Saint Deamon was born from the dream of drummer Ronny Milianowicz, seven years with Dionysus. This is pure Swedish power metal undergirded by some progressive elements. Mr. Milianowicz is backed up by Dionysus bassist Nobby Noberg and guitar virtuoso Toya Johansson, 'which Ronny knew back from their studying together at the University Of Music, in Írebro Sweden' (citation: www.saintdeamon.se). But what about a vocalist? Milianowicz recruited Norwegian Jan Thore Grefstad, 'most known for his impressive singing in Norwegian power metallers Highland Glory' (ibid). The result is that you should expect some good, if not traditional, power metal. And you will not be disappointed.
To be honest, I had to wait until the title track, 'In Shadows Lost From The Brave,' before I was completely convinced of the true nature of Saint Deamon's potential. Not that the first two numbers were inadequate. Actually, they were good, but to predictable. On the title track, the band excels as a coherent group. The arrangement is believable and creative; and, Mr. Grefstad proves his skills as an exceptional vocalist. The tunes get even better with 'My Heart,' a short number that packs a punch. It's more melodic rock than power metal. The chorus is extraordinary. You can pretty much skip 'The Burden.' Sure Grefstad screams his best, yet it seems unnecessary. Mr. Johansson's guitar solo sounds muffled at the outset, but eventually rises to the arrangement. Yet, this does not redeem this number. Better is 'No Man's Land' for Grefstad is more in control and the guitar licks are clear. The song drives along with a memorable melody. The key part is the vocal and keyboard duet about three minutes into the song. 'Ride Forever' picks up were power level should be: intense and strong. 'Black Symphony' is a strange song. It's very short but the guitar work simply kills.
We're more than half way through 'In The Shadows Lost From The Brave' and I'm still unconvinced if I'm listening to something new and creative in the power metal genre. 'Deamons' is very good if only for the excellent vocal harmonies. Yet, there is nothing new here. 'The Brave Never Bleeds' follows and this title reminds me of Jesse Ventura's line, after he is wounded, in the classic sci-fi film, 'Predator:' 'I don't have time to bleed.' And then he spits his chew tobacco to the ground. This is an intense power metal number: the vocalist roars and screams and the guitars wail with unending intensity. 'The Brave Never Bleeds' is true power metal. The last song, 'Run For Your Life' forecasts promise for Saint Deamon, if they continue their venture. This song is more melodic heavy metal than the power variety. This is most likely the best song on the whole album.
If you're a singular fan of Scandinavian power metal, then Saint Deamon's 'In The Shadows Lost From The Brave' is definitely for you. This is quality work, but not extraordinary. There are moments of greatness on the album including 'The Brave Never Bleeds,' 'My Sorrow' and 'Run For Your Life.' Yet, this is still more of the same in this well-worn genre (and I love the genre). I liked it, but I doubt whether I will be pulling this off my shelf for successive listens. Recommended for true fans of the genre.
- Craig Hartranft
Saint Deamon is the project of former Dionysus drummer, Ronny Milianowicz. This is straight forward Scandinavian power metal with a little progressive salt thrown in for good measure. Though not extraordinary, 'In Shadows Lost From The Brave' is still moving and intense. Definitely for true fans of the genre.
One of the finest progressive rock band in North America, Mystery from Canada, returns with a new album, Delusional Rain. And as you might suspect, with the vocal spot being much like a revolving door, the band has a new lead singer ... [ Read More ]