Saracen – “Heroes, Saints & Fools” (1981)

Put down that beer for a second.  So, you think the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) was all about jeans n’ sneakers, homages to Satan, and loud n’ fast metal?  Not entirely.  Some bands associated with the NWOBHM were just plain old rock bands.  As I have stated before, the NWOBHM is not a really a genre.  Nay, it really refers to a collection of (mostly) hard rockin’ (new) bands that came out of England roughly around ’79-’83.   Take for example, Saracen.  Here’s a band that is always referred to as a NWOBHM band, but if you listen to their 1981 debut Heroes, Saints & Fools, what you get is a fairly non-metal offering footed firmly in the decade prior (the ’70s, stupid).  Yes, the guitars were electric, but Saracen weren’t trying to be Saxon, Venom, or Iron Maiden.

In typical ’70s prog-rock fashion, Heroes, Saints & Fools likes to stretch its legs, with four of the album’s seven tunes clocking in at over six minutes.  Arcane (re: cheesy) keyboards were used in copious quantity, further demonstrating Saracen’s ’70s rock preoccupation.  While the keyboards may have put a definitive expiration date on the album, Heroes, Saints & Fools is a fairly enjoyable listen for someone like myself, who likes to wax nostalgic while listening to these carbon-dated forays.  Into the English fog you go.  My score: B-


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