Wow, it seems like only a year ago I sat down to review the debut album from Sainted Sinners. Holy crap, not even a year!! It was a strong debut filled with lots of Deep Purple/Whitesnake like grooves. So strong in fact that it took the number eight spot on my Decibel Geek 2017 Top Ten List. When I heard that David Reece and Frank Pane had begun work on a sophomore album last year, I was both excited and relieved. All too often these “supergroup” projects seem to result in one and done exercises. I suppose for some that’s alright, but for a “Geek” like me, I get annoyed when I sink my teeth into a band I enjoy only to realize a few months later there will be no more water from the well.
Sainted Sinners quelled that idea when they announced they were coming Back With A Vengeance in early 2018!
Back With A Vengeance is a pretty strong statement so I was more than a little interested to see if the Sainted Sinners were able to avoid the sophomore slump that many bands fall prey to. Ecstatic to report that there is no trace of anything resembling a slump. I can honestly say that Sainted Sinners have aptly titled their second outing, scheduled to be released February 16th on El-Puerto Records. Actually, let me rephrase that, “aptly” isn’t strong enough. It’s a PERFECT name for this record.
From the opening riffs of “Rise Like A Phoenix” to the blues-drenched chords of “Gone But Not Forgotten”, Back With A Vengeance is an immediate contender for next year’s best of list. It seems to me that the Sainted Sinners know exactly what they are. Talented, seasoned musicians crafting great songs and not caring about whats hot or trending. Unlike a lot of today’s albums that kick in strong and fade fast after a song or three, Back With A Vengeance is a complete hard rock album. Remember those? When bands actually took the time and tried to actually command your attention for 40 minutes or more. The songs could stand on their own but together provided a complete listening experience.
My personal Sainted Sinners listening experience left me with the following observations. First, the production on this record is simply fantastic. Sonically, every instrument can be heard crystal clear in the mix. Reece‘s voice sounds as paint peeling strong as when I first heard Accept‘s Eat The Heat and the guitar work on this release is insane! From intricate almost classical parts to ripping shredding but always melodic.
Second, although the Purple/Whitesnake influence can still be heard on tracks like “Tell Me I Was Wrong”, “Nothing Left To Lose” and “Let It Go”, the upfront keyboards of the first record is much more subdued. In its place is GUITARS and lots of it. “Rise Like a Phoenix” and “Burnin The Candle” owe themselves more to Van Halen than to Whitesnake. Oh and the title track “Back With A Vengeance”? This one has me hot for teacher. Frank Pane can shred with the best of ’em and this is my favorite track.
Sainted Sinners have evolved and delivered the first home run of 2018!