The third full-length album by the Swedish Modern Industrial Melodic Death Metal band.
Engel are back with a piece of heaven for any friend of Modern Metal. The comparison to In Flames is unavoidable but, in "Blood Of Saints", Engel easily surpass their forefathers’ most recent output. This is what the follow up to "A Sense Of Purpose", should have sounded like, and, with the addition of Niclas Engelin - Engel’s lead guitarist and namesake - to the In Flames ranks, future ventures just might.
Lead single “Question Your Place” - a powerfully kinetic, almost ‘Dance-Metal’, number littered with Electronic effects - opens the album with a massive Dubstep breakdown. That description may be enough to put you off on principle alone – after all, last time DJs mixed with Metal didn’t particularly yield the most favorable of results. However, the song is positively huge, with an equally massive, and crisp, production – populated by expertly timed, double-kick barrages and an infectiously catchy chorus, leading into the most satisfying of tempo drops – the whole while being propelled forth by an irresistible, pounding, Rammstein-esque, Industrial thump.
Should you still be put off by the Heavy, Industrial element of “Question Your Place”, fear not. It is followed up by the Thrashiest, most aggressive song on the album, in the form of “Frontlines”, whose main riff owes a substantial debt to, obvious influence, In Flames, which gives way to head-banging, ballad, “Feel Afraid”. The band continue on in this manner for the remainder of the album – churning out infectious, Gothenburg-induced Pop-Metal, almost to an entire neglect of the direction proposed by the album opener – though the Electronic element is ever present.
This adherence to traditional values over new frontiers of experimentation is both the album’s greatest strength and its greatest weakness. The band do the whole Post-Melodeath thing better than any other, retaining just enough of a hard edge to the guitars amid the squeaky clean production and Pop fluff, and plenty of killer lead-breaks to still be undeniably Metal. However, “Question Your Place” is twice as good a song as any other on the album, and it would have been nice to see some more hard hitters Pop their heads up throughout the album’s 38-minute duration.
"Blood Of Saints" is a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Engel hold the balance between skill and brutality, melodies and dynamic, classic Metal influences and new-school characteristics. Listen to Modern Metal from Sweden at its best!!
Season Of Mist, 2012 (SOM 260). Made in France. Pressed in Austria. First press. Used: very good.
1. Question Your Place 3:35
2. Frontline 2:56
3. Feel Afraid 3:06
4. Numb 2:54
5. Cash King 4:39
6. One Good Thing 3:20
7. Blood of Saints 3:15
8. Down to Nothing 3:29
9. Drama Queen 3:17
10. In Darkness 3:05
11. Journeys End 4:48
Total playing time: 38:24