Rating:
8.8
Saxon - Into The Labyrinth
9 January 2009


01. Battalions Of Steel
02. Live To Rock
03. Demon Sweeney Todd
04. The Letter
05. Valley Of The Kings
06. Slow Lane Blues
07. Crime Of Passion
08. Premonition In D Minor
09. Voice
10. Protect Yourselves
11. Hellcat
12. Come Rock Of Ages (The Circle Is Complete)
13. Coming Home [Bottleneck version]


Sometime first feelings are weird and definitely wrong. I don't know why but when I listened to "Into The Labyrinth" for the first time, I found this album terribly boring and uninspired. Maybe that the problem came from the first song "Battalions Of Steel" which is too epic (strangely I like it a lot now…) but I don't know why I was totally wrong about the new Saxon… The more I listen to it, the more I like it and for sure, the British Heavy Metalers are back to the top with this release!

I'm one of the first fans of Saxon, first because in my opinion Biff is one of the best Heavy Metal singers (probably my favorite) and of course because some of their albums (and songs), no need to give names, are just fantastic. "Lion Heart" released in 2004 was a good return to the success but "The Inner Sanctum" (2007) was a bit disappointing for me and definitely tedious. I was expecting a lot of "Into The Labyrinth" because I wanted to see a great album and as you already know I didn't have any revelation at the first listening. I don't know the reason of this mistake, maybe that the album is not so easy of access but when you have a better look at it, it's obvious that we're in front of a great release. First, I like the fact that we have good ol' Rock N Roll songs like "Live To Rock" (something which will remind you songs like "Strong Arms Of The Law") but also true Heavy Metal ones like "Demon Sweeny Todd" or anthem ballades like "Voice". So ok, I'm not a fan of the epic sides that we can hear on "Battalions Of Steel" or "Valley Of The Kings" but all in all, this album is just full of hits and even those songs are more than ok anyway. If you add that we even have a new classy bottleneck version of "Coming Home" (featured at first on Killing Ground) you can be sure that you'll not be bored when you'll listen to the release. Seriously, "Into The Labyrinth" features all what we want to hear when we listen to Saxon, Heavy Metal spirit and Rock N Roll!

I won't say any words about Biff Byford this time… No actually I just can't avoid it, his performance is just amazing one more time, the older he is, the best he is… And since I don't want to create any kind of jealousy between the other band members, I will simply say that they rock too. Everything is perfectly done here, from the interpretation to the production. "Into The Labyrinth" is probably one of the most complete albums that the British band has released lately. Oki, maybe that, like me, you'll not understand it at first but please take some time and you'll understand what I want to say here…

What are you waiting for? What are you doing here in front of your PC? I believe that it should be better idea to run to your favorite record shop to buy the excellent new Saxon album. I'm already expecting a lot of their future tour (with Iced Earth) because the new songs will simply kick our asses live. It's good to see that after an average album, the guys managed to release something great! Don't miss "Into The Labyrinth" in any way, it will simply be one of the best Heavy Metal releases of the year 2009.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 10


Band profile: Saxon
Album: Into The Labyrinth


 


written by Jeff | 11.01.2009



Comments

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Baz Anderson - 12.01.2009 at 14:07  
Indeed, this is actually one of the best albums Saxon has released in many many many years.
"Lionheart" and "The Inner Sanctum" seemed a little forced to me, but this album just sounds natural to me.
"Battalions Of Steel" and "Valley Of The Kings" are definitely the most epic Saxon have been, but I love these songs, they are real highlights.

I actually wasn't expecting something that would stick in my proverbial CD player, but this album just blew me away. Fantastic!!
Charly546 - 12.01.2009 at 23:19  
Another pretty damn good album from Saxon. But remember, the best Saxon is on the stage not on the albums.
Tursti - 15.01.2009 at 13:52  
I wonder, once I wroted review, and later it was rejected 'cos "it had not been three months from albums release". So why this is here then? Just wondering...
Baz Anderson - 15.01.2009 at 14:00  
Written by Tursti on 15.01.2009 at 13:52

I wonder, once I wroted review, and later it was rejected 'cos "it had not been three months from albums release". So why this is here then? Just wondering...

Lol. That rule applies to guest reviews. Official reviewers such as myself and other staff, and especially Jeff, get priority to have our reviews on the front page. We have to make sure our reviews of CDs the labels send us are on before any guest review.
Tursti - 15.01.2009 at 19:59  
Written by Baz Anderson on 15.01.2009 at 14:00

Written by Tursti on 15.01.2009 at 13:52

I wonder, once I wroted review, and later it was rejected 'cos "it had not been three months from albums release". So why this is here then? Just wondering...

Lol. That rule applies to guest reviews. Official reviewers such as myself and other staff, and especially Jeff, get priority to have our reviews on the front page. We have to make sure our reviews of CDs the labels send us are on before any guest review.

That okay for me. No need to get angry. As I said, just wondering.
In Bone Factory - 17.01.2009 at 16:10  
I have not been a saxon fan but this album is great and i love it esp. the song "Valley Of The Kings".
sraekman - 20.01.2009 at 11:58  
Great album with the feelings of 80's for those who lived that pure time of metal, great music aggresive,epic and with some songs that you want to hear again and again...For sure you have to listen it !!
Valentin B - 26.01.2009 at 14:07  
Listening to Hellcat right now. is this Byff? wtf?? his voice has changed like hell since the days of yore. the riffs are pretty good though, gonna give their last 3 albums a spin these days.
Valentin B - 26.01.2009 at 18:04  
HOLY FUCK that first track is EPIC. if they don't play it as a first song on their gigs this february i'm gonna be mad mad mad.. ok i might change my mind if they play Crusader (with the Prelude as the intro)
Marcel Hubregtse - 27.01.2009 at 17:51  
I heard a couple of tracks and really like it. Bur why the hell does Biff have to sound like Udo Dirkschneider (Accept, U.D.O.)? The only difference between the two is the German accent which Biff doesn't possess in his English.
Abattoir - 11.02.2009 at 21:38  
Yea, it's quite a good album indeed. I love that opening riff in the intro of Demon Sweeney Todd song...huh
Et Ermit - 22.02.2009 at 01:57  
Well i think with this album they get back on track after the inner sanctum, which was lets say average (this not being a bad thing), though this is not as good as lionheart, yet with this album it makes say what i thought when i heard to lionheart, Saxon are doing way better music than Iron Maiden these last years!

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