The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Saxon-Battering-Ram-2015

SAXON - BATTERING RAM - ALBUM REVIEW

UDR GmbH | Release Date: October 16 2015

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Saxon’s 21st studio album follows relatively swiftly on from the largely satisfying outing ‘Sacrifice’ from 2013, which restored things to normal after the largely disappointing ‘Call to Arms’ in 2011. Here we again find South Yorkshire’s finest in fine form as they celebrate an astonishing 40 years in the business!


Sonically this is very much Heavy Metal from the off, if you like it’s very much an updated version of Saxon’s classic sound with fuller guitars and a little more pace. When you add to that the fact that front man Byford is in fine fettle these days the result is probably the best we’ve seen from Saxon this Century.


Opener and title track ‘Battering Ram’ just sets it all up – all the thunder and bluster you could want, and it’s ably backed up with the classic Metallic folklore tale of ‘The Devil’s Footprint’ that follows in its fiery footsteps and is the first of two songs to feature spoken word.


After that initial Metal onslaught the good news is that the power doesn’t let up with the slightly sinister sounding ‘Queen of Hearts’ taking from Lewis Carol and delivering a slower paced Prog-flavoured tale from the looking glass. In a way it’s the odd man out here amongst the more straight forward supercharged NWOBHM twin guitar Metal attack but it sits nicely here.


Back to business and basics, fans will love songs like the riff-driven ‘Destroyer’ and ‘Stand Your Ground’ which are clearly rooted in the bands origins and yet have a crispness and freshness to them that will endear them to new fans as well as old.


Everywhere you turn the songs are nailed, tight and coiled to spring on waiting audiences. It’s a veritable Metal fest, only stilled by the contemplative spoken-word epic that marks the losses of the First World War in ‘Kingdom of the Cross’ in this the centenary year of the end of that conflict. It’s a great way to end the album, though your copy may also include the bonus track ‘Three Sheets to the Wind (The Drinking Song)’ an equally nice way to end an evening…


Great songs, great sound and great production with Andy Sneap again doing a great job. Make no bones about it this is the album where Saxon take back their Heavy Metal – and an album fans will love.

 

 

 

by Mark Rockpit

 

 


 

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