging feast, just a little primitive compared with Too Late for Living. Too Late… is the third release for Saint and was their second release for Pure Metal Records back in 1988. Light years ahead of WOTS in the production department and song writing as well.

Too Late for Living was the follow up to Time’s End and in many ways delivered the proverbial goods. Starting with the rather Accept like mid tempo title track, things seemed to move in a faster heavier direction with Star Pilot. An up-tempo metal anthem that highlights a stellar guitar solo from Dee Harrington. Accuser delivers some of the heaviest material on this release but clocking in at 1:59 it is far too short.

The next two tracks The Rock and On the Street feel almost commercial in their fast hitting choruses and short running times. Good songs but the vibe is just a little to polished. A thematic 4 song end of day’s story line next greets the listener, Returning, The Path, Through the Sky, and The War is Over.

Returning is a solid metal instrumental highlighting the guitar histrionics of the aforementioned Harrington, but not to be outdone by drummer extraordinaire John ‘The Machine’ Perrine. Through the Sky is Saint at their most powerful and fastest, double kick courtesy of Perrine but the vocals of Josh Kramer with his Halford like screams put this track in the stratosphere. Why more fans don’t recognize the brilliance here is beyond me.

The remastering brings greater clarity and power to an already powerful album. Metal like Priest, Armored Saint and Accept. The one flaw here is that this album is far too short, clocking in at only 33 min! Commercial considerations? Based on the costuming the band posed in for their promo shots that is a fair assumption.
It just seems to me that there should’ve been two more tracks to get this close to 40 minutes. Perhaps that is why this album takes a back seat to Time’s End.

Traditional metal of the highest order, both of these releases deserve to be in your metal collection. Leather jackets, bullet belts and denim jeans harken back to the time when heavy metal meant songs that stuck with you and you screamed your lungs out in unison. Both of these albums provide that in spades.

Warriors of the Son 7 axes

Too Late for Living 9 axes

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