The Scintilla Project – “The Hybrid” (UDR Music)
Biff Byford is a name as synonymous as his band Saxon. Hard to imagine then, that he has actually worked on a side project – and one so far removed from his legendary NWOBHM band. Inspired by the sci-fi film “Scintilla”, for which Saxon were providing a track, Byford and film producer / Balance Of Power drummer Lionel Hicks decided to go a step further in creating a concept album, enlisting Andy Sneap on guitar while fellow Balance Of Powerer Anthony Ritchie was drafted in on bass. “The Hybrid” is the result, and its 9 tracks, including ‘No Rest For The Wicked’ taken from Saxon’s “Call To Arms” are modern Brit hard rock albeit with a strong futuristic groove in line with the movie. Byford’s voice remains unmistakeable as ever, although he keeps it as melodic as possible – in fact its the most melodic and soulful I’ve ever heard him sing – and with the prominent electronic keyboards in the mix, maintains the balance as a cinematic soundtrack on songs like ‘Beware The Children’ and ‘The Damned And The Divine’. Whilst I wouldn’t say this is a must for the Saxon hordes, Peter Byford can stand proud of his performance on this fiery soundtrack that has balls a plenty for anyone into modern rock – I can only hope the movie lives up to the same standard!