Album Reviews

The Scintilla Project – The Hybrid Review


Genre:  Prog Rock/Metal

Record Label: UDR/ADA

Release Date: Out Now


Line Up:

Biff Byford – Vocals

Andy Sneap – Guitar

Anthony Ritchie – Bass

Lionel Hicks – Drums


Track Listing:

Scintilla (One Black Heart)
Beware The Children
Some Nightmare
The Damned And Divine
Life In Vain
No Rest for The Wicked


The Hybrid is an album of music with lyrics influenced by the film Scintilla which Biff Byford became involved with when Saxon wrote “No Rest For The Wicked” for the film.  The song was also used on the “Call To Arms” album and is included again here.  So what we have here is a concept album which uses pieces of dialogue from the film for atmosphere and context.

When a singer has as distinctive a voice as Biff’s, there will always be comparisons between his main band and anything new.  This is unfair but equally inevitable so let’s deal with that first.  This album features an excellent performance from Biff, as demonstrated on the track “Permanence” where he has been given the chance to really show his vocal range as well as delivering with his usual power and style.  In fact this track is a great example of the album as a whole musically too, featuring a storming solo and great riffs which are further enhanced by the excellent keyboard work and occasional orchestration.  This is another difference to Saxon and along with the longer song structure, a reason that this release could be labelled as a modern prog rock album – more Dream Theater than Genesis certainly but not as technical.

There is a definite sense of occasion to the songs and this helps to bring the concept to life and once again Dream Theater comes to mind with their “Metropolis pt2: Scenes From A Memory” album.  They both have the same feeling of each song being like the next chapter in the story and the first few listens the music is almost ignored concentrating on what is going to happen next.  But the music is what will keep you coming back to listen to this album with the excellent musicianship on offer and the well-constructed songs that work equally as well as stand-alone tracks or as part of the whole story.  A case in point is how well the track “No Rest For The Wicked” fits in with the rest of the album despite being recorded by a different group of musicians at a different time.

I think this album will be enjoyed by fans of modern prog as well as Saxon fans looking for something new from Biff.  Fans of the film who enjoy a bit of rock will love it I’m sure and this will probably work the other way with fans of the album looking to see the film, as indeed I am.  Until then I’ll just have to make do with the pictures in my head conjured up from this interesting album.


Written by Duncan Everson

Ratings    Duncan    8/10

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