Reviewed: November 2008
Released: 2008, Music Buy Mail/Artistworkxx
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Phil Naro is the leader of Sarasin A.D. he is a songwriter that has written material for Lee Aaron, Peter Criss and Lou Gramm amongst others. Even though I never heard of the band before they are veterans in the business are very well known in America and have been active for a decade.
I understand why the band is so popular in America. Their classical US hardrock mixed with dirty and heavy rock’n’roll ought to fit the American market perfectly. It’s obvious that the band loves what they’re doing because the music oozes joy and passion. They may not be playing the trendiest music but their passion for it can convince even the strongest doubters. Think Dokken, Mr. Big, Ratt, Warrant, Van Halen and The Black Crowes you have pretty much what Sarasin A.D plays.
The album was recorded, mixed and produced by John Bianchini in Empire Studio, the drums was recorded in The Barn Studio and the production leaves nothing more to wish for. It feels solid and it the music and production are in harmony just like they should be. Bianchini has managed to balance the more refined US hardrock sound with the more edgy and dirty rock’n’roll sound perfectly. At the top of the mix soars lead guitar riffs which are shared with lead vocals and they forms a magical duo.
The 13 tracks are all solid and genuine fun to listen to and there aren’t dull moments at all at DAGGERS, LUST AND DESPAIR. My personal killer tracks are “In America”, “No Sensation”, “Kiss Of Death” and “Makes Sense” which all are faster and heavy US classic hardrock tunes with high energy and vitality out of the ordinary. Also “Woken @ Noon”, “The Last Word”, “Black Night Crash”, “Jeanie’s Gone Crazy” and “Running Circles In My Brain” are highlights on the album. Those are all a little slower songs where the guitars take up a smaller place in the mix. Singer Naro shows in these songs that he has a really solid and sensitive voice and he manages to sing both more refined songs as well as more party rock’n’roll tunes. Two up tempo ballads are featured and that maybe is one too many but that don’t matter so much when the rest of the material is so brilliant.
DAGGERS, LUST AND DESPAIR is a solid and fun album that lasts for a long time. If you are in the mood of buying a classical hardrock album with a high party factor you are reading about the album for you. Just run out and buy it right now.
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