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Sage Meridien – Whispered Tales

Sage Meridien
Whispered Tales
by Michael Bischoff at 22 February 2017, 7:13 PM

Stormspell Records, have made it their passion to find obscure demos from little known or forgotten American bands, restore them to a better quality and then to re-release the results and while this tends to work for the most part, the label able to recover and find some memorable albums by underappreciated or previously not recognised bands, this is not always the case, with SAGE MERIDIEN sadly being one such example. Hailing from Tucson/Arizona the band were active from 1987 to 1990, managing to only record a handful songs before disappearing again.

‘’Dark Emperium’’, starts off proceedings on this remastered album with a short acoustic intro before transitioning into a mid- paced song that ups the ante into a faster and more galloping rhythm that is maintained until the end of the song. While the vocalist of the band is attempting to sound like Kind Diamond, his voice is annoying at best coming across flat and without any volume, sounding more like a screeching cat or fingernail across a blackboard. Whether intentional or unintentional the end result is a slightly annoying attempt at falsetto singing, only becoming tolerable when in the mid ranges. The song itself is all over the place, seeming at points disjointed and not very well structured.

‘’In the Moonlight in the Garden’’, like the previous song starts off acoustically with the intro having a somewhat medieval feel to it, the ensuing rhythm slow and almost doom like before turning into a steady gallop before reverting back to the acoustic riff from the beginning of the song. What is again noticeable is that as the song progresses it starts falling apart with time changes that are neither very effective nor work at all, making the song sound all over the place, disjointed and not very well thought out structurally.

Third song ‘’Octavian’’, is an unnecessary instrumental song that is not very memorable but one that showcases some good bass guitar work in the middle of the song, almost a relief here to not have to be subjected to the almost cat screeching and empty vocals of the previous tracks.

The remaining two songs ‘’Tales of the Sage’’ and ‘’The power that preserves’’ that fill out the remainder of this five song demo are like the first two tracks disjointed and choppy with the latter song at least attempting to form a cohesive whole before falling on its face again the once more extremely annoying vocals ruining anything that might have made this song stand out from the rest.

While I support and encourage bands that had previously not had any exposure to be brought back into the limelight so to speak, it would sometimes be better to let sleeping dogs lie, in that not every discovered and unearthed material by previously unknown bands is automatically good or worthwhile. While, I appreciate the effort of the label, SAGE MERIDIEN is unfortunately one of those bands that should have been left alone.

Songwriting: 5/10
Originality: 4/10
Memorability: 4/10

2 Star Rating

1. Tales of the sage.
2. Dark Empirium
3. Octavian.
4. The power that preserves.
5. In the moonlight in the garden.
Kelly Ritchotte  – Guitars and vocals
Denny Seefield  – Guitars and Backing Vocals
Adrian Urbina - Vocals
Matt Federoff  – Bass, keyboards, backing vocals
Richard McKinley – Drums and percussion
Record Label: Stormspell Records


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