Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Review; Saxon: Sacrifice

Track Listing:

1. Procession
2. Sacrifice
3. Made In Belfast
4. Warriors Of The Road
5. Guardians Of The Tomb
6. Stand Up And Fight
7. Walking The Steel
8. Night Of The Wolf
9. Wheels Of Terror
10. Standing In A Queue
11. Luck Of The Draw

They were the first band I saw live, and remain largely unrecognised titans of the UK metal scene; Saxon have released another new album and they're yet again proving that sometimes you just cant beat the old school approach.

Full to the brim of thrash-tinged classic style metal riffs and brilliant performances from every musician in the band, Saxon are on stronger form than ever. Boasting catchier songs than 2009's 'Into The Labyrinth' and 2011's 'Call To Arms' and even better vocal deliveries from Biff Byford, the album is an engaging listen from start to finish. Each song has choruses that will be just as readily sang along to live as anything from the 'Wheels of Steel' or 'Strong Arm of The Law' albums.

Album highlights include the brilliantly fast-paced 'Warriors Of The Road', the epic 'Guardians Of The Tomb' and powerhouse track 'Night Of The Wolf' all of which show that the aforementioned Biff Byford is on stronger form now than he's ever been. The guitar solos throughout the album are all fantastic, showing that Paul Quinn and Doug Scarratt are masters of the instrument. The intro to 'Guardians of the Tomb' and the thrash-inspired riff for 'Night Of The Wolf' bear testament to this. Even the album low-point 'Standing In A Queue' is not really a bad song as such! In fact, it's just that its plain odd, if not silly, to have a metal song about queuing! How unabashedly British of them!

The great song writing and execution is made all the more apparent with help of studio guru, Hell guitarist and former Sabbat guitarist Andy Sneap, who's managed to give the album a rough-and-ready sheen that compliments the band's work excellently.

There's nothing new going on in this album, after all this is a band that is an impressive 37 years into their career, so they are set in their ways, but as a fan of metal old and new, I'm more than happy for them to stay as they are.

Simply put: Saxon are here to stay, so embrace the power of classic British Heavy Metal.


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