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Lethal Saint: Lethal Saint

As the demand, or at the least the volume of bands producing music inspired by the NWOBHM seems to grow and grow, so does the variety of locations from which it comes. Lethal Saint are a young group (their average age is around 20) from Cyprus and this is their self titled debut. Packing a sound that is firmly based in Iron Maiden bombast, Saxon head banging and Judas Priest shrieking, the band have written some reasonably smart, although completely derivative retro sounding late seventies metal.

Unfortunately the problems with Lethal Saint lie elsewhere. In this day and age of pro tools, it is slightly misfortunate and unusual to hear a group of musicians as overtly exposed by their lack of experience. To be completely honest it is a little confusing as to how a band that so blatantly need more time rehearsing and honing their skills on stage, should come to be releasing an album in first place. Almost everything about this disc screams unprofessional, and from the very first moment you clap eyes on the hand drawn cover that looks like the scribbling of a proud five year old, you are left wondering if what is contained inside will be ironic or incompetent. Sadly there is definitely none of the former and all too often bags of the latter in evidence here. There's the odd bum note during the guitar solos, a drummer that from time to time sounds like he's forgotten which song he is playing and a singer who is as likely to be flat as he is sharp employs a bizarre and at times simply laughable vibrato.

Considering the genre that the band are attempting to work within and the fact that English is undoubtedly not their first language, the clichéd and direct lyrics can easily be forgiven and forgotten, however when they are wrapped around such a confused and sloppy musical backdrop it just adds to the general feeling of shambolic execution and under prepared songs.

Being fair, and the reason for the two marks awarded below, the actual riffs and rhythm guitar work aren't too bad and in the hands of a more adept band, songs such as "Heavy Metal Nights" and "Midnight Warriors" could be enjoyable metal romps. Hopefully the plan for Lethal Saint is to hit the road and stay on it as long as possible so they can work on the basic skills needed to cut it in an extremely crowded market. Otherwise album number two could and possibly should, be a long way off.

Track Listing
01. Chains of the Devil
02. Final Prayer
03. Thunder Strikes
04. Evil Inside
05. Heavy Metal Knights
06. You're a Sinner
07. Night of the Sin
08. Rock 'N' Roll Survivor
09. Visions in the Night
10. Midnight Warriors
11. Wild in the Night
12. Lethal Saint

Added: June 24th 2010
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
Hits: 1279
Language: english

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Lethal Saint: Lethal Saint
Posted by Richard Wheelhouse, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-06-24 19:59:19
My Score:

There is a lot to like about Lethal Saint and their self-titled debut album. They aren't the prettiest, nor are they the cleverest, or even the most in tune. But they do know exactly what they want to do – that is; play no frills, no messing, no nonsense heavy metal… and they do deliver.

Recalling the dirtier side of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and subsequent Thrash movements; with their lo-fi, high-riff attack, Lethal Saint have succeeded in creating an album that sounds fresh despite wearing it's influences on its sleeve. In choosing not to simply mimic a fashionable band in the misguided name of retro-chic, as Trivium and Airborne are guilty of (aping Metallica and AC/DC respectively), Lethal Saint manage to forge their own identity.

Fashionable, indeed, is one thing they can't be accused of being. Andreas Pougioukas' strangled vibrato sounds something like a freakish cross between Iced Earth and Family, and lies atop a plethora of chugging riffs and wailing solos. It is certainly rough around the edges, and the songwriting is a little blunt and predictable. At moments, with "Heavy Metal Nights" in particular, they veer close to Spinal Tap territory, but their raw enthusiasm saves them from falling into the realms of the fully ridiculous. The sheer force of feeling behind the sounds they create is enough to gloss over some of the frailties they do have.

The directness that is their greatest strength is also a significant weakness however. There is nothing wrong with simple and unadorned heavy metal, far from it. However, many songs extend to far beyond the 6 minute mark, and in order to sustain that kind of duration you need some dynamics and some variation, neither of which could be described as Lethal Saint's strong suits. Clocking in at around 70 minutes, the album is far too long. What would have been an energetic and vibrant burst at around 40 minutes, becomes a bit of a slog at the full length.

Lethal Saint is certainly flawed, a bit shabby and inelegant, and is much too long for its own good. But when you're about to be hit by a train, you probably don't care too much how many cars it has or whether the front grill is a bit rusty – all you know is that it's heavy, and it's coming for you.

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