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Battering Ram
December 2015
Released: 2015, UDR Music
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Another year, another Saxon album. As of 2015, Saxon is in a rarified class of band, having existed for nearly 40 years and now, with the offering of BATTERING RAM, have released 21 full-length studio albums. That’s an astonishing pace of music production. Unbelievably, the band has remained stable with the newest member joining 20 years ago. In that same 20 years, the band has been on an incredible run, releasing nine albums prior to this one and each one has been high quality and worth owning. Who says the NWOBHM is dead?!?!

With BATTERING RAM, I’m happy to report that Saxon continues their streak with yet another excellent album. Fans that prefer the band’s heavier material will love this one as the band has moved away from some of the more rock-oriented tracks that have coloured their previous couple of albums and just gone full-out heavy metal as befits the album title. As always, there are various flavours of metal offered up, from the all-out assault of the title track and “Destroyer”, through to the slower, grinding tracks like “The Devil’s Footprint” and “Queen of Hearts”. The band even tries something new: “Kingdom of the Cross” is a largely quiet song that features Hell’s David Bower narrating a World War I tale during the verses, while Biff and the band kick in on the chorus.

Through it all, Saxon maintains their first-rate musicianship, even if a couple of the middle songs don’t quite stick in the ‘ol memory banks. That said, the star of the show is easily Biff Byford. At 64 years of age the man is still as powerful a vocalist as he ever was and proves it by firing off screams that vocalists half his age would be proud of.

At this point Saxon has become an institution and BATTERING RAM is yet more fuel for their legion of fans. Years roll on, heavy metal evolves, and Saxon keeps kicking ass. Just as it should be.
Track Listing

1. Battering Ram
2. The Devil’s Footprint
3. Queen of Hearts
4. Destroyer
5. Hard and Fast
6. Eye of the Storm
7. Stand Your Ground
8. Top of the World
9. To the End
10. Kingdom of the Cross
11. Three Sheets to the Wind (The Drinking Song)


Biff Byford: Vocals
Paul Quinn: Guitar
Doug Scarratt: Guitar
Nibbs Carter: Bass
Nigel Glockler: Drums



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