Kicking the listener’s ears in with a song heavily redolent of Sykes-era Whitesnake is always a good move, especially when your new singer has the sort of voice that can add a classy rock sheen to a rendition of your local telephone directory. That’s right – Germany’s Frank Pané is back with his latest iteration of his rock brainchild Sainted Sinners, and you’d have to say, even on the evidence of that first track alone, entitled Same Ol’ Song, that they’ve seldom sounded better…

One of the main reasons for this upturn in rockular fortunes is the insertion behind the mic of Tygers of Pan Tang vocalist Jack Meille, although this is no single-handed resurrection Joe show. Pané himself is in blistering form and together with other new boys Ernesto Ghezzi (keys) and Rico Bowen (bass) he’s come up with a set of classy hard rock that spans that particular genre from pole to pole in search of truly great material.

At their best, on material like Early Light Of Day, you’ll get a big whiff of names like Europe, with Meille delivering the first in a series of world class performances. Even on the slightly hammy tribute to Led Zeppelin, The Hammer of the Gods, the singer shows a veneer of class in his performance that really proves him to be more than the belter out of tunes that he appears to be in his day job. A new star is born? That might be over egging the pudding slightly, but there’s no doubt that Meille has done his reputation no harm whatsoever on this album.

40 years is a Van Halenish romp designed to allow everybody to show off their chops – they grasp the opportunity with both hands without exception – whilst closer Farewell To Kings is a true big rock epic in every sense of the world, encompassing everything from a brief symphonic intro to impressively adamantine riffage, calling at all points in between. But I’ll not bore you with specifics any further – save to say that, that Zeppelin fantasia aside (and even this track isn’t really that bad), I could find something appreciative to say about every track on this album, such is it’s variety and freshness. Sainted Sinners have delivered an album here that doesn’t really have any discernible weak points, and I think anybody that loves classic arena rock will find a slot for this record in their hearts as soon as they hear it. Impressive stuff!

Unlocked & Reloaded releases on December 4th.