|Posted on July 15, 2013 at 1:30 AM|
Saxon - Sacrifice
Written by Luke Tolhurst
Saxon make a triumphant and reinvigorated return with studio album number twenty (!) , Sacrifice; their first since 2011’s stripped-back, bluesy-rock effort, Call To Arms. Age has certainly not wearied the lads from Yorkshire, the ten tracks recorded sounding heavier than ever, certainly much heavier than the Saxon I know and love from the ‘80s.
The first thing that stands out on Sacrifice is the production values, it sounds absolutely MASSIVE! Produced by singer Biff Byford and mixed by veteran producer Andy Sneap, they have turned out an excellent sounding album that in my opinion stands up to (and even above) anything released in the metal world this year.
After instrumental intro ‘Procession’, the band unleash the title track ‘Sacrifice’, featuring excellent riffage and solos from Paul Quinn and Doug Scarratt along with Nigel Glockler’s unrelenting drumming, it is a quality first track sure to get crowds moving at their next run of shows.
It’s almost as if they have a point to prove to their younger power metal contemporaries as the no-holds-barred heaviness continues on the excellent ‘Made in Belfast’ and ‘Warriors of the Road’ with Biff proving his vocals are still top-notch, hitting all the high notes as required.
‘Guardians of the Tomb’ is definitely the album’s standout track for me. An awesome sing-along rock anthem, and yet another reliably excellent guitar solo; what more could you ask for?
Ballad ‘Walking The Steel’ sees the band taking their feet of the throttle just for a moment before the heaviness resumes on ‘Night Of The Wolf’ and the familiar Saxon road themes continue on ‘Wheels of Terror’.
There really isn’t a true let down song on the entire album except maybe for album closer ‘Standing In A Queue’ which kind of felt like the odd song out in comparison to the other killer tracks. That being said the point of the song is probably the band just easing the pace a little bit and having a laugh to put a bookend on what is one of the best albums of the year without a doubt.
Fellow aging British rock/metal bands (not naming any names… *cough*Maiden*cough*) could take a note or two out of Saxon’s book on how to still make albums this heavy and enjoyable in this day and age.
Categories: Album Reviews