Shortly after the review for the SAINT live review was published, I received a mail from Karthago Records saying that the new SAINT studio album was out. Of course I ordered it right away and since then there hardly is a day where the CD is not rotating in my player at least once. I have to admit that “The Mark“ contains the best songs since the blessed "Too Late For Living". Only opener “The Spirit” can’t fully compete, meaning that it can’t keep up with the excellent rest of the material.
Other than that I could only criticize that the drummer only solidly plays his part, I think that he could do so much more. But that is only a minor thing, the rest is killer. Great songs, which will almost immediately set root in your brain, letting even the oldest old school Metalhead reminisce about the past and unleash the beast. SAINT won’t be able to shed the eternal JUDAS PRIEST comparisons with this album either, rather the opposite.
Especially the sound has several parallels to "British Steel" auf, while on "The 7th Trumpet" the “Painkiller“ fraction will get their money’s worth, apart from that all fans up to "Defenders Of The Faith" should get utterly satisfied. At the beginning the melodies might seem a bit brittle, but soon they won’t let you go anymore, guaranteed! But they do not only worship the British priests, no, on “He Reigns” I somehow have the feeling as if they paid close attention to the CD of Kaiserslautern’s IVORY NIGHT. And GRIM REAPER also get their attention, as the base riff of “Reap The Flesh" sounds a lot like underground classic "See You In Hell".
Anyhow, the music is great one way or the other, catchy with many corners and edges, rocking you into seventh Metal heaven. Josh Kramer sings better than ever and what Dee Harrington wrenches out of his axe is full of grace and soul. Especially the instrumental "Gog & Magog" deserves your fullest attention. Well, what else could I say than that “The Mark” is the perfect album for all yesteryears and is just worship-worthy? (Online July 5, 2006)