Will they ever give up .. not a chance Saxon are here to stay for the foreseeable future.
Their latest release ‘Thunderbolt’ see them move away from the more harder offerings of ‘Sacrifice’ (2013) and ‘Battering Ram’ (2015) and back to the NWOBHM roots that we all know and love. Age seems to have no grasp on these gnarly old stage warriors, they just keep on hitting us with more of the classic Yorkshire riffage that is just too good to ignore.
After an airy intro track ‘Olympus Rising’ we are straight into the title track ‘Thunderbolt’ and boom you are gripped. Solid guitar work, fine songwriting and the voice, yes Biff, despite being the wrong side of 60, still sounds as good as he did back in the day. He certainly knows how to look after his voice, something that many of today’s young vocalists should take note of.
This LP is definitely all killer and no filler, despite the slightly corny lyrics on ‘A Wizards Tale’ (its still a great song, but does it fit with the rest of the release?). One thing is for certain, these songs will be awesome live .. they are just huge. Production somehow seems to have gone up a level and we have a much bigger sound appearing here compared to the last few releases. Maybe it’s in the recording process, but whatever it was it’s worked.
Stand out tracks? well to be honest they are all superb, but for classic Saxon it has to be said ‘The Secret of Flight’ and the tribute to the heady days of touring with Motorhead, ‘They Played Rock and Roll’ (‘The song tells the story of Saxon’s very first tour in 1979 with Motörhead. I want people to get a flavour of what it was like in the UK in 79/80 for Saxon and Motörhead at the start of the 80s musical revolution” says Biff Byford.) that really shine.
If you have yet to experience the mighty Saxon, then this ain’t a bad place to start .. put your hands in the air and bang your heads .. the boys are back..!!