Album Review: Saxon, "Sacrifice"

With a band like SAXON, who have been around since the year dot, you know what to expect. In their case, classic NWOBHM with a few tweaks and spins.

With Sacrifice they've moved things in a heavier direction from 2011's Call to Arms. The platter abounds with tight, clean, punchy riffing and a sense of urgency, making it easy to see why SAXON had such a big influence on the likes of MEGADETH and METALLICA.

At 62, singer Biff Byford is still on top of his game, while the twin guitar attack of Paul Quinn and Doug Scarratt keeps the energy levels sky high. And energy is required, with topics ranging from blitzkriegs (Wheels of Terror) to ship building (Made in Belfast). If there’s any sign of weakness, oddly it's from a sense that the band is not wasting any of its energy. It's all honed, focused, and shot directly at the target.

At just under forty minutes, the album is shortish. Each track seems to turn up, do its allotted task with the efficiency of a hired killer, then make way for the next. Plenty of great tracks, but for me the best was Night of the Wolf, the song that has the best potential to keep growing when played live.

Colin Liddell
Revenge of Riff Raff
13th April, 2013

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