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Saga - Silent Knight CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.64 | 195 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
3 stars Saga combined arena rock with a real gift for symphonic progressive atmospherics, not to mention the best of breed production values. True, they were overly dramatic even for their time, and Michael Sadler's vocals were affected in the extreme, but "Silent Knight" is still a worthwhile listen on many levels for people who want to hear some of neo prog's forgotten routes and roots.

The two best cuts are the well developed opener "Don't be Late", and the rollicking finale "Careful where you step", which captures the paranoia of the cold war peak as well as any song, and features brilliant keyboard and guitar interchanges and stereophonic effects. Along the way we have some average songs that are easy to listen to but also bolstered by great passages, as in the circus style theme that terminates "What's It Gonna Be", and hit-material hooks like in the heavy symphonic mantra "Help me Out" and "Someone Should", which reminds me of art rockers Sparks for some reason. This was the album just before Saga went from Canadian cult heroes and German superstars to world wide success, and we can see the ingredients coming together. Yes there are duds that necessitate a needle lift or skip button as the case may be, "Compromise" being an utterly senseless affair that almost seems like a dress rehearsal for "Careful where you Step".

It's been over 25 years since "Silent Knight", and, although Saga's massive subsequent success was short lived, they in a large measure earned their elder statesmanship in the second wave camp through efforts such as this. Perhaps not quite a Knight in shining armor, this particular Saga is still dripping with nostalgic and intrinsic merit.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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