MENU
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Saga - Silent Knight CD (album) cover

SILENT KNIGHT

Saga

 

Crossover Prog

3.64 | 193 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

FragileKings
Prog Reviewer
4 stars My first ever Saga purchase was "Trust" and the second "Silent Knight". Though the two albums are separated by two and a half decades, I noticed some similarities in style. This, I decided, was a compliment to "Trust", which I felt had turned up the prog factor a couple of notches from their previous album "Network", my most recent Saga purchase at the time of this writing.

"Silent Knight" is Saga's third album and the last one with producer, Paul Gross. What the band introduced on their debut is prevalent here too, namely serious pop rock songs with a good dose of instrumental segments showing off the skills of guitarist Ian Crichton and new keyboard player Jim Gilmour, who I feel gets featured much more than Crichton on this album. The sound is decidedly of the times and there's no mistaking that synthesizer and those drums along with that approach to music composition and production. If you can get past that almost embarrassing 1980 pop sound though, there's some pretty decent stuff on this album.

Take the opener, "Don't Be Late (Chapter Two)" with its subtle yet hurried keyboard notes and Michael Sadler's vocals suppressed almost to a hush and backed with a strained whisper. The music reaches a couple of powerful moments before dropping back to the gentle but quick pace we began with. Once the song proper concludes, a grand instrumental section begins with bold keyboards playing an almost classical melody and guitars dittoing that before the keyboards take over for a climactic finish. New sounds but with some inspiration from the classic days of progressive rock.

Another track to be ready for is #3, "Time to Go". Again we get a strong classically influenced melody and take note that there's a harpsichord (or at least a very good facsimile), piano, and two different keyboard sounds, one resembling horns. The bass and drums only serve as rhythm here and the guitar a secondary instrument. This is musically a rather impressive creation given the year. It's songs like this that seem to define the concept of neo- prog if that concept is to create more cohesive and concise pop rock songs but still feature moments of advanced composition and playing.

"Too Much to Lose (Chapter Seven)" "Help Me Out" and "Careful Where You Step" continue on this road by including some exciting synthesizer and guitar work with a 1980 pop rock flavour. Other songs sound more pop oriented though just about all of them leave room for a showcase of playing ability and some dramatic flourishes and abruptly appearing surprises, like a cascade of piano notes falling from the cessation of a barrage of bombastic rock or a sudden muted staccato of guitar notes after a sweeping keyboard melody.

Simply skipping through the first 30 seconds of each song will probably leave you cold unless you habour a deep love for the sound of pop in this period. Memories of pop videos from the early 80's threaten to dissolve my feeling of being cool with my music playing when many of the songs begin. However, after the first three minutes the songs tend to have spent their lyrical messages and the last two minutes are usually for something more bold and evocative.

I recognize that even in 1980 there were artists striving to create more complex music than what Saga ever did. But I'm going to give this album 4 stars for keeping the prog factor up higher than what was offered on many of Saga's later albums.

FragileKings | 4/5 |

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this SAGA review

Social review comments () BETA







Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives