Despite its reputation for a tricky commute and arguably eyesore appearance (don’t confuse familiarity with satisfaction, fellow Londoners), the O2 Arena is a fantastic venue space for the Golden Gods and ample notice that metal is still as healthy as it ever was, showing no signs of bowing to austerity measures.
What would we do without this yearly event?
Well, for a start we’d probably have healthier livers and better hearing in our later years, however many would also be deprived of their chance to postpone their Download hangovers or simply be given a reason to wash off this year’s festival mud and watch some of the scene’s glitterati forget about their day jobs for an evening. Metal Hammer Magazine’s annual schmoozefest is upon us, and with it a dazzling array of leather, lip gloss & limp fringes.
SAXON “HEAVY METAL THUNDER - LIVE - EAGLES OVER WACKEN”
Some things just go together…heavy metal and thunder…denim and leather …Saxon and Wacken. They‘ve been old friends for many years now, their harmony collecting an army of thousands upon thousands who view Saxon live as a pilgrimage to the heart of metal music. And when that pilgrimage takes you, repeatedly, to the largest heavy metal festival in the world, Wacken Open Air in Germany, the results will always be electric. “When we first played Wacken, it was a small festival with a small stage in a small field, driven by nothing more than raw enthusiasm, which appealed very much to us!“ says Biff Byford, Saxon‘s venerable frontman, “it started as fans putting on a festival for fans, and now it‘s fair to say that it is to Heavy Metal what the Donington Festival used to be. That was the iconic heavy metal festival of the 80’s, and Wacken is the iconic heavy metal festival of now.“
Now you can feel that electricity for yourselves thanks to Saxon – Heavy Metal Thunder – Live – Eagles Over Wacken the no-fat-no-bullshit-100%-pure CD/DVD featuring DVD highlights from Saxon‘s Wacken shows in 2004, 2007 and 2009 comprising THIRTY songs, plus a live CD from Glasgow in 2011. Each set captures the Barnsley-bred British heavy metal legends delivering classic after classic, from “Denim & Leather“ to “Metalhead“ to “Heavy Metal Thunder“ to “Princess Of The Night“ to “Crusader“ in front of 75,000+ loyal, ravenous fans, who have come to expect (and receive) the levels of performance Saxon have been delivering for 32 years. “And when the eagle comes down at Wacken, when it opens up over the audience, it is always an electric moment for those there,“ says Biff emphatically of the famous Saxon eagle, a ton or so of steel and lights, rescued from a storage space in the British home counties where it had lain dormant gathering rust. In many ways, the eagle‘s rebirth and Wacken‘s ascent are partners on the journey, as it was Wacken‘s organizers who offered to restore the mighty metal bird so as it could become a live centerpiece of both Wacken and Saxon‘s history.
And when it comes to heavy metal, Saxon‘s history is, indeed, rich.
Rightly seen as one of the premier vanguards of Heavy Metal alongside the likes of Iron Maiden, Saxon were a major influence behind platinum-coated stars such as Metallica and Megadeth. Formed as Son of A Bitch in 1976 (and becoming Saxon in 1978) they enjoyed tremendous commercial success in the UK during the ‘80s, with 8 UK top 40 albums, and have sold over 13 millions albums worldwide, while albums such as Wheels Of Steel, Strong Arm Of The Law, Denim & Leather and The Power & The Glory have become legendary staples of any self-respecting metal fan’s collection. But it has always arguably been on stage where Saxon have excelled the most. There‘s no hiding once you hit the boards, and whether playing to 20000 people in Buenos Aires or 2000 people in Bolton, Byford, Carter, Glockler, Quinn and Scarratt source the same high-voltage energy reserves and deliver the same high-octane, blood and sweat-soaked show that makes Saxon a perennial touring favorite. “We‘ve consistently tried to write, and perform songs which both us and our audience enjoy,“ says Biff, „and we‘ve worked very hard to maintain that link with our audience, because if you don‘t have that connection it can be very dangerous. We need them, and we need to be ready to deliver for them at every show, that‘s the challenge and it‘s one we gratefully accept and enjoy. If the audience are prepared to get crazy, then it‘s always going to be a strong show, and Wacken always delivers us a fantastic connection. You cannot fake that electricity, everyone wants that ‚charged‘ atmosphere and it is absolutely priceless…“
If you‘ve never had the chance to experience Saxon, start here and start now! If you‘ve had the chance and yearned to capture the energy, the moment and the memory of it all, then put your hands together for Saxon “Heavy Metal Thunder – Live – Eagles Over Wacken” and be grateful to know that despite everything going on in our increasingly confused world, your escapist musical prayers have been answered.
“Heavy Metal Thunder – Live – Eagles Over Wacken“ is available in a variety of formats, including the ‚Golden Ticket‘ D2C/Direct To Consumer Box. Strictly limited, this exclusive package contains the “Best Of Wacken“ DVD, plus the full and complete Saxon W:O:A performances from 2004/2007/2009 each on a separate DVD, plus a Saxon flag. The real surprise is that 10 ‚Golden Tickets‘ are randomly included in the box sets, which will allow the lucky winners to visit any Saxon concert in any city around the world (excluding festival appearances). ‘Silver Tickets‘ giving access to special online content are for the remaining boxes so there are no losers – only winners.
Strictly limited, this exclusive package contains the “Best Of Wacken” DVD, a double audio CD recorded live in Glasgow (2011) on the Call To Arms tour,
plus the full and complete Saxon W:O:A performances from 2004/2007/2009 – each on a separate DVD and, a Saxon flag.
The real surprise is that 10 ‘Golden Tickets’ are randomly included in the box sets, which will allow the 10 lucky winners to visit any Saxon concert in any city around the world (excluding festival appearances).
‘Silver Tickets’ giving access to special online content are for the remaining boxes so there are no losers – only winners.
SAXON “Heavy Metal Thunder – Live – Eagles Over Wacken” (UDR 0104 BOX)
• DVD 1: Best Of W:O:A (2004/2007/2009)
• Double CD: Glasgow Live, Recorded On The Call To Arms World Tour, April 14th, 2011
• DVD 2: W:O:A 2004 – full show
• DVD 3: W:O:A 2007 – full show
• DVD 4: W:O:A 2009 – Fan’s Choice Setlist – full show
• Saxon – Heavy Metal Thunder – W:O:A flag
• “Golden Ticket” / “Silver Ticket”
BEST OF W:O:A 2009, ‘07, ‘04
02. Battalions Of Steel
03. Heavy Metal Thunder
05. Let Me Feel Your Power
06. To Hell And Back Again
07. If I Was You
08. Killing Ground
09. Unleash The Beast
10. Dogs Of War
11. Rock ‘n‘ Roll Gypsy
12. Are We Travellers In Time
13. The Eagle Has Landed
14. 747 (Strangers In The Night)
15. Dallas 1 PM
16. Witchfinder General
17. Solid Ball Of Rock
18. 20,000 Feet
19. Red Star Falling
20. Rock The Nations
21. Power And The Glory
22. Stallions Of The Highway
23. Live To Rock
24. And The Bands Played On
25. Princess Of The Night
26. I‘ve Got To Rock (To Stay Alive)
27. Attila The Hun
28. Denim And Leather
29. Ashes To Ashes
31. Wheels Of Steel
Bonus Audio CD:
GLASGOW LIVE, APRIL 14TH, 2011
01. Hybrid (Intro)
02. Hammer Of The Gods
03. Heavy Metal Thunder
04. Back In 79
05. Never Surrender
06. I‘ve Got To Rock (To Stay Alive)
07. Dallas 1 PM
08. Call To Arms
09. Solid Ball Of Rock
10. Demon Sweeney Todd
11. And The Bands Played On
12. Man And Machine
13. Play It Loud
14. When Doomsday Comes (Hybrid Theory)
15. To Hell and Back Again
16. Motorcycle Man
17. Denim And Leather
18. Princess Of The Night
20. 747 (Strangers In The Night)
21. The Eagle Has Landed
22. 20,000 Feet
23. Strong Arm Of The Law
24. Wheels Of Steel
W:O:A 2004 – FULL SHOW
01. Heavy Metal Thunder
02. Dogs Of War
03. Backs To The Wall
04. Solid Ball Of Rock
05. 20,000 Feet
06. Are We Travellers In Time
07. Dragon‘s Lair
09. The Eagle Has Landed
10. Rock Is Our Life
11. Motorcycle Man
12. Strong Arm Of The Law
13. Princess Of The Night
14. 747 (Strangers In The Night)
15. And The Bands Played On
17. Wheels Of Steel
18. Denim And Leather
19. Forever Free
20. Dallas 1 PM
W:O:A 2007 – FULL SHOW
01. Heavy Metal Thunder
02. Let Me Feel Your Power
03. Dogs Of War
04. If I Was You
05. 747 (Strangers In The Night)
06. To Hell And Back Again
07. Motorcycle Man
08. Red Star Falling
09. Witchfinder General
10. Solid Ball Of Rock
11. 20,000 Feet
12. And The Bands Played On
13. Princess Of The Night
14. I‘ve Got To Rock (To Stay Alive)
15. Attila The Hun
16. Denim And Leather
17. Ashes To Ashes
19. Wheels Of Steel
20. Strong Arm Of The Law
W:O:A 2009 – FAN‘S CHOICE SETLIST – FULL SHOW
01. Battalions Of Steel
02. Let Me Feel Your Power
03. Lion Heart
04. Strong Arm Of The Law
05. Killing Ground
07. Wheels Of Steel
08. Unleash the Beast
09. Dogs Of War
10. Rock ‘n‘ Roll Gypsy
11. Rock The Nations
12. Motorcycle Man
13. Forever Free
14. Solid Ball Of Rock
16. The Power And The Glory
17. Princess Of The Night
18. Heavy Metal Thunder
19. Live To Rock
20. 747 (Strangers In The Night)
21. Stallions Of The Highway
22. Denim And Leather
Tonight was the last night of Saxon’s Call to arms tour which had kicked off at Shepherds Bush back in April, and the band had announced in advance that they would be playing the entire "Denim and leather" album to celebrate the albums 30th anniversary. As a result the venue was sold out and a queue had formed outside the venue long before the doors opened.
The British NWOBHM legends, Saxon, released their 19th studio album CALL TO ARMS in May 2011 and they have been touring heavily across the globe. Although the band had been annual visitors to Finland, they now played their first show in Helsinki in four years! The support band for this leg of tour was Canadian metal band Anvil. It seems that there’s a great demand for these classic bands in Finland as this show sold out with the 1000 person capacity reached right after tickets came on sale.
Lion Music and Intromental Worldwide are proud to announce that Canadian metallers BOREALIS have been officially confirmed as the support band in the upcoming SAXON North American tour. The band will tour in support of their sophomore effort, “Fall From Grace”, released earlier this year via Lion Music. Starting on September 29th, the tour will stop at fifteen cities across the country. Tour dates are as follows:
28.09.2011 US Los Angeles, CA – The Key Club
29.09.2011 US Santa Rosa, CA – The Last Day Saloon
30.09.2011 US Sactramento, CA – The Boardwalk
01.10.2011 US Santa Clara, CA – The Avalon
02.10.2011 US Santa Ana, CA – The Galaxy
03.10.2011 US Las Vegas, NV – The Crown
04.10.2011 US Tempe, AZ – Club Red
06.10.2011 US Houston, TX – Stereo Live
08.10.2011 US Saint Charles (Chicago), IL – The Arcada Theatre
One of the leading bands of the ‘New Wave of British Heavy Metal’ movement, Saxon, is about to hit the U.S. shores hard once more. On September 27th, Saxon will release their 19th studio album overall, ‘Call to Arms’ (via UDR Music/EMI), and starting the following day, will launch a Stateside tour.
And as evidenced by such ass-kickers as “Hammer of the Gods” and “Call to Arms,” the group hasn’t lost their grip on composing hard-hitting yet anthemic heavy metal with their latest offering.
Comprised of members Biff Byford (vocals), Doug Scarratt (guitar), Paul Quinn (guitar), Nibbs Carter (bass), Nigel Glockler (drums), Saxon is responsible for penning some of the 1980’s most enduring metal anthems, including “Wheels of Steel,” “Strong Arm of the Law,” “Motorcycle Man,” “Princess of the Night,” and “Never Surrender,” and along with the likes of Iron Maiden and Def Leppard, helped breath life back into a metal scene that many had left for dead at the time.
It’s been 35 years since Saxon was originally up and running, and the group can still easily hold their own with the headbanging competition.
“It’s important to keep one foot in the past and one foot very much in the present,” says Byford. “At some points in your life, whether you’re younger or older, you do have these wonderful periods of ‘state of graceness’ where everyone likes everything you write. But you can’t keep being your own tribute band, you have to try and write great new songs, and you have to try to appeal to a younger audience. Saxon has been successfully doing that for the last decade, and the result is we still have our old fan base but we also have a whole new, younger one too.”
Saxon’s latest video clip, for the song “Call to Arms,” will be premiered this Friday, August 5th at noon EST on America Online Noisecreep.
And hardcore Saxon fans will surely be interested in tracking down the “Digipack” version of ‘Call to Arms,’ as it includes a glorious bonus – a free seven-track CD, ‘Live at Donington 1980.’
Soon, U.S. fans will be able to recapture “The Power and the Glory” of Saxon all over again – with the release of ‘Call to Arms,’ and on a concert stage near you.
‘CALL TO ARMS’ TRACK LISTING:
01 Hammer of the Gods
02 Back in 79
03 Surviving Against the Odds
04 Mists of Avalon
05 Call To Arms
06 Chasing the Bullet
08 When Doomsday Comes (Hybrid Theory)
09 No Rest for the Wicked
10 Ballad of the Working Man
11 Call To Arms – orchestral version
DIGIPACK BONUS FEATURE:
Live At Donington 1980 [Re-mixed and re-mastered from original multitrack tape]
01 MOTORCYCLE MAN
02 STILL FIT TO BOOGIE
03 FREEWAY MAD
04 BACKS TO THE WALL
05 WHEELS OF STEEL
06 BAP SHU AP
07 747 (STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT)
9-28-11 Key Club, West Hollywood, CA
9-29-11 Last Day Saloon, Santa Rosa, CA
9-30-11 Avalon, Santa Clara, CA
10-1-11 The Boardwalk, Orangevale, CA
10-2-11 Galaxy Theatre, Santa Ana, CA
10-5-11 Club Red, Tempe, AZ
10-7-11 Sunken Gardens, San Antonio, TX
10-8-11 The Arcada Theatre, St. Charles, IL
10-10-11 Foufounes Electriques, Montreal, QC
10-13-11 B.B. Kings, New York, NY
10-14-11 Jaxx, Springfield, VA
10-15-11 Bourbon Street, Baltimore, MD
Let Me Hear You Scream Sweden Rockkkk.Well the annual roadtrip to Swedenrock by the Finnish Metal Rules.com team is already into it’s 11th year! The 2011 line up presented a wide range of metal and hard rock in the line-up. Over 70 metal and rock bands offered one hell of an experience for the 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 and the ticket price had risen a little bit. ver these 11 years of coverage, it has become quite logical for us to give an in depth article of several bands performing at Sweden Rock to all the readers out there. The weather once again showed positive and negative aspects like in 2010. It either rained or was windy with a little sunshine. But we were there for 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… Enjoy or die!!!
Sauna Open Air Festival 2011, 9th-11th June Tampere, Finland
Review by Luxi Lahtinen, live pictures by Luxi Lahtinen & Terhi Pihlaja
The 8th Sauna Open Air festival was celebrated in a very sunny and warm weather, unlike in some other years – and this year the festival also broke their own record, welcoming as many as 26,000 people within the three days.
The SOA festival has truly found an important place among the other Finnish summer festivals, concentrating mostly on old-school Heavy/Thrash Metal and Hard Rock bands – and turning the festival around for the past 3-4 years or so, by booking many internationally big names for the three-day Metal feasts; from Kiss to Megadeth to Dio to Whitesnake to Scorpions to Type O Negatíve – and the list goes on.
This year, the festival organizers had very special grins – wider than ever before, spread all over their faces – and for some very good reasons. Two of the biggest headliners, Ozzy Osbourne and Judas Priest, arrived at SOA for the first time, with bands like Saxon, Accept, Doro, Cavalera Conspiracy, Joey Belladonna and many others proving to be good company to them.
Read on – the following article is based on the seven most interesting and musically satisfying bands of this year’s festival from your truly point of view.
Eric MacKinnon at RockAAA.com recently caught up with SAXON frontman Biff Byford, who revealed some of the band’s future plans. An excerpt from the interview is available below:
Saxon frontman Biff Byford has revealed the band’s next project will see them join forces with Polish Philharmonic Orchestra to give some of their most famous songs an orchestral overhaul. The veteran rockers are thrashing out the details which will see them head for Poland for a special performance of unplugged and orchestral versions of their songs which will then be filmed for a DVD – as will the build up as part of a ‘Making of’ documentary.
In a RockAAA exclusive Byford revealed:
“We’re going to do a show with an orchestra next year in Warsaw. The guy who runs the Philharmonic Orchestra asked us to do and we fancied it as we have a quite few songs which are scored to orchestra like ‘Call To Arms’ on the new album and we’ve just done ‘Crusader’ with an orchestra which sounds fantastic, so it will be a bit unplugged and a bit orchestra and a bit of heavy metal too.
It will be filmed and we’ll do a making of, too. We don’t know exactly when that will be but we’re trying to work it out now as it is a nightmare logistically.”
SAXON vocalist, Biff Byford, checks in with the following news from the road:
“Played the first gig of the world tour last night in Thessaloniki (Greece, at Principal Club Theatre). Fantastic audience! The first audience in Thessaloniki set the bench mark for the craziest audience, so come on, it is up to you guys.
A bit of further news: Coolhead Productions are giving us 200 Heavy Metal Thunder – The Movie DVDs, which are the last few left from the limited edition series. 5 signed copies will be on the T-Shirt store in the way out every night across Europe for 30.- £ and 35.- €.
We’re just writing the blog while we are waiting to get to the gig in Athens.
Keep the faith!”
Check out some video footage from the Thessaloniki gig below:
Just after Midnight (early on Thursday) while on stage at the 700000 Tons of Metal cruise, Biff Byford for the first time ever pubically announced the name of the new Saxon album. The album will be called A Call To Arms and will be out later in 2011.
To see daily updates from 70000TONS of METAL go HERE.
Saxon to Sweden Rock once again. Not only are they one of the biggest, most classic bands from the perennial New Wave of British Heavy Metal – they are also one of the bands the audience at SRF never get tired of seeing. Now they come to celebrate the fact that their classic album “Denim & Leather turns 30 years old and they will perform the whole album at next years Sweden Rock, of course spiced with allot of other immortal Saxon classics and yes, they will bring the eagle!
We can also present another 3 confirmed bands. American countrypunk in the shape of classic JASON AND THE SCORCHERS, melodic speed metal or call it US-power metal from AGENT STEEL and Swedish progg from legendary FLÄSKET BRINNER (The pork is burning).