Saint – “Broad Is The Gate”


broad is the Gate 2014 Back in the mid-eighties one of my long-haired friends introduced me to a new Christian metal band that was flexing its musical muscles. Saint released the brilliant ‘Time’s End’ (1985) and ‘Too Late For Living’ (1986) before vanishing. Then they reappeared with ‘In The Battle’ (2004), ‘The Mark’ (2006) and the flawed ‘Crime Scene Earth’ (2008). After hearing CSE I was disappointed and thought that they had lost their vital spark, but maybe that was due to initial poor production as it was beefed up with re-recorded vocals for re-release in 2010. They returned in full metallic force with ‘Hell Blade’ (2010) and the hook-laden ‘Desperate Night’ (2012).

Their latest release,’Broad Is The Gate’, sees Brian Phyll Miller fully taking over vocal duties from Josh Kramer (who had relocated to another part of America).

Saint appears like a storm on the horizon, as they thunder into view. Entering with ‘Broad Is The Gate’, they chug along like a heavy metal juggernaut smashing anything in its path. This will appeal to long-standing fans as they have retained a metallic approach with blistering guitar solos. And Miller certainly compliments their overall sound. ‘Hero’ sees them take on another mid-paced assault harking back to Hell Blade.

The song lyrics may seem sparse, but you know exactly what they mean. They increase the tempo for ‘We All Stand’ with Richard Lynch’s gruff backing vocals. “We all stand / For the ever lasting King / Raising our hand to the throne / Blessed be to the One who set me free / Praises to Him all alone”. Then there is the short, but punchy ‘Demon Pill’ as they have a skirmish with the devil.

There is an atmospheric approach to ‘We Will Fight’ that sees them reprise groove-laden power metal. Then ‘Who You Are’ takes me back to my teens with a classic metal romp. It makes me want to resurrect my eighties denim jacket with patches on and stomp around the room. This may have something to do with seeing Saxon recently on their ‘Warriors of the Road’ tour too. This is followed by the up-tempo ‘Reach The Sky’.

The progressive ‘Never Same’ takes the band to a different place and could easily have resided on Harmony’s ‘Theatre Of Redemption’. It provides a more thoughtful place to explore their instrumentation and let Miller’s voice soar. “Yes it’s true you’ll never be the same again / It’s true you’ll never be the same / All in time you struggle now as life rolls by / It’s true you’ll never be the same never be the same”.

They put their stamp on the album with a final shredding on ‘Metal Cross’

I thoroughly enjoyed this recent outing as it has great production and, as a lifelong follower of Saint, I’m prepared to overlook the fact that it clocks in at 31 minutes. Others may not be so forgiving.

Rating: 8/10

Reviewed by Peter John Willoughby

1. Broad Is the Gate
2. Hero
3. We All Stand
4. Demon Pill
5. We Will Fight
6. Who You Are
7. Reach the Sky
8. Never Same
9. Metal Cross

Album line-up:
Brian Phyll Miller – Vocals
Matthew P Smith – Guitars
Jerry Johnson – Guitars
Richard Lynch – Bass
Jared Knowland – Drums

“Warriors of the Son” (1984)
“Time’s End” (1986)
“Too Late for Living” (1988)
“The Perfect Life” (EP) (1999)
“In the Battle” (2003)
“Warriors of the Son” (Re-Recorded) (2004)
“Live 05″ (2005)
“The Mark” (2006)
“Crime Scene Earth” (2008)
“Hell Blade” (2010)
“Desperate Night” (2012) [review]
“Broad Is The Gate” (2014)

Record Label: Armor Records, Nov. 2014

Weblinks: Website / Facebook / Myspace

Buy the album here:
First Paradox
Norway: Nordic Mission

Interview with Richard Lynch (Jan. 2015)

Video below ‘We will Fight’

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