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Saxon – Battering Ram

album by:
Saxon
Version:
CD
Price:
£9.99

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On October 24, 2015
Last modified:October 25, 2015

Summary:

Saxon announce a call to arms with an effortless display of modern metal without losing their NWOBHM past.

Saxon

If there is ever a band that truly defines the meaning of the genre heavy metal then that band is Saxon and they have been hammering it out since 1976 when they were originally known as Son Of A Bitch. Their record company recommended a name change and so Saxon came to be and the current line up still contains 2 original members from their beginnings (vocalist Peter ‘Biff’ Byford and  guitarist Paul Quinn). Their self titled debut album surfaced during the early days of the NWOBHM movement in 1979 and is still my favourite to this day.

So almost 40 years later and brand new 21st studio album Battering Ram does exactly what it says on the tin containing some of their heaviest songs ever. The production from Andy Sneap gives them a modern edge but their NWOBHM roots are still there, point proven by the title track that opens it. Intense shimmering intro riffs backed by the ever dependable drumming of Nigel Glockler lead into heavy, chugging rhythms. Biff hollers out the lyrics that include “Decibels will rise above to fill this concert hall. Are you ready to begin? Then let the hammer fall like a battering ram”. The solos from Paul Quinn and fellow guitarist Doug Scarratt are the icing on the cake.

Other highlights are the almost Exodus like thrash metal riffs surging through ‘The Devil’s Footprint’. A tale of a mythical creature with Biff hitting some lung bursting high notes. ‘Queen Of Hearts’ is a Rammstein like bruiser with an almost spoken word vocal giving the song a majestic feel. The stabbing intro riffs of ‘Eye Of The Storm’ segue into crunching hard rock as Biff, once again pushes his voice to the max as the riffs build to a tumultuous ending.

‘Stand  Your Ground’ hurtles along in the vein of ‘20,000ft’ from their Strong Arm Of The Law album. The punishing riffs are broken by a calm before the storm mid section of sparse riffs and synths. Almost thrashy riffs come to the fore again during ‘Top Of The World’ fused with melodic hard rock as Biff’s lyrics tell of the perils of mountaineering. . ‘To The End’ has laid back, reflective vocals over slow burning riffs but following track ‘Kingdom Of The Cross’ is even much more of a surprise and is my favourite track on the album. It is a mainly spoken word affair, regaling the plight of World War I with Biff crooning emotional lyrics. A fine example being “So wave the flags and say goodbye to a generation lost. They are marching onto history to the kingdom, the kingdom of the cross”.

   Battering Ram is out now via UDR Music. A worthy addition to their 15,000,000 worldwide album sales already achieved.

Saxon band line up:-

Biff Byford – Vocals.

Paul Quinn – Guitars.

Doug Scarratt – Guitars.

Nigel Glockler – Drums.

Nibbs Carter – Bass guitar.

Album track listing :-

Battering Ram.

The Devil’s Footprint.

Queen Of Hearts.

Destroyer.

Hard And Fast.

Eye Of The Storm.

Stand Your Ground.

Top Of The World.

To The End.

Kingdom Of The Cross.

Three Sheets To The Wind (The Drinking Song).

 

 

 

Saxon announce a call to arms with an effortless display of modern metal without losing their NWOBHM past.

About Dennis Jarman

Full time downtrodden album/gig reviewer and part time rock God!
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