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Saracen - Redemption

by Luke Bravin at 20 September 2014, 1:38 PM

Now I’m quite a big fan of Power Metal and some Symphonic Metal, but Symphonic Rock? Now that’s something I have yet to hear, and now I have.

Though their roots go deep into the 70’s and original success to the early 80’s, SARACEN has had their greatest output and success over the last ten years. This year's album, “Redemption” shows the band showing off their more Symphonic and Melodic Rock sides, with creative song composition as a foundation, with strengths that revolve around Rob Bendelow's sharp, melodic riffs and dramatic leads, along with Paul Bradder's keyboards, which offers that Symphonic accent and atmosphere to the bright solos.

After delving deep into the bands past discography, I noticed several particular things about “Redemption”, the first is something simple; this is a long album, almost 70 minutes of music, which I dove right into. Also, “Redemption” is not a concept album like the previous two albums, however, the song “Reacher” is based upon Lee Child's vagabond ex-military police officer, Jack Reacher, but there are thousands of albums out there which are not considered concept albums, yet to have some concept songs on them.

Another thing that I noticed that was slightly different than previous albums is that there's some heavier material here. Songs like “Swords of Damascus”, “Ready to Fly”, parts of the title track, and definitely “Crusader” venture into more Melodic Heavy Metal. “Crusader” takes a few minutes to build, but comes on hard and heavy at the midpoint. “Ready to Fly” and “Crusader” are entirely new arrangements of the songs from the bands 1981 release, “Heroes, Saints and Fools”.

In General, the majority of the album turns on more Melodic Hard Rock, but there are a few more relaxed, down toned songs like “Catch the Wave”, “Road To Yesterday”, and “More Than Missing You”. Yet even these songs have strong sparks of Groovy Rock. There's one ballad, “You & I”, which was a great addition to the album and I really enjoyed.

The bottom line is that “Redemption” is a finer Melodic Symphonic Rock album from SARACEN, but what else would you expect from such a strong band? All I’ve got to say is that I highly recommend this album.


4 Star Rating

  1. Rocamadour
  2. Reacher
  3. Give Me A Sign
  4. Geraldine
  5. Swords Of Damascus
  6. Road To Yesterday
  7. Crusader
  8. Catch The Wave
  9. More Than Missing You
  10. Redemption (on the 6th day)
  11. You & I
  12. Let Me See Your Hands
  13. Ready to Fly
Steve Bettney – Vocals
Paul Bradder – Keyboards
Paul Highfield – Bass
Tris Alsbury – Drums
Rob Bendelow – Guitar
Simon Roberts – Guitar
Record Label: Escape Music


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Edited 20 January 2020

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