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May 2013
Released: 2013, UDR Music
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Robert Williams

British heavy metal legends Saxon return with SACRIFICE their twentieth full length studio album to date.

SACRIFICE opens with "Procession" a brief orchestral interlude before getting things off to a proper rocking start with the album's title track "Sacrifice" which is a mid-tempo headbanger with sort of a ghastly feel to it. Biff Byford's vocals have a kind of haunting quality to them and really complement the wah-wah action on guitar nicely. "Made In Belfast" is a crunchy ode to the steelworkers who assembled the greatest ships the seas have ever seen. You can always count on Saxon to come up with lyrics that the working class can relate to. "Warriors Of The Road" is a stand out track. This sounds like classic early eighties Saxon circa "Denim and Leather" era. A total road racing ass kicker of the highest caliber. "Guardians Of The Tomb" evokes imagery of an ancient crypt buried in time for thousands of years and the risks associated with raiding it. Musically it's melodic and driving with some excellent soloing from Paul Quinn and Doug Scarratt. "Stand Up And Fight" has the whole motivational, D.I.Y. source of inspiration thing going on lyrically. Musically it's another classic sounding hard driving Saxon number showcasing the neck breaking pace of the band's rhythm section of Nibb's Carter and Nigel Glockler.

"Walking The Steel" seems to be about rebuilding the Twin Towers in New York that were destroyed in a cowardly terrorist attack on 9-11. The song itself is built around the thumping mechanics of Nigel's kick drum and some simplistic but none the less effective riffing. "Night Of The Wolf" delivers a cinematic storyline of a pack of wolves on the hunt and howling at the moon. Biff really shines as a vocalist after all of these albums and continuous years of touring the world. "Wheels Of Terror" comes crushing forth with pulverizing riffs and screams of "Battle tanks of war!" Another notch on the wall for one of metal's greatest battlefield storytellers. "Standing In A Queue" is a bluesy hard rocker in the vein of AC/DC. I could see this one going over really well with the band's fans in a live atmosphere.

All in all SACRIFICE is another great must own album for all fans of Saxon. If you're new to the band this isn't necessarily a bad place to start but you should definitely find the time to revisit the band's glory days in the early eighties as soon as you can. Saxon is undoubtedly one of the all time greats of heavy metal and SACRIFICE further solidifies and expands their legacy.
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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