Released: 2007, SPV/Steamhammer/Border Music
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
The long-awaited new Saxon DVD is here and I think many fans of Saxon are welcoming it with open arms. The DVD contains 5 hours of both eye and ear candy for the devoted fan. It took a while to look through the DVD, but it was great meeting Biff, Paul and the rest of the band who are my childhood heroes.
The first DVD is a documentary of the band that begins with the album LIONHEART and is divided into 15 chapters. All of the members and manager Thomas Jensen are interviewed and live sequences and other stuff are mixed in as well. You get a great in-depth look at how an album comes together, spanning the recording process to choosing the cover art work to LIONHEART. In between the cuts are the interviews where members give their points of view on how the work is progressing. There are some shots from the metal festival Wacken Open Air in Germany before the band goes to Russia. Before the LIONEHART album is released they go out on a PR tour that we can follow up-close and personal.
It’s a very informative DVD that goes in-depth; we really get to know the people behind the rockstars. A lot of Saxon music is played, of course, and that definitely doesn’t count against the DVD. The DVD clocks in at 1:45, so you know you’ll find out everything you need to know about Saxon. The only things that confused me were the many cuts with different drummers - Jorg Michael, Fritz Randow, Nigel Glockler and Mikkey Dee – which makes it hard to keep track of them. As an extra bonus, the songs featured in the documentary are featured as a Tracklist so you can listen to them again.
The second DVD is all about live material and it’s just as easily-maneuverable as the first disc. There are also five videos included: “Beyond the Grave”, “Witchfinder General”, “The Inner Sanctum”, “If I Was You” and “Let Me Feel Your Power”. One new awesome video is also included; a collaboration with Angry Anderson (Rose Tattoo), Andi Deris (Helloween) and Lemmy (Motörhead) called “I’ve Got to Rock to Stay Alive”.
The live show was recorded at the Rocksound Festival in Switzerland. The set list is a mix of both older classics as well as newer stuff from LIONHEART. Byford laughs and jokes with both the audience and the band members which sets a really great mood.
There’s a bonus cut where Saxon does a cover of the Judas Priest song “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” with Doro Pesch and Fritz Randow on the drums. Byford and Pesch’s voices don’t fit together at all, but it looks like they’re having a great time so I let that error slip.
The second DVD ends with “Man and Machine” and “Requiem (We Will Remember)” taken from Rock for Asia, this time with Jorg Michael on drums. The shooting is top-notch and it’s a feast for both the eyes and ears.
TO HELL AND BACK AGAIN is probably one of the best DVDs of the year and it’s a great way to see the band behind the stage. The new song “I’ve Got to Rock to Stay Alive” is available for download and the band will rerelease the album UNLEASH THE BEAST with two bonus tracks and liner notes from Byford at the same time as the DVD if you need more Saxon.