SAGA – Trust

SAGA - Trust


Inside Out Music
Release date: May 1, 2006

User Review
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Every year, the Canadian band Saga continues to get one step closer, or maybe even beyond, becoming Progressive Rock legends. Their newest release, Trust, represents their twenty-first bona fide (i.e., not including “Best Of” collections) release! That’s one less than their Canadian brethren, Rush … the HUGE difference between the two? Saga has never, sadly, gotten the respect or acknowledgment they deserve from that elusive American market … the USA. Most Americans only remember Saga by their 1981 hit “On The Loose” from Worlds Apart. Beyond that, any American you can find that knows the band’s name assumes they haven’t recorded anything since!

Putting all that aside, the last four or so studio releases have been commendable, but not as strong and as stellar as some of the older, “classic” Saga releases. It’s somewhat understandable when a band releases twenty (plus) albums, that some dilution occurs in the creative process. Not to mention a catalogue that spans two decades, makes it hard not to dilute a band’s fan base as well … granted there are those true fans that stick with the band through “thick and thin,” and there are those that gave up a while ago. So should fans put their “Trust” in Saga’s hands this year? The answer is thankfully a resounding yes!

It’s 2006 and Saga is back with eleven new tracks, and after a single listen, Saga fans will rejoice as the band has, in part, recaptured their magic. First, it makes sense to cover a line-up change in the band. Once again, as on Network, the core members have invested in a “live” drum sound this time in new member Brian Doerner. Some readers might remember Doerner as the former drummer of another classic Canadian band … Helix. Surely, a drummer from a Rock band such as Helix built around 4/4 beats can’t endure the Progressive nature and complex timings of a band like Saga? In fact, nothing could be further from the truth, as Doerner puts in a solid effort through all eleven tracks, and his drum sound fits in perfectly with the band’s overall production qualities … just hope they retain him for a long, long time to come.

Musically, the release is a mix of that trademark Saga sound and vibe (e.g., Silent Knight and Heads Or Tales) with an updated, polished exterior. Right out of the gate on opener “That’s As Far As I’ll Go,” those trademark, bouncing keyboard lines of Gilmour, that heavy bottom ended Jim Crichton bass, the technically proficient six-string attack of Ian Crichton, and, of course, those melodic Sadler vocals … it’s all here in all its “pompous” grandeur! There will surely be a debate among fans as far as which track on this release is the most stellar. There should be a very strong contingent for “Back In The Shadows,” with its “stomp-itude” tempo, classic Saga guitar jabs, melodic vocals and multi-track chorus. This track also features the best closing jam on a Saga track since “Don’t Be Late (Chapter Two).” The first two tracks alone are worth the price of admission, and will probably both be played in a repeat loop for years to come.

Sadly, there are three less engaging songs, kicking in around track four with “Time To Play” and “My Friend.” They aren’t horrible by any means, they just aren’t as captivating as the two openers, and they might take repeated listens to fully appreciate. “I’m OK” is also slower, but shines due to its masterful, plodding, moody feel, and a dynamic chorus performance by Sadler.

Things get back in line with expectations during the very moving title track “Trust,” with it’s melodic guitar line, heavy, bottom-ended, bobbing bass line, and shouted chorus. “It’s Your Life” is destined to be another Saga classic, as it seems to have all the endearing qualities discussed above. The same goes for “Footsteps In The Hall,” and the more melodic, but emotionally moving “Ice In The Rain.” Lyrics and production quality remain solid and continue as two of the band’s many strengths — no use in fooling around with success.

Bottom line, Saga fans should be wearing a grin from ear to ear after listening to this one. It contains seven strong tracks and four slightly less stellar entries that will need some time to gain hold. Jim Gilmour has never sounded brighter or more prominent on keys. Ian Crichton is as masterful and technically proficient as ever on guitar (and sorely underrated). Michael Sadler’s voice seems almost angelic and never seems to age. Jim Crichton, the ever-consummate “utility player,” continues to provide a tight rhythm section, along with “new comer” Brian Doerner on drums. Each and everyone combine for the band’s most memorable performance in years. Saga fans would be remiss to let this one slip by!


Michael Sadler – Vocals
Jim Crichton – Bass
Ian Crichton – Guitars
Jim Gilmour – Keyboards, Vocals
Brian Doerner – Drums


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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