Rating:
5.6
Sage's Recital - Sage's Recital
2 September 2013


01. The Power Within
02. You Hold The Key
03. The Last Unicorn
04. The Council Of Dragons
05. Immortal Flame
06. The Dead Of Winter
07. The Last Battle


Let's make this album an example for generations to come: I'm going to draw up a brief list of what not to do while composing your band's debut album.

    1. Don't fill your 7-track release with two instrumental pieces, no matter how technically skilled you are. A debut album must catch the attention of the listener, the time for talent ostentations will come later. Is a bird in the hand really worth two in the bush?

    2. For the same reason, don't compose 15-minutes-long songs if not absolutely unavoidable, and only if you're sure you can handle a set of such importance and difficulty.

    3. Don't record your album in your garage. Yes, some bands can (hard rock superstars Foo Fighters recorded their album Wasting Light in Dave Grohl's garage), but it's impractical if your genre is complex and elaborated as Sage's Recital's - neoclassical power metal with progressive touches. This needs a crystal-clear production, and this album is its antithesis. As an example; the fading at the end of "Immortal Flame" which, according to the epic soul of this song, should be slow and majestic, but it turns out sounding like a brutal shutdown, leaving the listener confused and unfulfilled.

    4. Don't start a band imprisoned by the chains of a dead style. Power metal with Skyrim lyrics, is in fact agonizing, but while it can still give satisfaction to already famous bands, it's probably the worst genre to start your career with these days.

Sage's Recital is not the typical album which makes you gasp at first listen, it is an effort that makes you feel sorry for not liking it. There is the passion, the instrumental quality, and some good ideas. Such as the chorus in "Immortal Flame", which turns out being the best song on the album, but what's missing are chances, because power metal ended its potential with the bands who started around the late 1990s/early 2000s.

I'd like to end this unconventional review stating, with no doubt, that if Sage's Recital want to give themselves a real opportunity, they have to rethink themselves, their music, and their soul.


Band profile: Sage's Recital
Album: Sage's Recital


 



Written on 21.09.2013 by
R Lewis
Hopefully you won't agree with me, diversity of opinions is what makes metal so beautiful and varied.

So... critics and advices absolutely welcome.
More reviews by R Lewis ››



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Dark†SymphonY - 21.09.2013 at 21:11  
That cover just screams Skyrim, this review kinda puts me off listening to this, but I might try it out anyway.
UnknownCheese - 21.09.2013 at 23:49  
Review blows. Most of the review is spent on you trying to dictate what an upcoming band shouldn't do, and docking points for the fact that they play power metal. There's little to no mention of the band's actual music outside of them playing power metal.
Warman - 22.09.2013 at 00:43  
I listened to one song, and it pretty much summed up this whole review.
Guib - 22.09.2013 at 06:31  
Lol about the ''don't play 15 or so, minutes songs on a debut album'' ... Well it went well for Vektor
R Lewis - 22.09.2013 at 10:26  
Written by UnknownCheese on 21.09.2013 at 23:49

Review blows. Most of the review is spent on you trying to dictate what an upcoming band shouldn't do, and docking points for the fact that they play power metal. There's little to no mention of the band's actual music outside of them playing power metal.

Probably you haven't understood what i tried to do here. I used this "list" to express this album's flaws.

By reading it carefully - thing I'm not sure you've done - you now know that:
- the band plays neoclassical power metal with progressive touches
- there are 2 instrumental tracks out of 7
- there are 15-minutes-long tracks
- there are epic tracks
- the production sucks and ruins some enjoyable tracks
- overall the tecnhical ability isn't bad
- there are some good ideas, like some singable choruses
- the lyrics are about dragons&co.
- the band imo has chosen the wrong genre to start with
- the band clearly puts passion into their music

Is it clearer now? It's everything in the review, just in a "different" way. I'm sure now you can perfectly imagine what the band sounds like.
Still you don't? Then you should adore THIS
Cheers
Traezeus - 22.09.2013 at 23:52  
Written by Guib on 22.09.2013 at 06:31

Lol about the ''don't play 15 or so, minutes songs on a debut album'' ... Well it went well for Vektor

Bro, if you're going to quote text, take the 15 seconds (or less) to scroll up and actually quote the text. It makes you look silly when you paraphase someone's statement, especially when you omit the part of said person's statement that nullifies the point you're attempting to make. The point Mr. Lewis was trying to make was that you shouldn't attempt 15 minute tracks unless "You're sure you can handle a set of such importance and difficulty." It took me less than 30 seconds of listening to the first track to determine that this band is incapable of doing so (merely my opinion). And by "doing so," I'm implying that such a band is incapable of creating a captivating and engrossing song that could hold one's attention (mine, in this case), for more than 10+ minutes. Meh band, accurate review.
Teddy Red - 23.09.2013 at 00:54  
Bullshit Review!
BoxCar Willy - 23.09.2013 at 04:07  
Written by UnknownCheese on 21.09.2013 at 23:49

Review blows. Most of the review is spent on you trying to dictate what an upcoming band shouldn't do, and docking points for the fact that they play power metal. There's little to no mention of the band's actual music outside of them playing power metal.

Agreed on all accounts.
Marcel Hubregtse - 23.09.2013 at 10:55  
Good review. Good that you point out what a band should avoid doing on a debut album. Hopefully the band will take your words to heart and work on those aspects. This is a much better review than most of the reviews here on MS, espcially those where the reviewer tries to be all funny yet fails dismally (here's looking to some past reviewers such as Herz, Thryce and Troy) and doesn't give any pointers for the band on how to improve.
M C Vice - 24.09.2013 at 10:57  
So basically, it's a good album ruined by terrible production quality.
What genre would you recommend a band start with these days?
R Lewis - 24.09.2013 at 11:07  
Written by M C Vice on 24.09.2013 at 10:57

So basically, it's a good album ruined by terrible production quality.
What genre would you recommend a band start with these days?

I'd change good with mediocre, but basically you're right.
Now, your question is the question. I don't know about the chances of starting an extreme metal band since I'm not into the genre, but if I was good enough and had enough time to start a band, I think it would be around melodic/alternative metal. Something open to a larger range of fans, easily enjoyabl though being a bit complex. Probably, something a la Fair To Midland. I think that would be the perfect way to start a band. Anyway, anything but power metal (I am a power metal fanboy, keep it in mind)
But you'll hardly agree with me, and you'll hardly find someone who agrees with me, since these are really personal tastes.
R Lewis - 24.09.2013 at 13:28  
Written by BoxCar Willy on 23.09.2013 at 04:07

Agreed on all accounts.

Then I'll have to answer you alike I answered to UnknownCheese:
By reading it carefully you now know that:
- the band plays neoclassical power metal with progressive touches
- there are 2 instrumental tracks out of 7
- there are 15-minutes-long tracks
- there are epic tracks
- the production sucks and ruins some enjoyable tracks
- overall the tecnhical ability isn't bad
- there are some good ideas, like some singable choruses
- the lyrics are about dragons&co.
- the band imo has chosen the wrong genre to start with
- the band clearly puts passion into their music

Really this isn't enough to imagine a band's sound?
Marcel Hubregtse - 24.09.2013 at 13:52  
Written by R Lewis on 24.09.2013 at 13:28

Written by BoxCar Willy on 23.09.2013 at 04:07

Agreed on all accounts.

Then I'll have to answer you alike I answered to UnknownCheese:
By reading it carefully you now know that:
- the band plays neoclassical power metal with progressive touches
- there are 2 instrumental tracks out of 7
- there are 15-minutes-long tracks
- there are epic tracks
- the production sucks and ruins some enjoyable tracks
- overall the tecnhical ability isn't bad
- there are some good ideas, like some singable choruses
- the lyrics are about dragons&co.
- the band imo has chosen the wrong genre to start with
- the band clearly puts passion into their music

Really this isn't enough to imagine a band's sound?



true. I can clearly envision what this band sound slike. SO I don't see the problem with this review AT ALL
Rodney - 25.09.2013 at 15:01  
Lol at telling bands they shouldn't start with power metal, and should go with something open to a broader range of fans. I guess all bands should just play what people want to hear instead of what THEY want to play, seems reasonable. Also, stating that there are too many instrumental tracks is also absurd and again just feels like you trying to force a band into the format that YOU enjoy instead of what THEY want to do with their album structure.
R Lewis - 25.09.2013 at 18:05  
Written by Rodney on 25.09.2013 at 15:01

Lol at telling bands they shouldn't start with power metal, and should go with something open to a broader range of fans. I guess all bands should just play what people want to hear instead of what THEY want to play, seems reasonable. Also, stating that there are too many instrumental tracks is also absurd and again just feels like you trying to force a band into the format that YOU enjoy instead of what THEY want to do with their album structure.

Obviously I'm not in the position to force anyone, mine is an opinion.
Then, as a HUGE power metal fan, I can ensure you that this genre of power metal was enjoyable in the beginning of the last decade. Now, it's a has-been.
Then again, listen to the album before criticizing with such vehemence: you'll soon find out that the band is incapable of writing an enjoyable instrumental track. The shredding ability can be awesome, it's the songwriting skill that's missing.
Then again again, fun, in these years a personal opinion has become so much objective to be considered ABSURD.
Rodney - 26.09.2013 at 03:52  
Written by R Lewis on 25.09.2013 at 18:05

Then, as a HUGE power metal fan, I can ensure you that this genre of power metal was enjoyable in the beginning of the last decade. Now, it's a has-been.

So there's zero chance that a good power metal album could be released these days? Therefore all bands who enjoy playing power metal should just quit playing what they love because it's a "has-been" genre? Again this sounds like you forcing your tastes on the band as I'm sure there's many many people who still enjoy new power metal releases.
Written by R Lewis on 25.09.2013 at 18:05

you'll soon find out that the band is incapable of writing an enjoyable instrumental track.

I would have no problem with you stating this in the review as that's a completely reasonable opinion, but you explicitly stated that no band should fill their debut with instrumental tracks "no matter how technically skilled you are" which is an entirely different thing altogether.
SilentScream - 26.09.2013 at 03:58  
I agree with Marcel, good review.
R Lewis - 26.09.2013 at 17:59  
Written by Rodney on 26.09.2013 at 03:52
I would have no problem with you stating this in the review as that's a completely reasonable opinion, but you explicitly stated that no band should fill their debut with instrumental tracks "no matter how technically skilled you are" which is an entirely different thing altogether.

This time I have to admit you are right, that's missing in the review. I probably have taken it for granted without explaining it clearly.
Written by Rodney on 26.09.2013 at 03:52
So there's zero chance that a good power metal album could be released these days? Therefore all bands who enjoy playing power metal should just quit playing what they love because it's a "has-been" genre? Again this sounds like you forcing your tastes on the band as I'm sure there's many many people who still enjoy new power metal releases.

While this time, in the review is clearly stated that power metal "while it can still give satisfaction to already famous bands, it's probably the worst genre to start your career with these days". So, I still really enjoy new power metal releases (I'm damn excited with the new Rhapsody Of Fire), but I think that no band should begin with power metal, unless they're able to completely re-invent the genre, forging a fresh and original style. And this band didn't do that. Absolutely.
Rodney - 27.09.2013 at 02:50  
Written by R Lewis on 26.09.2013 at 17:59

While this time, in the review is clearly stated that power metal "while it can still give satisfaction to already famous bands, it's probably the worst genre to start your career with these days". So, I still really enjoy new power metal releases (I'm damn excited with the new Rhapsody Of Fire), but I think that no band should begin with power metal, unless they're able to completely re-invent the genre, forging a fresh and original style. And this band didn't do that. Absolutely.

Again I feel this statement is much better than the what was expressed in the review. Anyhow, wasn't trying to hate or anything, sometimes my inner critic just gets the best of me.
Guib - 27.09.2013 at 03:42  
Written by Traezeus on 22.09.2013 at 23:52

Written by Guib on 22.09.2013 at 06:31

Lol about the ''don't play 15 or so, minutes songs on a debut album'' ... Well it went well for Vektor

Bro, if you're going to quote text, take the 15 seconds (or less) to scroll up and actually quote the text. It makes you look silly when you paraphase someone's statement, especially when you omit the part of said person's statement that nullifies the point you're attempting to make. The point Mr. Lewis was trying to make was that you shouldn't attempt 15 minute tracks unless "You're sure you can handle a set of such importance and difficulty." It took me less than 30 seconds of listening to the first track to determine that this band is incapable of doing so (merely my opinion). And by "doing so," I'm implying that such a band is incapable of creating a captivating and engrossing song that could hold one's attention (mine, in this case), for more than 10+ minutes. Meh band, accurate review.


I never tried to say he was wrong, which is why I didnt quote shit lol. You assumed this. I just said Vektor did pretty good 15 minutes songs in their debut. lol but whatever makes you feel better man...
R Lewis - 27.09.2013 at 12:44  
Written by Rodney on 27.09.2013 at 02:50

sometimes my inner critic just gets the best of me.

and sometimes my touchiness could be pent better
tuerda - 01.10.2013 at 12:06  
Haven't listened to the album; not interested in it; but I want to throw in my two cents on the subject of the review:
At first I felt like UnknownCheese and BoxCar Willy did. I read the review again and realized that their objections are not justified.
The review does make me feel queasy and weird, though, so here are a few ideas about what I think might be the problem:
My main issue is that a lot of the discussion is based on the genre. I think this is something that should not influence your judgment at all. While it may sometimes be valid to say "this band should be playing a different style of music", this should be based on reasoning related to the band (ie: extremely talented guitarists are wasted, playing nothing but breakdowns), rather than because genre based prejudice.
Perhaps Rodney said it best in a comment that was overlooked in the discussion: The judgment seems to be based on what will appeal to a broad range of fans, rather than on the quality of the music. If your goal is to appeal to a broad range of fans, you probably wouldn't be playing (any kind of) metal to begin with!
That said, the review does describe the music adequately; its the reasoning behind your judgment that bothers me.
The main reason I read reviews is not to find out what an album sounds like, but to get a serious feel for the intangibles that can make an album worth my time. It is in the second sense that this review fails for me (Others may disagree).
R Lewis - 01.10.2013 at 12:50  
Thanks everyone for the feedbacks, expecially for the negative ones. I'll try to learn from this.
psykometal - 01.10.2013 at 19:35  
*Hmm...I took the statement about power metal as "no one should start a power metal band with Skyrim type lyrics these days". While I kind of agree with that statement, it is not entirely accurate either, Gloryhammer's debut earlier this year is superb, and all about fantasy. But power metal in general (non-Skyrim lyrics) is not the worst genre to start necessarily either, Hammerforce has done quite well for themselves as well.

I do also agree with Marcel about there being nothing wrong with your review style, told me everything I needed to know... that this album is not going to be my cup o' tea.

*This was the disagreement I had with your review. Just forgot to post it.

Edit: However though, I will admit that I'm not exactly the biggest power metal fan to begin with, so my thoughts on the genre may not be all that "credible". Since I don't keep tabs on the genre I don't really have that much an idea of the current state of affairs in the genre. I just occasionally see a bunch of hype about a band or album and check it out, and sometimes I'm used surprised and have to have the album.
tuerda - 02.10.2013 at 00:39  
Written by R Lewis on 01.10.2013 at 12:50

Thanks everyone for the feedbacks, expecially for the negative ones. I'll try to learn from this.

Thank god! I was afraid I might offend you, but you seem to have taken it as I intended.
R Lewis - 02.10.2013 at 00:51  
Written by tuerda on 02.10.2013 at 00:39

Thank god! I was afraid I might offend you, but you seem to have taken it as I intended.

There's no reason to be offended, when somebody criticizes you not just saying "Review blows", but explaining his reasons. Reviews are extremely subjective, and this can be both an up and a down.
Sure, positive comments raise the reviewer's self-esteem (and thank God there are), but my grandpa used (and still uses) to say me "Only champions fall". A bit childish, but I think it explains my point. Cheers!

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