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Saga - The Human Condition CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.49 | 114 ratings

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3 stars As you know by now, I am actually not an expert in observing the developments of SAGA music even though I like their music. When this album appeared in pre-order list on the net I clicked it right away because of two reasons: Firs, I like the fact that the band that was success in old days are now still making new album and second, I like the cover art work. Only then I was aware that in this album saga brings new lead singer, Rob Moratti. It was quite regretful actually knowing that Michael Sadler announced his departure after 30 years of fronting Saga and his voice had become an integral part of Saga music. People, the fans, must be wondering if Saga would still alive without Sadler.

But let me tell you the truth, the first time I spun my CD, I was blown away with the opening track which is actually the title track as well 'The Human Condition' (6:51). I could not believe that Saga could make such really wonderful composition in basically 'instrumental' setting. The beauty of the track lies in its dynamic style that flows from start to end of the song. The key to this song is basically the inventive keyboard work of Jim Gilmour that flows in relatively fast tempo music combined with stunning guitar of Ian Crichton. I have known the music of Saga for quite a long time but this style of music is different with their style. Yes there are elements of their roots but the overall style sounds like a new approach to me. It's powerful and it's a masterpiece opening track!

It sounds like Presto Ballet

Rob Moratti singing style is in the vein of Styx's Dennis de Young or Tommy Saw. His vocal does not sound similar with previous releases of Saga under Michael Sadler. In fact the overall style of this album sounds similar to new band called Presto Ballet. This proves to be right if you observe quite detail with track like the second one in the album: 'Step Inside' (4:56). The ambient of the music reminds me to Presto Ballet. It starts beautifully with keyboard work and it flows nicely into a stream of music in medium tempo pace. The gutar solo during interlude is stunning, tuned in relatively low volume setting. The rhythm section by keyboard is quite unique and it has Saga components, really.

'Hands of Time' (5:29) is a mellow track that starts with vocal on top of keyboard solo. When the music moves together with complete music instruments setup, the tempo does not really change and it stays with the slow tempo until it ends. The howling guitar part is inspiring. With 'Avalon' (4:48) the tempo starts to move up again even though not in fast tempo. 'A Number With A Name' (4:51) starts with guitar fills that are typical Saga music, followed with a groovy music combined with solid composition. AT this track you still can smell the music of Saga. When 'Now is Now' (4:12) enters, the music starts to bore me as there is nothing new that I can enjoy.

'Let It Go' (4:47) actually brings us back to the old days of Saga, but unfortunately when the vocal enters, it does not sound like an excellent track right here. 'Crown of Thorns' (5:46) brings the music back into fast speed. The guitar part is really stunning. The drumming is also dynamic. 'You Look Good To Me' (5:22) starts with guitar riffs followed by drums.

Overall, this is a good album especially for those have become Saga fans. Old fans of the band can still find basic elements of Saga appear here and there. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and merci mild - GW

Gatot | 3/5 |


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