SAIDIAN – Phoenix

SAIDIAN - Phoenix


Metal Heaven
Release date: September 29, 2006

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Saidian is back with their second release, called Phoenix. You might remember that their first, … For Those Who Walk The Path Forlorn, came out last year, so the Markuses from Schwabenland have been pretty busy, and they have used their time well.

Last fall, Saidian even scored a support slot for the mighty Mountain King and his Pain, and got to take their stage show across the European continent, on a tour that should have seen more Sava-holics come out of their caves though. Needless to say, with their songwriting skills and ambitions, Saidian won a few friends over on this tour… not only from the audience, but more on that later.

Phoenix is not too different from the debut. Then why would it be? This is a band that indeed had a clear vision of what to do –- and how to do it –- from day one, and there’s no need to change as long as the engine runs with no scary sounds. If you want to establish and position yourself as a band, you better stick to what you do best –- and Saidian fully understands that. You get a full on dose of uptempo Neo-Classical Metal, varied with midtempo sing-a-long songs as well as the slower, more epic tracks, like the album closer “Reign Of Agony” –- and never once does Saidin lose focus on strong melodies.

“Power And Glory” has tongue-in-cheek Manowar lyrics where the Schnitzel-guys sing about themselves and how great it is to be back on the road again, though musically, the song itself could easily be lifted off any Stratovarius CD. The vocals go from impressive to having a too tense and pretentious vibrato, like the one Mister Sammet so wisely has toned down for Edguy’s last two offerings.

Saidian’s strongest side is indeed the keyboard work by Markus Bohr (a further presentation can be found here). The songs seem to be written on keyboards and are also strongly based around said instrument, while the guitar takes a more rhythmic chugga-chugga role, though you find the occasional killer opening riff here and there, and a few neat solos. Edguy was mentioned, and like last time, a certain Danish/Russian/American combo must be greeted while on the topic of Saidian, but this band’s way of penning songs make them relevant to the scene today, regardless of the originality factor.

Now back to Saidian’s friends… one of them is given a chance to introduce himself on “Crown Of Creation.” Jon Oliva, the Mozart of modern times, sings a verse for his Schwabian friends, though there’s no reason for old ‘tage fans to lose their minds over this. This part sounds like it’s been recorded in the back of Oliva’s bus after an exhausting show, so unless you’re a Sava-nerd, you should check out Saidian based on the quality of their own work, not because the best ever songwriter decided to pay homage to his touring buddies.

Looking at Saidian’s press photo, it’s very tempting to ask why a former bass player from TNT and the old Almighty drummer do appear, but look closer, and you get a good laugh instead. That said, if Melodic Metal with a strong and sometimes Neo-Classical delivery is right up your alley, you won’t laugh at Saidian. “Never Surrender” will have you convinced, like “Silent Killer” did last year. If there’s space for one more act next to Royal Hunt, Stratovarius, and Edguy, the seat might as well be reserved for Saidian. Check out Phoenix… it could be rising for you!


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