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The Ragged Saints – Sonic Playground Revisited Award winner

The Ragged Saints
Sonic Playground Revisited
by Will Travers at 27 January 2020, 5:35 AM

Who doesn’t love a bit of Classic Rock? Bringing back memories of the likes of WHITESNAKE, DEF LEPPARD and QUEENSRHYCHE. There just isn’t another Sub Genre out there that really makes you want to get up on the karaoke and just belt out some fan favourite memorable tunes is there?
Well, come centre stage THE RAGGED SAINTS, this impressive five-piece group from Finland are carrying on the torch passed to them from the greats. They bring their own unique sound with their second studio album following the success of their debut “The Sound of Breaking Free”.

As always, let’s take a quick look at the artwork presented by the album. Instantly it is eye catching, vibrant colours and just quite a lot going on really, it instantly makes one think that this will be a fun album. And that would be correct. We are instantly hit with a symphonic, energetic and catchy opening track in the form of “Never Gonna Let You Down”. The band manages to achieve a middle ground between traditional sounding Classic Rock and a new take on the stereotypical style of the Genre. To me this is the equation for a successful band.

Next, we come to an instant classic in my opinion. “Like a Spinning Wheel”. With another classic synth heavy intro, and the chorus’ motif heard in a haze we are brought into heavy pounding chords and a rhythm that just allows this track to flow. For me, what makes this track so special is the vocal line provided by Markku Kuikka, it is so mesmerising and memorable that I will now be humming it for days… Thank-you!

If party tracks are your thing allow me to introduce you to “Secrets In Our Hearts”. This upbeat, feelgood track reminds me of the party anthems that were so prevalent in the 80’s. Specifically it strikes me as reminiscent of MOTLEY CRUE. The song opens again with energetic guitar chords, supported by synths driving them forwards, personally if you ask me; it is very similar to another finish Heavy Metal outfit BATTLE BEAST.

THE RAGGED SAINTS continue to demonstrate their musicianship and diversity with their stripped back acoustic track “Just Believe”. The song just goes to show the range that each member has in their technical ability. The delivery and sequential build up throughout this track are impeccable, it truly is a first-class ballad.

“Pretending Diamond” opens with some excellent demonstration of skill from both Toni and Tomi on the guitars. The track follows the set-out structure established through previous songs. The chorus also has the possibility to be a crowd pleaser as a live piece, I can see members of any crowd belting out the chorus in unison with Markku. Again, to me this is a good indication of a successful band. Finally, with this being only their second album, I can see THE RAGGED SAINTS developing into their niche very well. They are coming on leaps and bounds every time they release material and I hope to see them capitalise on the success they should find from this album to grow more an become a mainstay band.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Never Gonna Let You Down
2. Like A Spinning Wheel
3. Take Me With You
4. Secret In Our Hearts
5. Just Believe
6. Absence Of Light
7. Always Forever
8. Pretending Diamond
9.Turning Cold
10. Supernatural
Lineup:
Markku Kuikka – Vocals
Tomi Julkunen – Guitar
Toni Bite – Guitar
Miikki Kunttu – Drums
Jukka Hoffrén – Bass
Record Label: AOR Heaven
     


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Edited 05 April 2020
 

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