BAND AND RECORD OF THE MONTH
Certainly, we have closed 2014 with a collection of great new and old bands and amazing projects. As the best bands chosen by me, this year, Saris, closes my preference for the month of December. There are few bands today, that blends Progressive Rock, Art-Rock and Hard Rock in a perfect combination, with energetic and explosive musical performance, bringing strong echoes of '70s. Their music is totally original, and comes from the heart, the instrumental are very impressive and powerful, wonderful solos of the guitars and keyboards, constantly dominate all arrangements, complemented by a solid and dynamic rhythm section, the vocals are not that strong, and the voices follow the hard rock style, very well distributed around three different vocals, keyboards are used in perfect doses, also bass guitar contributes substantially with all the arrangements, definitely they should have a special attention from all prog rock lovers around the world. Their third album titled as "Until We Have Faces" came to become one of the great work from this year. The music on this album flows beautifully, it contains a collection of dynamically balanced songs. Divided in ten tracks, the music flows around many styles and influences, like all members of this band are experienced musicians, is visible many influences of some famous groups like "Rush", "Kansas", "Frumpy" "Flying Colors", "Dream Theater", "Saga", "Asia", "Genesis", "Yes", "Grand Funk Railroad", "Free", "Cream", "Bad Company" and "Deep Purple", an interesting mix of traditional Progressive Rock with a vibrant Hard Rock. All tracks are perfect, but I have my special preference to the songs "Until We Have Faces", "Come Undone", "Time To Catch.The Train", "It's Up To You", "Another Dead End Street", "Rain" and "Endless Dream" an amazing "song", may be the highlight of the album. Brilliant and fantastic, an amazing album and band, highly recommendable...
line-up on Saris album are:
Saris founded back in 1981. From 1981 until 1983 they toured extensively in their native Germany, as well as recording the single “Out of Your Night”.
For various reasons, there was disagreement about the new musical direction and an upcoming album. So Saris went on the back burner for a few years. In 1992, a new line-up was in place though, as Martin Gellhaus (vocals), Udo Raitzig (bass), Stefan Kremer (keyboards) and Helge Bungert (drums, vocals) joined Akkermann for the recording of an album, released as “Dead End Street” in 1993. A subsequent tour followed and at the end of this, Raitzig and Bungert left the band.
It took several years before replacements were found, but in 1998, Lutz Günther (bass) and Achim Schmidt (drums, keyboards) joined Saris and for the next year, recording sessions took place with highly promising results that all band members were exceedingly pleased with. Sadly though, personal issues saw to it that the band split up again.
In 2006, Akkermann, Schmidt and Günther decided to give the band another go and with the addition of Anja Günther (vocals) and Thomas Hackmann (vocals), new recordings were planned and in 2009 a finished album saw the light of day – “Curse of Time”.
The album got favourable reviews, and their mix of neo-progressive rock and hard rock was generally deemed likeable. But on May 23rd 2009 disaster strikes, when Achim Schmidt suddenly died after suffering pulmonary embolism. After all, Saris canceled the scheduled European and USA-tours.
Derk Akkermann decided to continue Saris as a project with Anja Günther and Lutz Günther joining him and wrote new songs for a third album. This album is meant to continue the musical direction of “Curse” and to bring out the quality of the vocalists. Thomas Hackmann, who was responsible for lead and backing vocals on "Curse Of Time", decided to contribute his support to the backing vocals (which he also successfully contributes to many international productions). In this, he was assisted by Anja Günther and Lutz Günther.
Anja's voice should also be heard more often on the leading vocals. For the male lead vocals, Henrik Wager joined the band. Henrik, born in Manchester (GB), had a professional training at the "School of Performing Arts" and the conservatory in Birmingham (GB). Henrik works throughout Europe for musical theaters and various music projects as singer, songwriter and producer. The Flying Pickets, Sefan Raab's "TV Total" Band Heavytones, Lionel Richie to meantion just a few. Henrik is known as a musical artist worldwide and can be admired in many successful musicals as a leading actor on the stages of Europe.
On drums, Saris is complemented by the experienced drummer and percussionist Jens Beckmann, who is well booked as a music teacher, studio and session drummer.
"Until We Have Faces" was recorded partly in Saris own studio and partly in the "Principal Studios" where it was also mixed and mastered. Engineer, co-producer and label boss Joerg Umbreit has given this album a new dimension. The result is a big, international production with first class hard rock AOR vocal lines, neo-progressive instrumental passages and Saris' typical symphonic melodies. Besides the obligatory long track, there are also radio-friendly songs with catchy tunes.
Derk Akkermann (gtr/keys) wrote 10 new Songs to complete Saris’ 3rd Studio Album. "Until We Have Faces" was recorded partly in Saris own studio and partly in the "Principal Studios" where it was also mixed and mastered. Engineer, co-producer and label boss Joerg Umbreit has given this album a new dimension.
"Until We Have Faces"
Until We Have Faces
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