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Saxon – Battering Ram

Label: UDR
Format: CD download
Released: 2015
Reviewed By: Rich Catino
Rating: 9/ 10


Its common knowledge Saxon’s early 80s albums “Wheels of Steel”, “Strong Arm of the Law”, “Denim and Leather”, and “Power & the Glory” contain the majority of their classic songs. From the “Crusader” (1984) album up through “Dogs Of War” in 1995, each had a few goodies as well. But, the thing is that around the world, with the unfortunate acceptation of America, there are several albums from 1997’s “Unleash The Beast” on that live up to those from the early 80s. Those being “Metalhead” (1999), “Killing Ground” (2001), “Lionheart” (2004), “The Inner Sanctum (2007)”.

 

Falling in line with the heavier delivery of a few songs off 2013’s “Sacrifice” album, “Battering Ram” title track is what its title implies and is a headbanger just like any opener from their more recent output in the past fifteen years. As is ‘The Devil’s Footprint’, a heavy aggressive contemporary riff and drums show Saxon won’t let age dictate how the sands of time could affect the music. Some complimenting keys back the hard punch to ‘Queen Of Hearts’, the break with acoustic guitar is a smooth additive. The verse and bridge to the chorus in ‘Destroyer’ bring back that old school New Wave of British Heavy Metal way of writing and “Wheels of Steel”.

Need I see more about a title like ‘Hard And Fast’? Excellent usage of guitar lead, heavy riff, pounding bass and drum which does create an audio swirl for the ‘Eye Of The Storm’. Six songs in and its heavy heavy heavy, I don’t know who pissed off Saxon in recent years, but damn did it make someone angry, or inspired. By song eight, ‘Top Of The World’, while still has a fast guitar the lead is more melodic. Track ten, out of eleven, a spoken narration about war opens the six minute ‘Kingdom Of The Cross’.

Like a fine wine, Saxon have only gotten better with age. If you unaware (unfamiliar), with the albums mentioned above do your homework. Saxon’s entire catalogue is great, not just from their Jurassic period.

 
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