SAINT DEAMON – Ghost [Japan Edition +1] (2019)
This is a ‘comeback’ many didn’t see coming: Swedish/Norwegian melodic metal act SAINT DEAMON is back ten years after their latest (sophomore) release with its new album “Ghost”, released in advance in Japan today and including a bonus track.
Saint Deamon was originally founded by former Dionysus drummer Ronny Milianovicz in 2006. The band signed a worldwide deal with Frontiers Records that same year – which resulted in the two critically acclaimed albums. Extensive live appearances followed, with gigs all the way from North Cap down through Europe and the band also appeared on the prestigious ProgPower USA festival in Atlanta.
After a longer quiet phase (which the band used to write new material and incorporate a new member), Saint Deamon is now moving forward strong with their new drummer Jarle Byberg (ex-Shining).
“Captain Saint D” screams Pirate Metal from the opening: pounding drums, giving way to whistling and seaside ambiance. And with the clear vocals singing lyrics of setting sail for treasure, it sure is pirate-y. However, all is very melodic, and ‘clean’.
“Call My Name” starts off slower, but it wastes no time going into the verse, accompanied by a signature machine-gun riff and galloping drums. The chorus slows, then goes into a soaring melody. The short, high-octane guitar solo is a nice touch before the song slows again, building up to a last hurrah.
“Return of the Daemons” builds up with a very heavy riff then exploding into big druming and intensity, then title track “Ghost” starts off with an intricate guitar line and a soft verse, contrasting with the rest of the high-powered album thus far. I love how the song builds up, adding well done harmonies as the song goes on.
“Limelight Dreams” has a detailed melody that soars along into a more standard riff. The verse is fist-pumping, as well as the chorus, while the guitar solo has some nice sweeps in with longer notes, giving it a nice variety.
“Earth Is Alive” has some great melodies in a more ‘80s-stylized song. The pristine vocals soar through the song’s gritty riff, closer to hard rock. A highlight.
There’s a bombastic sound for “Land of Gold”, and in contrast, “Higher” employs some subtle elements, such as a harmonic chorus, some broken chords embedded in the verses, and a darker solo.
“The Exodus (Part II)” is an intro invoking a desert scene, leading us into “Journey Through the Stars.” The intro sets up some nice ambiance for what otherwise would’ve sounded like a standard Metal song through the first verse. It’s different from the previous tracks, and a good one.
“Break the Sky” opens with some majestic horns and symphonic work. The vocals start out high and clear, setting this song up to be uplifting with its midtempo pace and its crashing, hard-hitting guitar solo.
The regular editon closing track, “Resurrection” is a short one and functions more as an outro. The music is beautiful, featuring a cello and some wonderful, harmonizing strings and woodwinds. Finally, it ends with some drums and the sound of footprints walking away.
Japanese edition bonus track “The Voice Within” should’ve been added to the main album, simply because is one of the best. It’s a superb ballad with acoustic guitars mixed with electrics, crystal clear / emotional vocals, and an early Nineties hard rock balladistic feeling.
While this band is marketed as melodic power metal, Saint Deamon’s comeback album ‘Ghost’ offers a very interesting variety and nuanced musical waves. They blend the current power metal commercial style with hard rock, symphonic prog, classic melodic metal and more, resulting into a really solid and entertaining product.
01 – Captain Saint D
02 – Call My Name
03 – Return of the Deamons
04 – Ghost
05 – Limelight Dreams
06 – Hell Is Calling
07 – Earth Is Alive
08 – Land of Gold
09 – Higher
10 – Somewhere Far Beyond
11 – The Exodus (Part II)
12 – Journey Through the Stars
13 – Break the Sky
14 – Resurrection
15 – The Voice Within [Japan Bonus Track]
Jan Thore Grefstad – Vocals
Toya Johansson – Guitars
Jarle Byberg – Drums
Magnus “Nobby” Noberg – Bass