Released on February 2, 2018 (Silver Lining Music)
Saxon have issued their latest effort Thunderbolt (the band’s 22nd) hot on the heels of announcing their support slot on the 2018 North America Judas Priest Tour. Saxon have survived trend after trend in their 40+ year career while their contemporaries have either called it a career or simply got lighter with age. Saxon instead have forged forward. Aside from their ‘misstep’ on their Destiny album in 1988 where we found singer Biff Byford and company ‘attempting’ to appeal to the Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe and Bon Jovi audiences, Saxon got heavier with age.
Saxon dialed things up and got their second wind in 2004 with the critically acclaimed Lionheart. The hype was so undeniable that it even reached U.S. shores. Over the years, Saxon recorded several notable albums like The Inner Sanctum in 2007, Call To Arms in 2011, and Battering Ram in 2015, respectively. Thunderbolt continues the tradition of heavy melodic rock and marks the third consecutive Saxon album with metal producer extraordinaire Andy Sneap (Arch Enemy, Nevermore, Judas Priest) at the helm.
While the songs on Thunderbolt are in the tradition of Priest, it’s hard not to note why Saxon didn’t break in the United States — their lyrical content! All one has to do is turn to some of the tracks on this new album. “Nosferatu (The Vampire Waltz),” “A Wizard’s Tale” and “Speed Merchants” are evidence of this. There are great tunes (musically) on Thunderbolt but they suffer due to the pedestrian content. The standouts on Thunderbolt are “They Played Rock ‘n’ Roll” which is a tribute to Lemmy Kilmister, “Thunderbolt,” “Predator” which features Amon Amarth’s Johan Hegg, and “Sons Of Odin” would fit brilliantly alongside the classics in the set on their upcoming North American return.
It’s worth noting there’s additional Saxon product as the band have released Decade Of The Eagle in the fall of 2017. It’s a stellar greatest hits compilation available to fans in anticipation of their participation in Priest‘s jaunt across the United States and Canada. Thunderbolt is a good album but I can’t help but dust off classics like Wheels Of Steel, Strong Arm Of The Law or Denim And Leather instead.
01. Olympus Rising
03. The Secret Of Flight
04. Nosferatu (The Vampires Waltz)
05. They Played Rock and Roll
07. Sons Of Odin
09. A Wizard’s Tale
10. Speed Merchants
11. Roadie’s Song
12. Nosferatu (Raw version)
Biff Byford – lead vocals
Paul Quinn – guitar
Doug Scarratt – guitar
Nibbs Carter – bass
Nigel Glockler – drums
Produced by Andy Sneap
Reviewed by Ruben Mosqueda for Sleaze Roxx, February 2018
Saxon‘s “Thunderbolt” video:
The official video for the brand-new track from Saxon titled ‘Thunderbolt’ from the upcoming new album “Thunderbolt” out February 2nd. Pre-order here: http://hyperurl.co/6j93n2 “This is album 22 and it’s called Thunderbolt. It’s a Storming Smashing Thundering collection of tracks we’ve been crafting with Producer, Andy Sneap and it’s finished ready to be unleashed.
Saxon‘s “They Played Rock And Roll” lyric video:
The official lyric video from Saxon for the track ‘They Played Rock And Roll’ from the upcoming new album “Thunderbolt”, out February 2nd. Available to pre-order here: http://hyperurl.co/6j93n2 where you can get an immediate download and stream of the songs “Thunderbolt” and “They Played Rock And Roll”.