“Crime Scene Earth 2.0” is a re-release of SAINT’s 2008 offering “Crime Scene Earth.” After the band signed to Retroactive Records, the label saw fit to release an “improved” reworking of “Crime Scene Earth” alongside the band’s newest album, “Hell Blade.” Version 2.0 features vocalist Josh Kramer singing on all the tracks (he only sang on three songs on the original release), as well as alternate cover art.
Of course, none of this means very much if the music itself isn’t very good. SAINT play an extremely conservative form of Heavy Metal consisting almost exclusively of plodding midtempo tracks. Yes, the music is still heavy (see the intense “Half A Time’s Measure”), but this is overshadowed by the fact that it’s also boring.
The problem is compounded by the inconsistent performance of singer Josh Kramer. His vocal style alternates between an over-macho voice that is constantly buried in the mix and an irritatingly high-pitched Rob Halford squeal. The chorus to “Half A Time’s Measure” is virtually unlistenable because of the latter, and the former always sounds incredibly lifeless when used on songs like “Terror In The Sky.” Ironically, the best track on the album is the JUDAS PRIEST cover “Invader.”
SAINT may have the heaviness down pat, but their music is formulaic to the point of being utterly monotonous. “Crime Scene Earth 2.0” is a difficult record to sit through all the way, not because of its length, but because the songs uniformly lack excitement. Diehard Heavy Metal fans might enjoy “Crime Scene Earth 2.0” for the throwback factor, but there are plenty of bands out there that do JUDAS PRIEST style Metal much better than these guys.
(Online May 17, 2010)