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Saga - "Marathon"
SPV 2003

These old bastards just won't change. And I'm glad about that. 15th studio album in the same line-up since Silent Knight album (1980) offers well-known unique style and sound of this legendary Canadian band. Of course they didn't forget to put an insect on the front cover. Also the poetry follows the same old directions. I won't copy their verses but certain messages are: " ...we leave tonight, we'll need more supplies", "...throw away your fears and step into the light" or "...rise and shine, and yesterday will slide into tomorrow." Pure truth has been revealed. Everything is crystal clear to Saga. The band tries to explain that we need a spiritual change and to leave this way of living behind us. Fear makes us blind. We are raised and educated in fear. Because of that we forget who we really are. And if you are lucky enough to realize that, the road to complete your mission can be hard and painful, 'cause you'll have to go back and find your "real inner destined you". And this is possible only by throwing away the "safe shell" that was built from you're own fear. You have to sail against the odds and learn to struggle inside "death masses" that are eternally trapped inside fear.

The reason I always especially respected Saga is the band's production. The sound is crystal clear. All added samples and special sound effects are so tastefully and carefully incorporated inside delicious compositions. Perfect balance is achieved in production. All instruments are equally involved in sound and none of them is pushed in front. Songs are compact, fluid and capture high climax. Chemistry in the band just couldn't work better. This is expressed (once again) through band's unique style trademarks. Here I have in my mind twin harmonies of Chrichton brothers and soulful vocal performance of Michael Sadler. With his vocals a special melancholic feel inside Saga's music is achieved. Structures of compositions are following the poetry. This is especially expressed in pieces and themes where drum samples and special sound effects were added as in, for example, phenomenal "Breathing Lessons" (this song really breaths), "Blind Side Of A Heart" or "Rise And Shine". Everything is adapted to one goal. To bring stories inside songs to life. And that's why Saga is a saga! They are convincible in every way. Unchanged after all these years. They simply can't disappoint. Marathon is another dedication to all "Sagarians" (Saga-fans).

Author:   Aleš

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