Exposé Online banner

Saga — The Human Condition
(Inside Out Music IOMCD 310, 2009, CD)

by Mike Grimes, Published 2010-07-01

The Human Condition Cover art

The Human Condition is Saga’s debut release with new vocalist Rob Moratti. Not surprisingly, the group’s sound has changed with Moratti’s addition. After all, in addition to being the lead singer, former vocalist Michael Sadler also played keyboards and was one of the primary songwriters too. Many of the trademark Saga elements are still present however. Ian Crichton’s signature staccato and heavy guitar parts, Jim Gilmour’s fast keyboard riffs, unison guitar / keys solos, and strong melodic compositions are still the foundation of the group’s sound. Surprisingly, the album’s title track opener is essentially instrumental – a strange way to start off the first album with a new singer! Fortunately the remaining guys in Saga didn’t opt for a Michael Sadler sound-alike when choosing their new vocalist. Moratti’s voice is quite different than Sadler’s, but he can hold his own. “Avalon” is a good example of Moratti’s powerful and melodic style. He has a wide range and a clear delivery. There are many more backing vocals on this album compared to earlier Saga efforts. For example, on “A Number with a Name” the lead vocals are harmonized throughout the entire song. The band’s sound on The Human Condition does seem a bit heavier overall compared to before. “Step Inside,” “Let It Go,” and “Crown of Thorns” are dense, riff heavy, and thick compositions. Sometimes change can be good. The last few Saga releases with Sadler had gotten somewhat formulaic, so it’s refreshing to hear the band do something different.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 38, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Jim Gilmour, Saga, Ian Crichton

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Outer Limits - Misty Moon – Musea continues to unearth the most unknown and rare albums from the annals of obscure progrock history. Outer Limits were a pretty original Japanese band from one of the darkest times in prog...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues