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December 2004
Released: 2004, SPV
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

Year-end wrap-up: Each of the last few years to wrap up the year I have picked a theme for my reviews for December. This year due to the overwhelming number of CD’s that deserve exposure, recognition and commentary I am going to resort to quantity over quality. I usually try to give as much attention to each CD with extensive commentary however this month’s reviews (perhaps unfortunately) will be short and sweet and much more in the style of traditional magazine reviews where space restrictions are an important factor. (ie. Less detail) I apologize in advance to readers who expect much more detailed reviews. Please check the reviews archives as many of my colleagues have written excellent detailed commentary of many of these CD’s. I hope the large number of quick comments will help guide you making some of those important year-end CD purchase decisions. Happy Holidays and see you in January. JP

This is the fastest and heaviest Saxon album ever. The sound is driven by new addition Jorg Michael who adds double kick to some of the songs which until now was rare on Saxon songs. The guitar tone on cuts like ‘Beyond The Grave’ is very heavy, by Saxon’s standards. Excellent production helps Biff’s delivery of standard lyrics, tales of War, adventure, parties and history. This stands alongside Unleash The Beast as one of the best Saxon CD’s ever, credited in part to the elements mentioned above but mostly due to the strength of the songs this time out.
Track Listing

1. Witchfinder General
2. Man and Machine
3. The Return
4. Lionheart
5. Beyond The Grave
6. Justice
7. To Live By The Sword
8. Jack Tars
9. English Man ‘o’ War
10. Searching for Atlantis
Flying On The Edge


Biff Byford-Voclas
Paul Quinn-Guitar
Doug Scarratt-Guitar
Nibbs Carter-Bass
Jorg Michael-Drums



Next review: » Saxon - Lionheart
Previous review: » Saxon - Lionheart

October 2005
Released: 2005, SPV
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Evil Rocker

An album I have had laying around for awhile and somehow got shoved off into an obscure waiting for a review. Unfair to this very good album. My son has recently had a SAXON – phase so we have been listening to this quite a bit and timely to write a short review.

SAXON are obviously and inarguably one of the pioneers of heavy metal. Pretty consistent throughout their career they have seen somewhat of a resurgence over the past 4-5 years. I give them TREMENDOUS credit for re-recording their classics on the bonus portion of "Killing Ground" in 2001. I wish some other bands would do the same, especially IRON MAIDEN. "Lionheart" is their most recent studio offering and is a more than solid release. This album differs a bit from the classic in that it is a rather more up-tempo for the most part. At the end of the day, however, this is SAXON with a clean crisp heavy sound. They borrowed the drummer from STRATOVARIUS for this album but other than that, the band is in-tact.

There is plenty of quality traditional metal to be found here including the title track, "Beyond the Grave" (love the riff), "Justice", and "Search for Atlantis". But in all, there are no particular weak tracks here.

Great job!
Track Listing

Witchfinder General
Man And Machine
The Return
Beyond The Grave
To Live By The Sword
Jack Tars
English Man 'O War
Searching For Atlantis
Flying On The Edge


Biff Byford - Vocals
Paul Quinn - Guitar
Doug Scarret - Guitar
Nibbs Carter - Bass
Jorg Michael - drums

Next review: » Saxon - Live 1990 (Greatest Hits Live) - Classic Rock Legends (DVD)
Previous review: » Saxon - Lionheart

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