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April 2013
Released: 2013, UDR Music
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Waspman

As Saxon marches towards its 35th year of activity, the band manages to somehow stay more active than ever, with a constant stream of albums, DVDs, and tours. Incredibly, they have avoided stagnation, and continue to release albums that are more entertaining and vital than bands a quarter of their age. Thus, 2013 is upon us, and so is Saxon’s 20th studio album, SACRIFICE.

Now, with Saxon, you can never quite be sure what you’re going to get; which is part of their appeal. Yes, you know it’s going to be classic metal in the NWOBHM vein, but will it be more ‘70s hard rock oriented like CALL TO ARMS? Or will it be a full-on metal assault like METALHEAD? Well, for fans of the heavy stuff, this is your time, because SACRIFICE is Saxon’s heaviest album in quite some time. The basic sound of the band is intact, lead by Biff Byford’s ever-young vocals, but seriously, the title track contains about as vicious a riff as Saxon have EVER penned. I don’t know what pissed them off, but I’m glad of it, as it’s also one of the finest songs the band has released.

Elsewhere, the band covers a lot of ground you may expect, from Byford’s mix of blue collar & fantasy lyrics, heavy songs, rock songs and all points in between. If I were forced to pick favorites other than the title track, I’d go with the faster ones, “Warriors of the Road” and “Stand Up and Fight”, the latter of which has one of the catchiest choruses on the album. Really though, there are no bad songs on the album and it’s an easy purchase for the band’s legion of fans. SACRIFICE is another victory for the mighty Saxon.
Track Listing

1. Procession
2. Sacrifice
3. Made in Belfast
4. Warriors of the Road
5. Guardians of the Tomb
6. Stand Up and Fight
7. Walking the Steel
8. Night of the Wolf
9. Wheels of Terror
10. Standing in a Queue


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

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