SARATOGA - THE FIGHTING CLAN - AVISPA
Saratoga is a Spanish heavy metal band that has half a dozen albums to its name. This must be the definition of underground because despite some stature and reputation in its home country the name is brand spanking new to me.
The Fighting Clan is the band’s first release sung in English and a translation of the El Clan De La Lucha album. As many Japanese bands can attest often schemes like translated albums fail. The Fighting Clan is a rather good album with fluid vocals. Although, not having heard the original, it is not possible to make a direct comparison to the source material. Here the vocals are of the higher pitch variety, often doubled and backed up, the songs are both slow and fast; good and bad. Inside Your Evil Heart is strong, although it sounds like Stratovarius without keyboards. Disappointment is exactly that though. This slow song drags on without purpose. Far From The Time Wheel is heavy, while If The Sun Rose is a sappy ballad with Spanish undertones and a mega dose of unoriginality. Can you say Julio Iglesias??!
Saratoga’s good songs balance the mundane. Overall, the band is an OK hard and heavy band that thankfully has no keyboards (aside from the album’s last minute) for which heavy metal fans and Metallian can be thankful. - Anna Tergel