Saxon - The Inner Sanctum review


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Band: Saxon
Album: The Inner Sanctum
Release date: March 2007

01. State Of Grace
02. Need For Speed
03. Let Me Feel Your Power
04. Red Star Falling
05. I've Got To Rock (To Stay Alive)
06. If I Was You
07. Going Nowhere Fast
08. Ashes To Ashes
09. Empire Rising
10. Atila The Hun
11. If I Was You [single version]
12. 747 (Strangers In The Night) [live] [Japanese bonus]
13. Back To The Wall [live] [Japanese bonus]
14. Stand Up And Be Counted [live] [Japanese bonus]
15. Never Surrender [live] [Japanese bonus]
16. Wheels Of Steel [live] [Japanese bonus]
17. And The Band Plays On [live] [Japanese bonus]

Approximately three years after the release of the really good "Lionheart", Saxon, the masters (with Iron Maiden of course) of the NWOBHM scene are finally back with a new album, "The Inner Sanctum". "Lionheart" was really good and maybe that it was probably a bit hard for the band to release again something in the same vein because if "The Inner Sanctum" is a good and pleasant album, this is definitely not so exceptional too. Yeah, the new Saxon is a bit conventional if you want my opinion.

Don't misunderstand me, "The Inner Sanctum" is not a bad album! We have some cool strong Heavy Metal songs like "Let Me Feel Your Power" or great ballads (really this one kick ass) like "Red Star Falling" but all in all, we don't have a lot of real exceptional hits and I'm not even sure that I found a real hit on this album (where is a song like "Crusader" or even "Lionheart"?). It's good and well done no doubt but not so special too. Plus, some songs like "I've Got To Rock (To Stay Alive)" sound more like some Hard Rock songs like some pure Heavy Metal ones and if it's not really surprising for Saxon it's not so convincing too, it's good one more time but not exceptional. I have to say that I cannot criticize the quality of the songs in general but I'm a bit disappointed, I was expecting something a lot better and outstanding.

"The Inner Sanctum" is a really well produced album with a really dark cover which describe really well the general atmosphere of the album. Because "The Inner Sanctum" is not so "happy", listen to "State Of Grace" and you'll be able to see that we're in front of a music which doesn't sound like on the majority of the classic Heavy Metal releases. The dark atmosphere of the album is cool however but it lacks a bit of punch too. On the other hand, the performance of the musicians is excellent and damn Biff is still an amazing charismatic singer. Years after years, his voice is still exceptional...

Without being bad, "The Inner Sanctum" is not really convincing. Maybe that I was expecting something too big after the release of "Lionheat" I don't know, but if "The Inner Sanctum" is not a bad album, I doubt that it will stay in our memories for ever. Let's hope that it was just an average album and that Saxon will be able to produce some great albums again in the future… I have no doubt about it anyway.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 8

Written by Jeff | 31.03.2007



Comments: 12   Visited by: 68 users
31.03.2007 - 18:15
Well i really like the album, somehow it cought me, those old times, but overall, the album isn't so different, from the old ones. And i like the review
If you love something, let it go... If it doesn't return, hunt it down and kill it!
31.03.2007 - 20:09
avatar of misery
seems to be really nice cover art!
31.03.2007 - 21:21
Noooooooo!!!! This album is FULL of hits

I gotta say I am way in love with this album and don't see much mediocrity in it. However I haven't heard Lionheart or most of the rest of their discography (I'm working on that!!) so maybe I'll change my mind in time. As of right now though this album is one of my favs of 2007
"A life all mine
Is what I choose
At the end of my days"
--The Gathering "A Life All Mine" from Souvenirs
31.03.2007 - 21:40
At first i didn't think much of this album, just mediocre. Nothing very bad, also nothing very good.

But the more i listened to it, the better it gets. Some tracks really stand out.
"State of Grace" is a really fast song whit nice introduction;
"Red Star Falling" just plain owns, musically and lyrically;
"Ashes to Ashes" i love the chorus parts;
and "Atlila the Hun" whit it's instrumental "Empire Rising" is a mid-tempo song whit a fast chorus part..

Rest of the songs are rather mediocre, but i like them too. And production is great on this album.
01.04.2007 - 14:50
Surpose the review will be easier to read tomorrow when the K7-virus is gone, so I'll return later

EDIT: It was easier to read today. Nice review and eventhough I'm not the biggest fan of Saxon I might give this album a try

Dreams are made so we don't get bored when we sleep
01.04.2007 - 20:07
I really like this album, can't wait to see them live!
02.04.2007 - 16:31
Baz Anderson
haha yeh - I can read the review now after yesterday woo! haha..

yeh.. I kind of agree.. I prefered 'Lionheart' where some people might not.. this album doesnt have any 'stand out tracks' on it - it is all run-of-the-mill stuff (not saying that Saxon's run-of-the-mill isnt bad at all!) - but there just wasnt anything on here that made me stand up and take notice of it..
maybe my opinion will change in time though - maybe after seeing them live again but this time performing this stuff, I will start to love this album
10.04.2007 - 03:02
Account deleted
Saxon Rulez!!! New album is out standing. They are my Gods. I don't know what else to say, Album of the March!!!
09.05.2007 - 20:15
I love this album, they brought to the table A LOT of emotion. You can clearly see that they put a lot of effort into this one, also, mixing their old sound and sniffing with the newcomers of power/speed metal, and resulting in a hellish album...throughtout the songs. Saxon sound's more enthusiastic, eager than ever to be the prominent power of today's heavy metal!

One of the highlights of the year for sure!
17.05.2007 - 18:34
Baz Anderson
yes - I definitely like this album a lot lot more now I have listened to it a few times..
I probably do like this quite a bit more then 'Lionheart' now
15.09.2007 - 14:40
Account deleted
I like it much more than the German power metal Lionheart. That just didn't fit to them. I'm proud of having Lionheart, too, it's a grat album with a nice package, but it' nowhere near among the best 10 Saxon albums. And this one would get the bottom of top 10 Saxons, I guess. From the new ones, Killing Ground is majestic, but this one is more than worthy.
17.10.2007 - 23:11
For me, this is without doubt a dissapointment. Yes you can argue that Lionheart was a strong album and it would be hard to do something better, but this is just not what you expect from a veteram band like Saxon, not matter what album they release before. Yes it's not bad if you compare it to, lets say, last couple of Maiden Albums, but here they seem like they were out of ideas, though everything is not wrong in it, a 7 is for me too high rate.
In this days we seem to be limited by scientific knowledge
"I'm a good man... while that don't interfere with my interest" Anonymous , taken from the low moderm and post-moderm consciences

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