Published on November 12th, 2016 | by Justin G.
Sage Meridien: Whispered Tales
The cult metal disciples at the Stormspell label have once again reached deep into the metal vault to bring us a lost gem from metal’s past. Sage Meridien was an Arizona-based progressive/power metal band active in the late 1980s. Think about that for a second: being a metal band in Arizona had to be tough enough, but to play such a commercially inaccessible style of metal? Poor guys. The band released a single demo, a five-song cassette titled Whispered Tales, in 1989 and then disappeared.
It’s a shame Sage Meridien was so isolated, because they had a really interesting sound that fans of John Arch-era Fates Warning, early Queensryche, Crimson Glory and the first Dream Theater album would have loved. Eight-minute songs with some dazzling technical musicianship and over the top high-pitched vocals. Actually, Adrian Urbina’s vocals get a bit too histrionic at times, but for the most part they match this kind of epic technical metal well.
There are only five songs on Whispered Tales, but aside from the instrumental “Octavian,” (which is still a solid 5-minutes) they’re all in the 8-9 minute range. And they’re all really good songs that perfectly capture the early progressive metal spirit.
Stormspell’s reissue of Whispered Tales puts this long lost demo on CD for the first time ever. It has been remastered, and sounds pretty good given what I’m sure is less than perfect source material. This is one of those reissues that will put a big smile on the faces of cult heavy metal collectors, especially fans of the early US progressive metal sound.
Summary: If you like classic prog metal, you'll want this.