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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

REVIEW: Saxon (UK) - Call to Arms (2011)

Saxon Call to Arms 2011

A new Saxon album is always a delight. These guys have been playing their heavy metal and hard rock since late 70's. Their earlier career started with NWOBHM style (one of the pioneers in the genre with Angel Witch), but Saxon soon changed their approach into more radio friendly hard rock at the late 80's. Saxon then started drifting into more metallic direction once again in the 90's while reaching their trademark sound of today mid- to late nineties.

Overall I find this album to be closest to the Inner Sanctum by it's sound. Almost as strong too, not leaving far behind. I find Call To Arms being stronger than its predecessor "Into The Labyrinth", which was a bit inconsistent album overall (still pretty good). "Hammer of Gods" opens album thunderous way and with great strong churning bass-lines that will glue to your memory. "Back in 79" is one of those heavy rocking jam-along crushers with massive chorus and ballsy pounding bass, catchy as fuck, paying tribute to the early age of Saxon and rock (as I understand out of the lyrics). "Call in Arms" is partly half-acoustic laid back slower song with a lot of feeling, emotion, gloom, and epic-ness. A good song, but not sure if it was the best choice for a title track. "When Doomsday Comes" follows along the same lines. "Surviving Against the Odds" and "Chasing The Bullet" claim the titles of more fast paced rockers on the album, while "Afterburner" is most metallic and furious track of the album. "Ballad of The Working Man" screams for rock'n'roll and NWOBHM groove with biting lead guitar riffs. "Mists of Avalon" is faster melodic song and pretty good, leaving only one track here that I feel is slightly filler - "No Rest For The Wicked".

As in whole, the band once again is on the form and cranks up good melodies, yet avoiding to sound too light. All in all though, Call To Arms shows bit more mellow and uplifting side of Saxon overall than, say, for example albums like "Metalhead", "Unleash The Beast", or even "Lionheart", but does it with a good taste. Biff's voice sounds damn good, his voice seems to be like wine, getting while aging. Complete opposite as for example Udo Dirkschneider (with all respect), who has lost his initial strength with his vocals a bit since the 80's. Only thing that is lacking here a bit are the actual standout tracks. Material is once again overall very good, but lacks the most memorable tracks, a classics to be remembered in future out of Saxon's whole big discography. However Saxon fans won't be disappointed and I have feeling this album could be a grower. Also recommended for any heavy metal fan who likes pure heavy metal or NWOBHM and is not familiar with Saxon.


83

-www.kultmetal.com | reviewer: dungeoncrawler






  • Biff Byford - Vocals
  • Doug Scarratt - Guitars
  • Paul Quinn - Guitars
  • Nibbs Carter - Bass
  • Nigel Glockler - Drums

  • 1. Hammer of the Gods 04:23
  • 2. Back in '79 03:28
  • 3. Surviving Against the Odds 03:01
  • 4. Mists of Avalon 05:02
  • 5. Call to Arms 04:29
  • 6. Chasing the Bullet 04:14
  • 7. Afterburner 03:06
  • 8. When Doomsday Comes (Hybrid Theory)
  • 9. No Rest for the Wicked 03:09
  • 10. Ballad of the Working Man 03:48
  • 11. Call to Arms (orchestral version) 04:28
    • Total playing time 43:37







    





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