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Discussion in 'Music Discussion' started by Yax, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. Natalie

    Natalie Insect of Terror Staff Member

    It's been ages since I listened to Saxon consistently...and clearly their more recent stuff wasn't interesting enough the first time round for me to remember so I went back to re-listen. Also, I noticed I never reviewed their albums from 1985 onwards on here even though I promised Foro haha...well maybe I'll deliver this time round.

    Anyway, here's my thoughts on The Battering Ram from 2015.

    The Battering Ram - Ok rock, some weird guitar thing happens around 3:08 that I think is just a mess-up but strange they kept it in there.
    The Devil's Footprint - The spoken word intro was enjoyable (didn't feel original, then again, much of what Saxon does feels like they're a step behind Maiden), the voice actor reminded me of the stuff on Bruce's Chemical Wedding (it's not the same guy I don't think but he had nice delivery). Haven't looked up what the song is about but lyric-wise it made me think of Krampus which is scary/metal as hell so I approve. Music-wise a solid rock song.
    Queen of Hearts - A very strange intro thing they did here, didn't like it (sounded like my computer was having trouble playing back the track but then I realized it was part of the song, that's shite). I guess it's Alice in Wonderland-based. The lyrics are fairly ok, kind of fun they made a song about chess more or less. I quite enjoyed how dark they made this, best of the three songs so far on the album.
    Destroyer - Another rocker, lost interest about 3 seconds in. It's the kind of thing Priest is known for, and better at. :down:
    Hard and Fast - More interesting riffs than Destroyer but basically the same kind of song. :down:
    Eye of The Storm - At this point, wondering if the band is tired of it all and have run out of ideas...'no escape from the eye of the storm' really? How is this a line? You do realize the eye of the storm is the calm bit? :facepalm:
    Stand Your Ground - The opening lines "If you're feeling weak and near defeat And your will to succeed slips away" is about how I felt at this point of the album. Tandem guitar riff at around 2:00 was kinda neat. There's also a refreshing keyboard section. Kind of wish the nice bit in the middle was on a better song. The chorus and main riff are just so boring.
    Top of the World - Best intro riff so far? Correction, most enjoyable melodies so far.
    To the End - This song is about the end. I hope it is. If nothing else because Biff sounds tired and as if his voice is about to give out on here.
    Kingdom of the Cross - Enjoyable spoken word intro again. But I'm starting to wonder if it's because Biff's voice is so tired-sounding. It's more interesting certainly than most of the rest of the album. But does it need to be 6 minutes long? <_<
    Three Sheets to the Wind (The Drinking Song) - So at a certain age (which Saxon is at), there's nothing remotely cool or interesting or anything but pathetic about a drinking song that's about how pissed they were and couldn't walk. You know what I'm saying? We all know the 50 something that's hanging out at the bar that's embarrassing himself/herself. It's sad is what it is. I realize Saxon wrote a song and it's for everyone and all that but Biff's tired voice evokes nothing but that pathetic old person that should be sipping port and tucking in early instead honestly. Utter shit, I give this song 5 turds: :turd::turd::turd::turd::turd:

    I didn't read NP's review on purpose before I listened but after I did look. Basically I think we can both agree this is not one of their better efforts. Biff's voice is not the only thing tired about it. :S
    Night Prowler and Forostar like this.
  2. Perun

    Perun Climbing like a monkey Staff Member

    :okok: It's really sad if the verdict about the song is that they're too old for this kind of shit.
  3. Natalie

    Natalie Insect of Terror Staff Member

    The good thing to come out of listening to Battering Ram is that Battalions of Steel is now stuck in my head. That song rocks my socks. :edmetal:

    On to Sacrifice (released 2013).

    Sacrifice - This is fine. Not sure I have more of an opinion than that.
    Made in Belfast - I really enjoy the Irish instrumentation on this one, at least for portions. The 'made in Belfast' shout though is weird, I'd prefer if they just stuck to the earlier bit of the chorus.
    Warriors of the Road - A fun little song about racing cars. Filler.
    Guardians Of the Tomb - I enjoyed the opening riff. The rest is fine, a bit like the opening song.
    Stand Up And Fight - Again, it's ok. Feels a bit heavy on the guitar solos without much substance. There's a nice riff at 02:50 thereabouts that gets lost a bit, sadly.
    Walking the Steel - A song about skyscrapers? I guess...:S
    Night Of the Wolf - Repetitive but I enjoyed it. I liked the acoustic outro.
    Wheels of Terror - Forgettable.
    Standing In A Queue - This has a fun title. And it's totally ridiculous. It's a song about standing in a queue. If nothing else, props to whoever wrote the lyrics for coming up with creative ways to rhyme with 'queue'. :D

    Overall this is a better album than Buttering Ram or whatever that's called. But that's setting the bar at negligible. For once though I'm wondering whether Maiden were inspired by Saxon's choice of artwork for Sacrifice for their own Aztec/Maya extravaganza.
  4. Natalie

    Natalie Insect of Terror Staff Member

    After listening to several Saxon albums in a row today I'm starting to relate to this text by Perun in 2012 more and more. What's funny is that as Saxon got older they definitely got better, reached a peak, and then got total shit. I'm going to try and pinpoint the year I think the total decline begins. Perhaps 2011?
    So I'd say they're not too old-fashioned, they just put out way too many rockers that don't rock (i.e. are boring).

    Anyway, I shall persevere with my review in reverse chronological order if only cos I feel guilty for never following through for Foro (sorry pal).

    Here's Call to Arms (2011).

    Hammer of the Gods - Another song about the Vikings pillaging. Invaders is better.:D
    Back in 79 - Some kind of rock ballad. :yawn:
    Surviving Against the Odds - A prototypical example of a mediocre (read:boring) rocker. :yawn:
    Mists of Avalon - This is a classic. I love it. Hasn't changed. I seem to recall opining that Saxon heard Isle of Avalon and decided they wanted to make it more directly about the legend of Arthur. Who knows if that's true or not. But I like this song. :clap:
    Call to Arms - This is solid too, I like the lyrics. Perhaps not the most memorable tune as far as battle hymns go but enjoyable nonetheless. :ok:
    Chasing the Bullet - Some average rock. Feels a bit like it aspires to be an AC/DC song. :yawn:
    Afterburner - Forgettable. :yawn:
    When Doomsday Comes (Hybrid Theory) - Apparently written for a movie called Hybrid Theory, has anyone seen this? Anyway, I like this, nice use of keyboards.
    No Rest for the Wicked - At least it's not a rocker. But a bit bland all the same.
    Ballad of the Working Man - Poor working man, it must be a boring life. :yawn:

    Perhaps this Saxon binge wasn't the best idea. But my hypothesis is that this is the beginning of the decline so their earlier (read 00's era) albums should be better.
  5. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    I maintain that Unleash the Beast from 1997 is a modern sounding, dark album with very good guitar melodies and solos. Very catchy songs (great choruses), but special atmosphere and very different from and better than most of their catalogue. For me the best.
  6. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    Possibly seeing them next week with UFO.
    Natalie, Brigantium and terrell39 like this.
  7. eddie666

    eddie666 Trooper

    I've got all the studios now. They've a working class charm that lets them get away with standard rockers. It's Biff's vocals that win me over.
    I enjoy the new stuff, but admittedly there are dry spells. Battering Ram is patchy. Sacrifice is strong overall. Call To Arms is one of their best, up with Lionheart, Killing Ground, Power and the Glory and the first three.
    Sadly for them, the more successful they are, the less credence they radiate. Being the underdog is what defines them. Backs to the wall, stand up and be counted, never surrender, etc.
    I love 'em, despite/because of their failings.
  8. Natalie

    Natalie Insect of Terror Staff Member

    Into the Labyrinth (2008).

    Battalions of Steel - I love this song, hands down, one of my all-time favorites. The chorus makes me want to yell along, the intro is great, Biff's voice sounds good. :edmetal:
    Live to Rock - Synth intro is a bit different so that's fun. The chorus is a bit catchy, decent rocker.
    Demon Sweeney Todd - Fast dark little song about the barber of fleet street, it works. Not the best but not the worst either.
    Valley of the Kings - Yeah this is straight-up gold. Love it. :rocker:
    Slow Lane Blues - Reminds me a bit of the Standing in a Queue song, it's a song about getting a speeding ticket....props for taking the mundane and making it a bit fun.
    Crime of Passion - It's ok. The lyrics are skeevy of course, so probably not going to be listening to this one a whole lot.
    Voice - This is a good one too. I really enjoy the chorus and some of the solo work on this one. :ok:
    Protect Yourselves - A rocker. :yawn:
    Hellcat - A faster rocker. :yawn:
    Come Rock of Ages - A somewhat more interesting rocker (perhaps the lyrics do it?). It's fine.
    Coming Home - From Killing Ground so I'll review it when I get there.

    Meh, so far it's the best album (in reverse chronological order) but I think why I liked it before was because of 3 songs: Battalions of Steel, Valley of Kings, and Voice.
  9. Natalie

    Natalie Insect of Terror Staff Member

    The Inner Sanctum (2007).

    State of Grace - One of my Saxon all-time favorites. Definitely holds up to scrutiny. The bit starting at 3:11 I like especially where everything quiets down to just drums and then the guitar solo comes in above that, it's a nice effect (and a good solo). :ok:
    Need for Speed - A fast rocker, it's ok. The guitar work on the chorus is very Maiden.
    Let Me Feel Your Power - Another fairly generic rock song. It's slightly darker, goes in the direction of Bruce's solo work (ala Accident of Birth) but not enough. It's not that boring though.
    Red Star Falling - Love this, evocative lyrics, atmospheric. Go listen! :okok:
    I've Got to Rock (To Stay Alive) - Another wannabe AC/DC song. :yawn:
    If I Was You - Filler? Forgot it already.
    Going Nowhere Fast - Nice riffs in the intro. Then it goes nowhere fast :p
    Ashes to Ashes - Catchy refrain but otherwise meh.
    Attila the Hun - I enjoy this song, but I can question it's length. Still, it's solid. :)

    I'm beginning to think I could cobble together a 2-disc album with all of Saxon's material that would make something decent I could listen to on the regular. And then just forget about the rest....-_-
    Night Prowler likes this.

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