BY JAMIE LANGLEY
If you haven’t heard of Saxon yet, I hope after reading this that you’ll have the nerve to check them out. Saxon are a pounding heavy metal band hailing from the depths of South Yorkshire, UK and they have been hastily making a name for themselves for over 41 legendary years now. Among other things, they been referred to as one of the most iconic metal acts of their time, influencing many of the other big-name metal lords. If you happen to be lucky enough to stand amongst them at their show, you’ll experience a powerhouse of emotion and sheer artistry.
Their brand new, gripping album, titled “Thunderbolt”, is fast to strike you with crazy fast-paced riffs, echoing vocals and menacing solos performed by uber-talented musicians. This new work brings back the raw electricity of metal from years before, hard and pressing, searching for a soul to rock and possess. If you don’t classify yourself a metal head but you catch yourself head banging to this record, don’t be surprised or alarmed, it’s bound to happen.
You can hear barbaric growls and grunts throughout this masterpiece bound with heavy hitting guitars and punishing drums. This would be a hard record to sit down and compare to other coveted acts, it basically stands alone in its awe. Not only did “Thunderbolt” rank in the Billboard charts the very first week it was released, the band also announced that they would be embarking on a two part, two county tour with legends like Judas Priest, Black Star Riders, Diamond Head and Rock Goddess.
If you have gazed upon any of the visuals for the band’s new album, you’ll see gritty and grungy imagery, working perfectly with their sound. My personal favorite is the video for “Nosferatu, The Vampire’s Waltz”, it brings you classic graphics of old lore and gore, embracing the music it resides by. You really never can be disappointed by heavy metal and the visuals or sounds being produced through the ages, it seems that heavy metal is difficult to corrupt.
When listening to the full album, one can truly appreciate Saxon’s lead singer Biff Byford’s ever present sound that is seemingly never wavering, not even for a split second. Classic heavy metal has never been more blistering and long withstanding than with the likes of Saxon, I believe. If you were to give this record a solid listen and tune into the underworld of tunes they bring, I would recommend these select songs of the record, as I feel they served the heaviest punch of all:
1) Nosferatu, The Vampire’s Waltz (of course, how could I not?!)
2) Predator (it’s hard hitting to the max)
3) Speed Merchants (very high paced and satisfying to any ear)