Saintorment – ‘Defective Mind’   2 comments

Founded in Daugavpils, Latvia, in spring 2013, by Romans (guitarist) and Ed (drummer), Saintorment is a labour of love, based on old school metal. Originally nameless, the band began with cover versions, practised in the studio and were eventually joined by Dan (bassist). Covering tracks by Metallica, Kreator, Exodus and Pantera, they then began working on originals. (‘Move In Time Of Groove’ and ‘Witch’s Promise’).

They debuted live, but without vocals, in autumn 2013. After some time, Romans became the vocalist. By 2014’s end, Max (Balaguri, Begotten, Asthma and currently founding Varang Nord), joined as 2nd rhythm/lead guitarist. By mid-2015, Saintorment had performed frequent live shows throughout Latvia and Lithuania.

Their debut album, ‘Well Of Sins’ was launched on December 20th, 2015 and the band photography was done by Andrey Desolation. He and Romans then commenced some music based projects together. Max departed in July 2016, to focus on solo endeavours, followed by Dan. Short-term replacements were found.

Saintorment’s debut music video, ‘Freaks’, from ‘Well Of Sins’, was filmed, with the line-up of that time. Gigs were played mostly in Latvia, including a slot at Klang Fest and a stage set with Belgian thrash band Evil Invaders. Between late summer 2016 and early winter 2017, a humorous video was also filmed for ‘Move In Time Of Groove’. Romans produced a New Year’s tribute to Frank Sinatra’s ‘Let It Snow’ at the end of 2016.

March 2017 saw the departure of all members except Romans, as creative differences sent them all their separate ways. December 2016 and May 2017 was spent producing Romans and Andrey’s co-written 2nd Saintorment album, ‘Defective Mind’. Launched on December 30th, 2017, supported by ‘More Hate Productions’ publisher. The band are currently writing new material and creatively experimenting with lower tunings.

Saintorment are the only active thrash band from Latvia. Their music centres around trad old school hooks and riffs. Their best work to date, these tracks are more focused, acute and precise, showcasing their energetic connection with their fans. All except the bonus track were written and produced by Romans and Andrey. The tracks on ‘Defective Mind’ revolve around numerous themes re: the human condition, social struggles and the interplay between social and interpersonal crises. The cover art represents a self-destructive, self obsessed self saboteur, with the opportunity, but not the motivation, to improve his situation.

Physical Force – Darth Vader-esque action sci-fi movie soundtrack intro, quickly chased by a typically angry thrash, power section of speed riffs, pounding drums and just enough melody to emulate the old school greats, making it listenably catchy, fast-paced and energised. Ending on an aptly definitive shout.

Defective Mind – Immediate, massively catchy power intro, throwing in a skilful touch of whammy bar, for good measure, racing ahead in a blaze of fury, at full tilt, with pure metal aggression throughout. Again, it’s as melodic as it is thrashy, adding a completing feature of versatile style, making it workable both in and out of the mosh pit, whether going for a laid-back drive or going all out, full on head-banging. Bliss.

We Are – Opening on a few cymbal hits, some light drumming and a blistering, searing riff, before upping the heaviness, with a major metal attack. The hugely rhythmic beat kicks in approximately midway through, closely followed by an intensely sensual, exciting riff section. A racing pace flows on steadily, carrying it forward, as the melody increases, taking the volume with it. Memorable, high octane metal.

Strong Enough – Banging drum and riff intro, battling its way on, with raging speed and maximum volume. Relentless frenetic fire. Alternating the tempo and cadence 3/4 in, bringing in a gorgeously Testament-esque sound and adding in a voluminous vibrato edge, carefully controlling that momentum till the end. Hugely melodic and immensely powerful, this’ll appeal to all fans of classic old school metal and new wave of speed and power metal, with thrashy sounds.

Never – Coming in with carefully paced, gradual volume, this has got a great action car chase movie feel about it. It’s where the vocal harmonies appear aswell, bringing extra melody with them. Extreme growls show themselves, in sporadic, skilful arrangements and those beautiful riff melodies add the perfect touch, lifting the song even higher and bringing it to life, to its full potential. The soaring sense just makes it and completes it. As does that thrilling shrill edge to the final closing riff.

Zerofy – Right in there, with instant catchy hooks and feelgood, thrashing pace. You can’t help but get involved in this. So effective and just magnificently catchy. Full throttle mosh pit territory, from start to finish. This’ll blow the cobwebs away and give your metal energy a good workout aswell.

Dies At The Black Night – Great steel infused, edgy riff intro, bringing those enthralling scales to the fore, as it climbs up and down the tower of riffdom! Really thrashy section follows, steeped in hard edged melody and searing sounds, with massively addictive rhythms and speed freak paradisical territory, gaining in volume, speed and catch, till it’s ultimately orgasmic end. The cream of the crop so far and set to be a firm Rock Queen favourite. Love it. LOVE IT!

Mood Pyrexia – Crashing drum intro, opening onto a pyre of metal ascent, with full-scale vibrato and climbing metallic mania. Crazy, creative, energetic freedom reigns, rocking your soul to the core. A truly heavy section embeds itself into the track, ruling its direction, from then onwards. Generous and plentiful use of the whammy bar injects a whole new level of excitement and feel-good factor, raising the tone and lifting it high.

Final Hour – Fading in gradually, in measured tones of steadily increasing volume, yet again, that whammy bar activity really ups the ante, creating an atmosphere of breath-taking lightness and exuberance, pouring through the track. Here, the riffs really take centre stage, bringing melody of astounding colour and vibrancy, retained throughout. The tones are like jewels of metal royalty, hooking you in, in an instant. Massively addictive.

Ai, Ka Man Patik (Bonus Track) – Faster, more metallic fade in, going for it, with an immediacy that hits you full in the face and drags you along the ground, in its wake. Heavier, in the accompanying rhythms, but lighter hearted, vocally and riff wise. Performing a seeming sound-alike of Pulp Fiction’s soundtrack and narrative, towards the end and finally closing with a Latvian spoken word section, intriguing, as it is amusing, in its hilarity. Clever touch.

Overall – Highly appealing, hugely entertaining, delicious thrash fest, with enthralling speed and power sections and a delightful amount of melody, well aided by the whammy bar saturation and the light-hearted intrigue evoked by the spoken word and soundtrack sections. A diamond find. One to return to again and again. ‘Defective Mind’ is a keeper.

10/10 **********

For fans of Testament, New Wave Of Speed And Power Metal and metallic action movie soundtracks.

Posted February 25, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

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