Released: 2004, Armor Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
“You are the Master, the mighty everlasting King / You are The Savior, Creator of all everything / You are the Glory, the stripes You bare, You bare for me / You are the Grace Lord, that all of us have been made free ...”
Those are the opening lyrics to “Here We Are” go. You can draw some obvious conclusions from the lyrics ... we are talking about a Christian metal band here. Saint hails from Salem, Oregon. I think it should be mentioned that Saint released their debut album in 1984 titled WARRIORS OF THE SUN, so the band has already been around a long time.
When talking about metal bands, it doesn’t matter to me at all if they sing about God or Jesus Christ because as long as I find music appealing and good, that’s really the only thing that matters to me. I judge bands by their music and not by their image, sex or color of their skin. I basically use two boxes for categorizing metal music: In one box there’s a place for a good metal and in another box there’s a place for a bad metal. Saint belongs to that first mentioned box due to their musical achievements on this the bands 5th album.
What I found so appealing about IN THE BATLLE is the old Priest–flavored heavy metal. There’s parts here and there on this album that sound like they were ripped from Priest’s SIN AFTER SIN or STAINED CLASS or BRITISH STEEL albums. Some of the familiar riffs, rhythm changes and above all Josh Kramer’s strong Halford-like plagiarism are what received my immediate positive reactions toward the album. My sincere hoorrays and other elements of sheer excitement and pure joy. In fact, six out of the nine songs on IN THE BATTLE have a real strong Priest–vibe to them (“In the Battle”, “Star Pilot Return”, Here We Are”, “Ryders”, “When” and “Acid Rain / Full Armor”). Can you complain really? I can’t, simply because Priest has always been one of my very favorite bands, so hearing one certain band being so heavily influenced by Priest cannot be a bad thing. Whether people consider them copycats or not, it doesn’t change the fact Saint rocked my world. These guys have proved that they know a thing or two about how to get placed in the “good metal” category. So amen to that.
IN THE BATTLE has definitely earned my undivided and sincere blessing as a very entertaining metal album. If old Priest is close to your heart, then I you don’t wanna miss this album.