Rating:
6.3
Saxon - Sacrifice
22 February 2013


01. Procession
02. Sacrifice
03. Made In Belfast
04. Warriors Of The Road
05. Guardians Of The Tomb
06. Stand Up And Fight
07. Walking The Steel
08. Night Of The Wolf
09. Wheels Of Terror
10. Standing In A Queue
11. Luck Of The Draw [iTunes bonus]

[Limited Edition Bonus Disc]

12. Crusader [Orchestral version]
13. Just Let Me Rock [Re-Recorded version]
14. Requiem [Acoustic version]
15. Frozen Rainbow [Acoustic version]
16. Forever Free [Re-Recorded version]


I don't know about you but the prospect of standing in a queue isn't much cause for excitement. Much less would I expect it to be a good lyrical subject for a song. Saxon almost convince me otherwise and by the time I reached the final track of their latest and 20th album I was telling myself this is one of heavy metal's greats still kicking it with the best of them. Yet after repeated listens I can't shake the feeling that there is a lack of rigor that this album possesses in terms of offering yet another quality addition to their discography.

For sure it's trademark Saxon, complete with that guaranteed heavy sound afforded fresh energy by modern production values, here given a bit of shoeshine polish from Andy Sneap. Biff is still more than able to fill the vocal space, age proving inconsequential as he continues to give the songwriting that lively presence as he belts out lyrics concerning ancient cultures, typical consideration of the trials and tribulations of a life of rock'n'roll and ship construction in Belfast. Images of such large-scale building seems to have been an inspirational subject as "Made In Belfast" is one of Saxon's heaviest tracks in a while.

The songwriting is tight and leaves little time for any unnecessary additives; clocking at just shy of 40 minutes it's short and concise. Which really is a relief as this one simply doesn't stack up against the many quality albums the band have released. It just lacks anything which might distinguish it from what came before, aside from a noticeably heavier sound most comparable to the surprisingly edgy Metalhead record. Whereas that album often had a somewhat darker or more aggressive character about it with what is much more exciting songwriting, Sacrifice is completely devoid of anything which really gives it a distinct identity of its own.

Saxon went for the simple approach and it really does make Sacrifice quite forgettable. In the band's queue of albums this one is well to the back.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 5
Production: 9


Band profile: Saxon
Album: Sacrifice


 



Written on 07.03.2013 by
R'Vannith
R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.
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PocketMetal - 07.03.2013 at 17:06  
Couldn't finish the album ... seemed like waste of my time .
Apothecary - 07.03.2013 at 18:21  
Hmmm.... well, first of all, I really have been enjoying Saxon's 2000s material. Into The Labyrinth and Call To Arms were both great, in my opinion. I know what you mean though about how a band's material can sound recycled after a while, which, I agree, isn't a good thing. In the case of Saxon, however, a band that's been around so long and developed in their fanbase a pretty good idea of what they'll tend to sound like, I don't think it really matters. Ya know, it's just like Cannibal Coprse. Everyone knows that their subsequent albums are going to have very little (if any) variation in comparison to what came before, but they're still one hell of a fun band, and their fanbase sticks by them anyway.
bblitz - 07.03.2013 at 20:15  
Worked very good for me,not definetly one of those albums worthy of saving money for
months to buy it,but overall Saxon delivered very good heavy metal.Interesting thing
is its very fun to listen-you have warriors of the road,ancient guardians,IRA(?),night wolves
again wheels and fast roads haha.Saxon is awesome
twisted_johnz - 07.03.2013 at 20:43  
I am still not sure how did you get 6,3 based on performance, songwriting, originality and production evaluation....
Dark Forever - 08.03.2013 at 02:39  
I found this album pretty boring indeed. Songs like Made In Belfast sound like they were composed by a mediocre Saxon-wannabe band and not by Saxon themselves. Overall all the songs have unnecessary, uninspired parts. The only thing I liked was the title track and, of course, Biff's amazing voice.
Lit. - 08.03.2013 at 06:21  
That's a shame. Their last one was pretty good.
Merchant of Doom - 08.03.2013 at 16:12  
Are they still going?
Death To Posers - 08.03.2013 at 21:07  
I only ended up saving one of the songs "Guardians of the Tomb" to my droid. Giving a 5 for originality on a trad band seems kinda harsh though.
R'Vannith - 09.03.2013 at 03:21  
Written by Death To Posers on 08.03.2013 at 21:07

I only ended up saving one of the songs "Guardians of the Tomb" to my droid. Giving a 5 for originality on a trad band seems kinda harsh though.


It's too much to expect anything particularly amazing when it comes to originality from Saxon but I just felt this is completely stripped down at all points, nothing much to make it stand out at all. I mean the previous album often had that ballsy classic NWHOBHM sound, Into The Labyrinth has a bit of a symphonic backing, edgier sound and had more versatile songwriting, same goes for The Inner Sanctum. Those three albums alone were much more memorable for me.
Kingface - 19.04.2013 at 01:16  
I thoroughly enjoy the album but at the same time the criticisms you make in the review are understandable. I do particularly like the first three songs and 'Standing in a Queue' is a good laugh!

Fantastic sound production.
R'Vannith - 19.04.2013 at 06:00  
Written by Kingface on 19.04.2013 at 01:16

I thoroughly enjoy the album but at the same time the criticisms you make in the review are understandable. I do particularly like the first three songs and 'Standing in a Queue' is a good laugh!

Fantastic sound production.


Production is excellent for sure, the most remarkable thing about the album. I can understand why others might enjoy it more than I might as a result, gives the record a heavier edge than usual.
Kingface - 20.04.2013 at 13:22  
Just thought I'd add this comment for those interested. Saw Saxon in Nottingham last night and the new songs went down incredibly well, to the point where Biff was taken aback a bit and at one point said, and this is paraphrased but: "...it just shows you that if you make an album with no bullshit, people like it hey?"

So I can see their next album being similar.

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