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CD REVIEW: SAXON – Battering Ram

| 15 December 2015 | 1 Reply

CD REVIEW: SAXON – Battering Ram
UDR Music
16 October, 2015
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
9/10

Saxon - Battering Ram cover

1980s Saxon albums were outstanding, with their cutting edge take on contemporary metal, and lifted even further by some genius lyric-writing courtesy of frontman Biff Byford (Dallas 1pm, Strangers In the Night, et al). Sadly by the late ‘90s their output was more often typified by stale stodge as they failed so resolutely to remain in any way relevant in an indie rock world.

It’s to their immense credit (and our great relief) that in this new millennium the British metal stalwarts have re-embraced everything that made them flag bearers of a denim-and-leather-clad army, and each successive album have been an event to be celebrated.

Battering Ram finds Biff writing about a Hammer Horror-esque tale of Satan abroad (The Devil’s Footprint), Alice In Wonderland’s climactic chess game (Queen of Hearts), the Viking God Odin (Destroyer), the majestic and destructive power of a hurricane (Eye Of The Storm), climbing Everest (Top Of The World) and the horrors of World War One (Kingdom Of The Cross). Talk Dirty To Me this is NOT. Saxon are instantly more articulate and relevant than almost anyone out there.

Kingdom Of The Cross is an epic piece of art and a sombre and moving tribute to those who were sacrificed in the mad hell of that war’s trenches. Biff uses The Crusades as a parable for the horrific slaughter, and in doing so highlights the futility of war then and now and always. It’s a powerful statement that echoes Lemmy’s cello-based 1916 from the album of the same name.

Musically Biff Byford seems not to have mellowed at all as he approaches his 65th birthday – his impassioned howls on Destroyer are a force to be reckoned with – and Saxon are, if anything, heavier and more riveting than ever in 2015.

Shane

Category: CD Reviews

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  1. Album review: CD REVIEW: SAXON – Battering Ram – Hard Rock Hub | 15 December 2015

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