Saint – “Heaven Fell” : Album Review


The metal legends are back! Thirty-eight years since they released their debut “Warriors of the Son” back in 1984, they released their 11th studio album, “Heaven Fell.” Saint had a strong start in the 80s with two albums garnering comparisons to heavy weights Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. But after “Too Late for Living” they disappeared. After a false restart with the EP “The Perfect Life,” Saint rebooted in earnest for the album “In the Battle” in 2004. Since then, they have remained active although line up changes leaves bassist Richard Lynch as the last remaining original Saint member.

“Heaven Fell” is a solid energetic heavy metal album that captivates the listener with epic moments throughout. I was very pleasantly surprised to hear how they really refined their craft over the years to deliver high quality heavy metal that expands beyond the rubrics of the 1980s. They play a classic heavy metal that borders on thrash and make plenteous use of instrumental breaks and build-ups to lead the listener to a summit of emotional energy.

Many of the tracks are up-tempo thrashers, like “Creature,” “Vengeance” and “The Exile of Cain.” I particularly like the feel of “Creature” musically while the lyrics are somewhat an enigma to me. The style on these songs are really their wheelhouse, but thankfully they also provide some contrast. “Dance of the Gods” is a more down-tempo tune that feels almost like sludge metal. The pseudo-ballad “The Chosen One” is the longest track on the album and illustrates some of Saint’s more dynamic songwriting. Although quite a solid song, I thought that “Heaven Fell” wasn’t as epic a closer as I hoped. It’s a mid-tempo heavy tune, but doesn’t reach the same epic heights as some of the earlier tracks.

Saint does an excellent job of making their sound fresh after all of these years. The first element is the use of different musical layers to repeated sections to make the second or third time around sound new. A great example is “Dance of the Gods” which builds up with each chorus to an epic finale. The second element is the more fluid song structures. Verses and choruses may not be stitched together in the same way during the same song.

Dave Nelson’s execution of the vocals fits perfectly with the band. There is a gruff timbre to the delivery keeping it burly rather than sweet in the melodic delivery. The riffs are quite enjoyable and not trite given the pervading aura of 80s metal. Lead guitars guitar lines are quite enjoyable bridging the gap of vocals and the rhythmic guitars as well as augment the emotional elements of songs driving the epic climactic refrains. One particular moment I enjoyed was the use of a secondary lead guitar replying to the solo in “Holier than Thou.” Guitar solos generally land in a great space between technical playing and melodic passages alluding to the vocal melody. I particularly liked the shredding episode on “Vengeance.”

The lyrical focus on the album is the spiritual battles of the angels in the heavens and in our lives, however, the lyrical content is more metaphorical than in the past, so you have to read into it. I can’t decipher the lyrics “Creature!” This greatly reduces the cheesy factor, but it also makes the Christian message a little more obscure, even though I can tell it is there. “Dance of the Gods” is a little more direct in its preaching against religious hypocrisy. This might be just the ticket to introduce non-Christian metalheads to Saint.

Saint has presented a well-crafted offering of some energetic heavy metal. They proved to be masters of their craft, which they should with almost forty years behind them! Although a quite tasty piece of metal, the album does not break new ground. If you are looking for solid well-played and well-produced metal, “Heaven Fell” will scratch that itch. Love 80s metal – definitely a great album. Looking for that something a little different – this may not be it, but it is a great listen while you are waiting.

Rating: 9.0/10

Written by Sean Bailey

1 – Holier than Thou
2 – Creature
3 – Dance of the Gods
4 – Morning Star
5 – Make Believe
6 – Chosen One
7 – Vengeance
8 – Fallen Armor
9 – The Exile of Cain
10 – Words of Wisdom
11 – Heaven Fell

Saint is:
Dave Nelson – Vocals
Richard Lynch – Bass
Jerry Johnson – Guitars
Jared Knowland – Drums
Matthew P Smith – Guitars


Release Date: September 25, 2022

Record Label: Retroactive Records

1984: Warriors of the Son
1986: Time’s End
1988: Too Late for Living
1999: The Perfect Life (EP)
2004: In the Battle
2004: Warriors of the Son (Re-Recorded)
2005: Live 05
2006: The Mark
2008: Crime Scene Earth
2010: Hell Blade
2012: Desperate Night [review]
2014: Broad is the Gate [review]
2019: The Calf
2022: Heaven Fell

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Video (audio) for ‘Holier Then You’

Video (audio) for ‘Heaven Fell’

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