The British heavy metal legends produce a series of alternative takes on classic favorites to herald a worthy new entry to the Saxonian Institute of Metal.
There is always feral beauty in a raging beast…and with Unplugged and Strung Up, Saxon’s selection of unique, fresh and adventurous interpretations of material previously heard only with raw heavy metal thunder, the point is triumphantly underscored.
Unplugged and Strung Up reveals layers and pieces previously dormant in many of the 14 classic Saxon songs chosen for this makeover, thanks to some ear-catching new arrangements and mixes. Recorded, mixed and mastered with Andy Sneap in Derbyshire, UK earlier this year, Biff and co re-evaluated, re-worked and re-energized the towering likes of “The Eagle Has Landed” and “Crusader” by introducing orchestral dynamics to offer added dimension. “Frozen Rainbow” from the band’s 1979 debut, gets a stunning acoustic reprisal which transports it into a power ballad to be proud of, whilst “Red Star Falling” soars and sweeps the emotions with it’s orchestrally-arranged dovetail.
As if this reinvention wasn’t enough, Saxon superfans and collectors can purchase a digipack version of the release which will include 2002’s storming set of full-volume, pedal-to-the-metal re-recorded hits Heavy Metal Thunder. Featuring staple Saxon stormers such as “Motorcycle Man”, “Strong Arm of the Law” and “Dallas 1pm” it is a quintessential part of any collection.
SAXON and FOZZY announce North American “Sacrifice & Sin” tour
British metal legends SAXON announce a North American tour which will run September 12th- October 10th. The tour is a rare treat for SAXON fans as it hits many markets that the band has not visited in some time. The group are touring in support of their critically acclaimed new album Sacrifice but promise to play all of the fan favourites from their 30+ year catalogue, including tracks like “Denim & Leather”, “Wheels Of Steel”, “Ride Like The Wind”, “Motorcycle Man” and “Heavy Metal Thunder” all of which have cemented the band’s legendary status. All vids have over 8 million collective clicks on youtube and the band has sold over 12 million albums. Joining the trek will be FOZZY. Following the band’s highly successful appearance in last year’s UPROAR tour, FOZZY are touring on their most successful album yet, SIN AND BONES, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart upon release. The album contains the track “Sandpaper”, whose video has already surpassed an amazing 500,000 views.
Review by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs
Photography by Tess Donohoe
It may be some people’s epitome of hell, Michael Buble fans I’m looking at you, but for the metal/rock community Hellfest’s towering gateway looks positively pearly. This year’s line-up is so jam-packed that I was looking for the little glass jars and labels. You’d make a fortune if you could bottle any number of the diverse scope of bands on the bill, with the riffs left in natch, but I’d like them to play their sets first.
Once inside that gateway the layout is much the same as last year, and that isn’t meant in a well-they-clearly-couldn’t-be-arsed sense, because Hellfest could teach most others a thing or 20 on how to put together a fan-friendly festival. Except when it comes to the number of toilets on site that is.
Whilst the Hellfest tree still dominates in its stark simplicity, the hidden beer gardens have gained a snazzy gateway of their own, which invites you into the woodlands. Instead of a fairytale monster at the end of the path though, you’ll find a winebar, which is win-win really. And at night the scrap-metal merch stands and bars still glow with their own rooftop fires.
Stage-wise we’ve got Main Stage 1 and 2, which continue their staggered times so that as one plays, the other sets up, and vice versa. The result is no waiting around for soundchecks or bands to start, just back-to-back bam-bam-bam metal. A similar set-up is in place at the Altar and the Temple, where you can find black metal, death metal and the like, then there’s the Valley which is home to the stoner and doom types, and the Warzone where the punk and hardcore drops.
SAXON and FOZZY announce North American “Sacrifice & Sin” tour
From Saxon: As we are winding down the European Festival season, it is time to begin preparations for our upcoming tour of US & Canada together with Fozzy this September. We would like You, The Fans to choose a set list for the North American tour – which means 12 songs plus 4 taken from the Sacrifice album, fans around the world are invited to take part but, we want to hear specifically from the North American fans who will attend the shows.
There will be prizes for the best three set list suggestions, who will each win a copy of the new Sacrifice album T-shirt. And for the Grand Prize winner; a VIP package, Sacrifice album CD and a T-shirt. Prizes will be available to pick up at one of the shows of your choice.
Post your list on the Saxon747 site or on Facebook.
Article and pictures by Arto Lehtinen and Marko Syrjälä
“Welcome to the show” – welcomed by KISS when headlining the second day of the Sweden Rock fest. Well, once again the Finnish Metal-Rules.com team made their annual roadtrip to Sweden Rock. Metal Rules has covered Swedenrock since 2001, therefore it is quite logical to cover the festival again. The 2013 line up presented a wide range of metal and hard rock. Over 70 metal and rock bands offered one hell of an experience for attendees. Sweden Rock has been successful during the past ten years as the festival has always been sold out. This year wasn’t any exception as the fest was sold out despite the lousy economic situation worldwide. It has become quite logical for us to give an in depth article on several bands performing at Sweden Rock to all the readers out there. The weather was tremendous during these four days. The Metal-Rules.com team was there witnessing bands, not for having some beach party crap. Unfortunately, we are not able to cover every bloody band, but hopefully you will have a pleasant reading experience… Rock on!
FOZZY are proud to announce that they will be touring with British metal legends SAXON on the North American “Sacrifice And Sin Tour” scheduled to run September 12 – October 10, 2013. FOZZY VIP Meet and Greet Packages are available exclusively at FOZZYROCK.com.
Have you ever dreamt about or wondered what it feels like to travel around like a real rock star? Do you want to ride, party and sleep in a real rock’n’roll-nightliner-bus? Just like the band and crew? Do you want to experience life on the road – like your favourite band? SAXON? How about not only like Saxon – but with them? Dream no more, because now not only is this possible, it is now a reality!
According to the press release:
The Rock ‘N’ Roll Experience offers you – for the first time ever – the opportunity to join Saxon on tour! Travel with us in a real nightliner bus, the same kind of bus that the band and crew travel in on their tour. We will take you to selected gigs (Nottingham, Newcastle and Glasgow. Dates 19, 20, 21, and 22nd of April). You will follow the bands tour bus to the gigs, and in most cases (depends on individual gig access) park right next to them.
You will then join the band and crew at soundchecks, we will provide your tickets for the shows and also arrange for you to have priority access/entrance to the shows so that you get the best views at the shows. Not only that but we will arrange either an exclusive The Rock ‘N’ Roll Experience-meet-and-greet with the entire band where you can ask them anything you have been dying to ask them, get your autographs and take loads of your own pictures, close-up and personal. Or we will arrange that you will have a once-in-a-lifetime-treat, your own exclusive meal with the band in a local restaurant or backstage. (the meet-and-greet or meal will be confirmed in advance, so you will know which of these fantastic offers are available)
In addition you will receive your own collectable laminated exclusive The Rock ‘N’ Roll Experience-tourpass. The Rock ‘N’ Roll Experience has saved the best treat until last, we will arrange your own fantastic aftershow party with the entire band attending. This party will be the highlight of your The Rock ‘N’ Roll Experience tour with us.
Included in the deal:
• Your own Rock ‘N’ Roll-nightliner-bus and experienced Rock ‘N’ Roll-driver.
• Your own tour manager who will liaise with the bands tour manager to organise each days events.
• You will have VIP-access to all the gigs/shows.
So do not wonder anymore, live the dream and join us on our next tour.
All of this is available exclusively to Rock ‘N’ Roll Experience-clients only. There are very limited places available for these fantastic touring experiences on each tour.
British metal icon Biff Byford managed to shock Greece’s Rock Pages during a recent interview expressing his doubts about whether SAXON are going to release another album after this year’s Sacrifice.
An excerpt follows:
Biff Byford: “I don’t know if we are making another Saxon album… we’ll see how that goes. I might do a solo project next year maybe, or a different project maybe, I don’t know. I’d like to write an album that is more like ‘747’, ‘Wheels Of Steel’, ‘And The Bands Played On’… I might do that next. Not next year, maybe the year after…”
Rockpages.gr: So, you mean that this might be the last Saxon album?
Biff Byford: “I don’t think this is the last Saxon album, I think that we are allowed to a bit of a break up on this tour. We will be touring all year so we’ll see how it goes after the tour…”
Rockpages.gr: I’m asking you this because I heard you saying that on a French webTV interview…
Biff Byford: “Well, nobody can tell really, doesn’t he? It depends on the band. All the band has to be into it, yeah? All the band has to be committed and passionate about the project, you know, some people might not want to make a new album again next year, they might want to have a rest… I don’t rest, that’s the thing! Me and Lemmy are full on all the time!”
NWOBHM living legend Biff Byford of SAXON will be performing guest vocal duties on the latest rock opera by AVANTASIA, The Mystery Of Time. Watch studio footage taken by AVANTASIA frontman/mastermind Tobias Sammet in Brighton, England on AVANTASIA’s official YouTube channel.
Musicians also confirmed to make appearances on The Mystery Of Time – slated for release in 2013 – include drummer Russell Gilbrook (URIAH HEEP), guitarist/producer Sascha Paeth, and guitarist BRUCE KULICK (ex-KISS/GRAND FUNK RAILROAD).
AVANTASIA’s last two albums, The Wicked Symphony and Angel Of Babylon, were released in 2010 and included guest appearances by Klaus Meine (SCORPIONS), Michael Kiske (HELLOWEEN), Tim “Ripper” Owens (ex-JUDAS PRIEST, ex-YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, ex-ICED EARTH), Russell Allen (SYMPHONY X), and Jon Oliva (JON OLIVA’S PAIN, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, SAVATAGE) among others.
Watch Tobi’s first studio report from Germany here.
SAXON TO RELEASE “HEAVY METAL THUNDER – THE MOVIE”
The silver eagle has finally landed for audiences worldwide!
After enjoying a limited “Fan Club Only” UK release, Heavy Metal Thunder – The Movie, Saxon’s wonderfully unfiltered and intimate account of their ascent to the upper echalons of heavy metal, will finally enjoy an international release this December. The double-disc set features the soon-to-be-celebrated story of Saxon, while the second disc is packed with bonus features including a full-length performance (on St. George’s Day) from April 23rd, 2008. Rivetingly honest, and including the frank memories of every musician who has played in the band, Heavy Metal Thunder – The Movie pieces together the earliest incarnations of Saxon, from frontman Biff Byford’s teenage years in the coalmines of Yorkshire and Son Of A Bitch (the first incarnation of Saxon) all the way through to top 10 hits and world tours. “Our music was more sort of machinery banging together, wheels turning, machines making noise,” says Biff of those early, industrial days, “It’s what Heavy Metal is all about. Heavy Metal is all about hard, big sounds bashing your skull in. I used to work in factories where big machinery made lot of noise and I used to sing along to the noises they made.”
It is a documentary which looks for all the world as though it’s a superbly crafted script, as much a tale of pure, honest, working class triumph as just another Rock n’ Roll story. Heavy Metal Thunder – The Movie shows every facet of Saxon on their journey without once diluting the true characters who make up the band. “We basically played every dump and shithole that there is in England over a period, probably just short of eight years,” laughs Biff. “You know classic cliché of transit van, up and down and we used to play more or less every night. One gig might be a good paying gig and the other one might be no money or ten quid but it was an obsession, you had to play every day.” These wonderfully naïve young men sought nothing more than a great gig, a good time and maybe a nice girl, before suddenly finding themselves on tour in the US, exposed to the sorts of things which (quite frankly) Barnsley simply didn’t offer in 1980. And from that point, Heavy Metal Thunder – The Movie, takes the viewer on a journey on a Rock n’ Roller of a journey encompassing it all from triumphs to tears to tea-bags and beyond.
Nothing is forsaken and nothing skipped. Despite the fact that to this day there remain problems between the Byford/Quinn and Oliver/Dawson parties, everyone tells the full unedited Saxon story with heartfelt honesty and integrity.
“We do have a great legacy,” says Byford, “whether you joined the band in 1994 or (as) an original member. There’s a legacy there and I’ve tried hard to not let people demean it and to spoil it and you have to look after that thing that is Saxon.”
Heavy Metal Thunder – The Movie will entertain, engage and charm fans and non-fans alike. That’s a truth as honest as the film itself…
MANILLA ROAD, FIREWIND, VADER and MARTIN PRAHL’S SKELTER WHEEL are also confirmed!
Other bands confirmed so far out of a total of around 70:
Rush (Can) Status Quo (UK) Saxon (UK) Krokus (CH)
Amon Amarth (S) Demon (UK) Leningrad Cowboys (Fin) Threshold (UK) Firewind (GR) Manilla Road (US) Vader (PL) Ihsahn (NO) Amaranthe (S) Bullet (S) Axxis (D) Morgana Lefay (S) Witchcraft (S) Huntress (US) Leprous (NO)
The Scams (S) Martin Prahl’s Skelter Wheel (S)
Getaway Rock Festival
Gasklockorna, Gavle, Sweden
5-7/7 – 2012
Reviewed and live pictures by: Anders Sandvall
Guest contributor: Ulrika Henriksson
This is a review of the third edition of Getaway Rock Festival that was held in Gavle, Sweden during three hot days in July. The festival has a new organizer – the German FKP Skorpio – and we were eager to see how the festival was planned this year. We got to see some exclusive Swedish performances by Suicidal Tendencies, Nightwish, Venom, Manowar, Ministry and Yngwie Malmsteen to mention a few. Other acts that performed were Mustasch, Saxon, Finntroll, Satyricon, Behemoth, Devin Townsend Project and Ghost. Read more about the festival down below.