I think this is the second time we’ve covered a Latvian band, the last one being Bloody Heels from Riga. Saintorment couldn’t be much more distant in geographic terms while still remaining within the same country, not could they be much more different in musical style. While Bloody Heels are glam rock, Saintorment are thrash – but what the two bands have in common is that they’re wonderful throwbacks to the days when both genres were at their best. Maybe Latvia is stuck in some wonderful kind of musical time time warp.
Well of Sins comes across like the eighties never ended. Proper old-school thrash, with a sense of humour which brings back memories of Anthrax and Nuclear Assault in their heyday. The production is nice and meaty, though, and definitely better than most bands were churning out thirty years ago. Chock full of chops, riffs, licks and speedy beats, Well of Sins is a hugely enjoyable album.
With track names like “Introthrashion”, “Bulldozing Metal” and “Freaks”, you know you’re in the hands of a group who know their audience and enjoy that tongue-in-cheek respect for their chosen musical field. In fact the second of those, “Bulldozing Metal” is my choice of best track on the album. Nice, simple lyrics and a beat that just doesn’t let up for the three-minute duration – and absolute neck-breaker. Of course, it still has time for a screaming guitar solo (actually, two – one from each guitarist). It’s typical of the songs on the entire album, sticking to the age-old formula of verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge with 2-3 brief solos, chorus, outro.
“Freaks” has one of the best “middles”. A guitar freak-out with wibbles and diving sounds courtesy of overused whammy bars followed by a great, near-operatic guitar solo. Then more shredding. This is the sound of a band pissing about, having fun and playing it all for their mates.
The one track that stands out as particularly different is “Move In Time Of Groove” which goes a little funky with some nice plunky bass playing in the intro and a couple of the breaks. It’s like someone listened to some Faith No More and thought they’d just chuck a bit in for giggles. This doesn’t detract from the thrash in any way, mind!
It’s fair to say that there’s nothing groundbreaking or new on Well of Sins, but that’s one of it’s strengths. It’s familiar, and easy to get into – like a well-worn denim jacket coated in Kreator and Slayer patches. If you’re looking for a new thrash band to check out, then you could do far worse than picking up a copy of this album. I think what I liked most about it was that it really doesn’t sound like the band are taking things too seriously and that really comes across in every song.
I used the word before and I’ll use it again – this album is fun. It’s also only €5 on Bandcamp!