After the release of their second album ‘Back With A Vengeance’ in 2018 and after fulfilling their tour commitments the members of the group more or less went separate ways. Guitarist Frank Pane concentrated on his regular gig with Bonfire and started a new band with Swedish singer Goran Edman called Dark Blue Inc. (one album so far up their sleeve). Singer David Reece went solo taking bass player Malte Frederik Burkert more or less with him and it seemed that Sainted Sinners was put on ice indefinitely.
Frank Pane now has resurrected the band, without Burkert and Reece but with the original drummer Berci Hirleman and he recruited three new musicians. Ernesto Ghezzi (who has toured and worked with Gotthard) on keyboards and bass player Rico Bowen. As new singer Pane managed to get hold of Tygers Of Pan Tang and Damn Freaks vocalist Iacope ‘Jack’ Meille and getting him behind the microphone was something like a coupe. Meille is a very capable vocalist as he has proven in the past and he does so again on ‘Unlocked & Reloaded’, the third Sainted Sinners album since their start in 2016.
In a way Pane has gone back to the core days of the band when keyboardist Ferdy Doernberg (Axel Rudi Pell) was part of the group. Sainted Sinners started out as a band that wanted to pay homage to classic rock groups like Deep Purple, Van Halen and Whitesnake, with a dominant role for the guitar assisted by some flashy keyboards and big vocals. And that is basically the case on ‘Unlocked & Reloaded’. The sound of the album is pretty classic, there are battles between keys and guitar (,,40 Years’’) and the role of singer Jack Meille is prominent as well. Obviously he does sound different in comparison with David Reece but in all honesty Jack Meille fits in well. With the adding of a permanent keyboard player the sound of the band is yet again more agile, cohesive and also the variation of that first album is back. There is not much wrong with this third album, I really liked the first two records with David Reece but this one is not of bad parents as well. Songs like ,,The Hammer Of The Gods’’ (with a big Zep feel in the vocals) and album closer ,,Farewell To Kings’’ really bring out the best of this current line-up and prove that Frank Pane was right to add a new chapter for this band. Another really classic rock album that honours the above mentioned bands as it should be. Job well done by the flamboyant Pane who also has a new album in the works with Bonfire soon, but to be brutally honest I find him more at his place with this band. But who am I?