SAXON - Lionheart

Saxon - Lionheart

11 songs
45:09 minutes
***** ***
Steamhammer / SPV


Saxon have never been one of my favourite hard rock bands, and even in the mid- to late-Eighties when I was sucking up nearly everything that sounded like metal, I never was truly fond of Saxon, and to this day I probably haven't heard more than two or three of their albums. So you can imagine my excitement when I discovered that I had to do the review of their new album Lionheart, and in my mind's eye I saw myself already giving them about one point out of ten.

But then, while reading some boring political interviews and legal documents, I somehow found the time to repeatedly listen a couple of times to the album, and to my big surprise, this wasn't bad at all. While the song titles (Witchfinder General, Lionheart, To Live By The Sword) are no proof of originality, the real cool stuff comes with the music. Saxon stand for fast melodic and powerful heavy metal, which I would call power metal, except that they started this already before that term was even invented. Saxon are most convincing when they do their epic stuff like on the title song and Searching For Atlantis, but even their faster material (Beyond The Grave) comes off fresher than your average young third-generation metal copycats. So these are the originals, and you hear it! While two short intros are rather bland, you still have nine regular songs, all of which should convince the traditional metal fan. Unlike modern hype bands you write one or two memorable songs for MTV, this is quality all the way through, and the more I listened to it, the higher my rating became, until I finally switched off at 8 points. Biff still sounds as dynamic as twenty years ago, and the production is nice, juicy and full of stamina. If you bother buying another young retro metal band, why not consider dropping in on this new album by the British metal legend. They did this already a generation ago, and are still more than apt to win the heart of every old school metal fan.

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