posted on 2/2010 By:
In case there was any doubt, the self titled debut from Lethal Saint serves notice that true metal is alive and well in the island nation of Cyprus. Tight pants? Check. Shredding solos? Check. Vibrato? Fuck YeaaaaAAAAAaAaAaAaAH! Without a single musical idea less than twenty five years old, Lethal Saint, despite an average age of twenty one, are old school to the bone. While I confess I laughed out loud a few times during this record, this band’s act is not a tongue in cheek shtick; Lethal Saint’s love for eighties metal comes across as entirely genuine.
With a sound distilled from metal masters such as Priest, Maiden, Accept, Manowar and even a little Mercyful Fate, the twelve tracks on Lethal Saint include everything from arena metal anthems ("Heavy Metal Knights") and power ballads ("Visions in the Night"), to speed metal ("Chains of the Devil"). The material is, by its very nature, cliché, and as such fails to strike any sort of deep emotional chord, but the band performs with such passion and zeal that one cannot help but be caught up in the fun.
The band has a true gem in singer Andreas Pouyioukas, who possesses a bravado and glass-shattering falsetto to rival Eric Adams in his prime. The band’s guitar team of Andreas Kasapis and Christos Papadopoullos, despite a couple sour notes (too true for Pro Tools, I imagine), plays like a well oiled machine, with solid rhythms, and leads and harmonies that would do Murray and Smith proud. The rhythm section of drummer, Christis Isseyegh and bassist, Nicolas Papaeftyhiou nail the glorious gallop that drives all the best traditional metal.
The record may be a perfect replica of Eighties metal, but it is not a perfect record. Some of the band’s six to eight minute tracks would be more effective at three to five minutes (or maybe I am just not metal enough for eight minutes of Lethal Saint), and a lot of the rhythm playing is too predictable. I think if the band focused on its more aggressive material as opposed to the lengthy anthems, it would have better luck sifting through the clichés to find its own voice.
Lethal Saint are not going to be the next Iron Maiden, probably not even the next Hammerfall, but I will be damned if this album did not make me want to up the irons, hail and kill, and scream for vengeance.
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