SARIS – Until We Have Faces (2014)
SARIS is one of the Neo Prog / Melodic Rock bands from Germany who gone under the radar even their career lasting for more then 30 years. There was some ups and down since the beginning and the first album saw the light in 1993 but they disbanded in 2000.
In 2009 they presented a second record and now the combo are back with “Until We Have Faces”, to be released next October 30.
Commanded by Derk Akkermann (guitars, keyboards) the music of Saris combine proggy elements with elaborated melodic rock (sometimes bordering hard) and AOR harmonies. As you can note in the lineup, 4 of the 6 members provide backing vocals.
One of them is British Henrik Wager known throughout Europe for musical theaters and various music projects as singer, songwriter and producer. He delivers excellent lead vocal parts on many of the songs here, while other are sung by female Anja Günther.
What we have here is an interesting mixture of genres, always focused in melody.
Saris states as influences the likes of Kansas, Saga, Magnum, early Journey, and more contemporary acts like Dutch progsters Knight Area or Germans Invertigo.
That very much sums up what “Until We Have Faces” is all about. The music is elaborated with stylized instrumental sections featuring with some very memorable keyboards passages and dynamic rhythm section.
There’s commercial, almost catchy rockers in short (song format) cuts like “From Nowhere”, the very Saga-like “Come Undone”, the groovy “Time To Catch the Train”, the melodic rocker “Hold On” and the poppy “Run Away Now”.
On the other hand, Saris has a light prog / neo prog spirit on longer compositions as the dreamy midtempo “Rain” featuring very nice female leads, the urgent “It’s Up To You” (with some pompy rocking sections) and closer “Endless Dream”.
Title track “Until We Have Faces” floats in between, blending melodic hard rock nuances with proggy metalized riffs, but never too heavy.
Saris is a very interesting act that definitely worth checking out. If you like your melodic rock with an extra craft blended with progressive instrumental sections and some AOR harmonies, “Until We Have Faces” is for you.
For me, a great surprise from Germany, really enjoyable.
01 – Until We Have Faces
02 – Come Undone
03 – Time To Catch the Train
04 – Run Away Now
05 – It’s Up To You
06 – From Nowhere
07 – Another Dead End Street
08 – Rain
09 – Hold On
10 – Endless Dream
Derk Akkermann – Guitars, Keyboards, Programming
Henrik Wager – Lead and Backing vocals
Anja Günther – Lead and Backing vocals
Lutz Günther – Bass, Backing vocals
Jens Beckmann – Drums, Percussions
Thomas Hackmann – Backing vocals