This super rare EP from one of Christian music's original Metal bands is truly a gem. It came out at a very crucial time and paved the way for some really great bands with its Judas Priest/Power Metal vibe. My favorite song, "Vicars Of Fate".
This album came out and I knew we had a true Metal band--there were no ballads! Before Saint came along every Christian "Metal" band felt compelled to be "musically" or "spiritually" correct. They had to please their labels by recording syrupy sweet music that made their albums wimpy in a true Metal sense. In other words, they had to please the sensitive people who were financing record labels. Then came along Pure Metal Records and Saint. Here was a true Metal band with a true Metal sound. This album is still very listenable. Check out the killer opener, "In The Night", but the best part is the 3 song epic at the end. I believe the drums on this disc were played by the drummer for Quarterflash, a succesful secular pop band back then.
This album marked the return of Dee Harrington to the line-up on guitars. He had been with the band previously and was out before the first EP. At that time he played with Holy Danger. Upon his return Saint had a more classically polished sound. Too Late For Living was the result. This album, however, maintained the same grit and Judas Priest-like style as their previous works but just had that added dimension. Of the three, this one is best. Unfortunately, this was the end of Saint. But wait, after a decade in hibernation, they have returned . . .
Recently the preceding three releases were remixed and put together on this two disc set. The new mix makes this set well worth getting whether you are an old Saint fan or someone who wants some really kickin' metal. This stuff ain't dated, folks! Especially with the return of Judas Priest.
It is very likely that many old Saint fans will say that this CD is different than what they expected to hear. With a long absence from the scene and a new vocalist, Saint returns in a very different, but recognizable form. "The Perfect Life" is really a collection of old and new. As stated in the review below, some of the material is left over from a 1990 collaboration between Richard Lynch (bassist) and Dee Harrington (guitars). If I were a betting man, I'd say that the opening and closing tracks, "The Runner" and "Deceived" respectively, are the older tracks. Whether I am right or not, these are the more aggressive tracks on the CD.
The other tracks, "Raise Your Hands," "Show His Love," "To Live Forever," and "The Perfect Life," show a much more commercialized side of these musicians. The hard hitting, high speed metal has been replaced by some very radio friendly hard rock/rock tunes. Once you get used to the fact that the music on this CD is DIFFERENT, you can come to appreciate these tunes. They are well crafted, very introspective, but still rock and groove. Vocalist Tim Lamberson is very comfortable with both styles of singing and does a super job. I tell you, I loved Josh Kramer's vocals, but I've got no beef with his replacement. Lamberson has a full voice that is very musical sounding, and on songs like "The Runner" and "Show His Love", sounds somewhat like Kramer mixed with a touch of Dale Thompson. The overall sound is comparable to Whitecross in my opinion.
The the guitar style is a bit different, but a close listen will remind the listener that we are listening to Dee Harrington. As for bass, I don't think Richard Lynch has changed any, though he gets a little flashy on "Show His Love." Lyrically these songs aren't apocalyptic like the earlier material, but they still carry that same basic message of the Gospel Saint was known for. The biggest surprise on this CD is the title song, "The Perfect Life." Though it is the lightest song they've ever done, it grows on you with every listen. At first I wasn't really taken with it, but as I continued to listen to it I became hooked.
In the final analysis, I'm sure some old fans will be disappointed. They need to remember a few things. First, this is the first project after a long hiatus. Richard promises the next release will be heavier. Second, I believe this release should rightly be called a demo. Though the production is quite good, I think it is still demo quality. After a few listens I think you'll warm up to this CD because it is a worthy project.
1. I'm guessing that you've had a great response from the fans since the boxed set came out. Is this the case?
We had a very good response to the box set. After a 7 year vacation one would expect the fans to have disappeared, but not so.
2. Are you aware of any new fans as well?
I'm not sure, as I receive lots of e-mail from people world wide who seem to now who we are, but are yet in there teens. I would consider these new fans.
3. What prompted you to revive Saint? (I'm glad you did)
It all started when I received a phone call from a guy named Mark Moore. He asked if he could put "Warriors of the Son" on cd and sell it. Well, I didn't think it would be a good idea to let this stranger on the other end of the phone start selling a product that I worked so hard on, so I told him "no way dude." He insisted that I put the disc out and got me in contact with Mike Delaney at RadRockers; we struck a deal. But wait, if I'm going through the trouble of reissuing one LP, why not do them all. so we put out the box set. Suddenly the hunger came back and I found myself wanting to do more, so I gave a call to my good friend Dee Harrington and said "It's time to finish the last LP we started in 1990. He was in agreement and here we are.
4. What goals have you guys set for the new Saint?
To bring the message of the Good News to ametal head world-wide. This is why you'll find a more positive message in "The Perfect Life"
5. Tell me about your line-up now. Who does what?
Tim Lamberson is the new singer and I must say he's doing an excellent job. Tim will be playing drums on the next cd as well, we're very excited. Dee of course plays all the rhythms and leads and I play bass.
6. How did "The Perfect Life" come about? Was it an unfinished product or something totally new?
A little of both.
7. What's in store in 2000 and 2001?
We plan on focusing on the new cd, Dee and I are going back to the heavy sound on most of the project, I can't wait to share it with everyone.
8. Will you guys do any touring?
Nothing is planed for now, but as the Lord leads we shall follow.
9. The differences between "Time's End" and "Too Late for Living" relate largely to the difference in styles between guitarists. But there is also a difference in subject matter. "Time's End" is very apocalyptic, as the title suggests. "Too Late for Living" has a more practical application to daily life. How is the new album, "A Perfect Life" in comparison?
Positive and salvation orientated. These are songs that Dee and I wrote from the heart. We really felt led to put this project out and are so thankful that the Lord has blessed us in this way.
10. Aside from the obvious Judas Priest, who were your musical influences in the early days? How about now?
In the early days it would be just about any band from England Now it's just about any band.
11. Would you guys welcome a secular deal in order to reach a wider audience? (this is not a trick question. I don't mean anything bad or critical)
A "mainstream" deal would be great! I would love to hit a wider market. I would love to share my God and Savior Jesus Christ with all that will listen.
12. What would you like to say to someone who has never heard you?
If you like hard rock, try it out!