Blood of Saints is Engel’s third album; following the extremely successful sophomore record Threnody, which saw them touring with metal titans such as Arch Enemy.
Releasing a record that great is always a blessing and a curse. The curse being, will the next one live up to it? On the first listen through Blood of Saints, I was overcome with a sense of dread that it didn’t. Sometimes albums hit that sweet spot during the first listen, other times you need to spin the disc a few more times to get the feel of the album and really consume the music. That is the case with Blood of Saints.
Engel are a bit of a mixed bag genre wise – industrial, electronic, metal, melodic metal, you could probably fit some more in there – but the variety works. It doesn’t sound like the mash-up of sounds you may expect. Album opener “Question Your Place” is the most electronic sounding on the record, but it doesn’t feel out of place. Going from electronic and industrial to hard as nails metal to a soft melodic offering occurs so naturally on this album. “Cash King” is one of the heavier tracks, with a sweet guitar solo that goes seamlessly into “One Good Thing”, a heavily electronic track.
Engel have polished their sound for Blood of Saints, taking the best of Absolute Design and Threnody to make a near perfect release. Hints of Threnody can definitely be heard in “Drama Queen” and the soft album closer “Journey’s End.”
The only thing that lets this record down is that a lot of the songs are easily forgettable, blending into each other with few standouts. That being said, Engel have successfully made a record better than their previous, proving they haven’t reached their high point and there should be plenty more where that came from.
1. Question Your Place
3. Feel Afraid
5. Cash King
6. One Good Thing
7. Blood of Saints
8. Down to Nothing
9. Drama Queen
10. In Darkness
11. Journey’s End