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Saxon - Sacrifice review


133 users:
Band: Saxon
Album: Sacrifice
Release date: February 2013

Disc I
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]

Disc II [Limited Edition bonus]
01. Crusader [Orchestral version]
02. Just Let Me Rock [Re-Recorded version]
03. Requiem [Acoustic version]
04. Frozen Rainbow [Acoustic version]
05. 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.

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


Written on 07.03.2013 by R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.


Comments: 13   Visited by: 200 users
07.03.2013 - 17:06
Couldn't finish the album ... seemed like waste of my time .
07.03.2013 - 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.
This is the water, and this is the well
Drink full and descend
The horse is the white of the eyes, and dark within
07.03.2013 - 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
07.03.2013 - 20:43
I am still not sure how did you get 6,3 based on performance, songwriting, originality and production evaluation....
08.03.2013 - 02:39
Dark Forever
Ruído Sonoro
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.
Taste the DARK...
... and you'll live FOREVER!
08.03.2013 - 06:21
Account deleted
That's a shame. Their last one was pretty good.
08.03.2013 - 16:12
Merchant of Doom
Are they still going?
08.03.2013 - 21:07
Death To Posers
Hate Thy King
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.
The word gen means "illusion" or "apparition." In India, a man who uses conjury is called a genjutsushi ["a master of illusion technique"]. Everything in this world is but a marionette show. Thus we use the word gen.
09.03.2013 - 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.
19.04.2013 - 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.
19.04.2013 - 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.
20.04.2013 - 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: " 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.
09.02.2017 - 23:36
Bad English
C mon guys this is good and you should remember how old they are, show me old timers who can write good album as when they were young? how much of you will spam in MS when you will have 60 years?
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing

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