Review Summary: The late 70’s were a while ago.
For Saxon, Sacrifice
is their twentieth full length release. From the groups inception in 1976, Saxon have been releasing record after record of roughly the same music, yet somehow the music itself remains relevant in today’s ever growing hard rock/metal communities. For what it’s worth Saxon’s hard hitting anthem-like tracks still hold a place in the hearts of those who remember the “good ol’ days”. With their 2013 release, Saxon portrays an image that says “We don’t need any new wave British metal acts; the for-runners of the genre are still here – kicking and screaming”. Yes, it’s been over thirty years since the band’s debut and just like fellow countrymen Iron Maiden, Saxon are not willing to fade away quietly. In comparison to the band’s 2011 record, A Call To Arms
is darker, faster and just a little heavier giving life to an up-beat record built the way most traditional British metal artists make albums; from the ground up, ensuring that every little piece fits.
Considering that the band is twenty full-lengths in, it only makes sense that Sacrifice
sounds a lot like the rest of the bands rather extensive discography, but that isn’t so much of a negative feature, it actually comes closer to releasing music how a band wants
to release music. Considering that Saxon are roughly veterans of the traditional metal genre they are not merely copying and recycling their music. No, Saxon are just bringing it all together into one tight package that smacks of the glory days of the group. Thankfully, there’s no need to talk about the fact that Sacrifice
has little in the way of innovation. Saxon is arguably the biggest hard rock/metal act of Europe; influencing acts such as Metallica and Megadeth and any attempt at something new would be the downfall for this solid veteran group. For the most part, Sacrifice
is an album full of gems, the argument is which one is bigger? The title track, ‘Guardians Of The Tomb’, ‘Stand Up And Fight’ or ‘Night Of The Wolf’ each track placates the listeners’ expectations in the best possible way highlighting just how Saxon can build an anthem around a couple of hooks and the band’s musical experience does the rest.
At forty minutes, Saxon’s 2013 record is a return to a tried and true sound. At no point does the album outstay its welcome; rather it cuts off short, leaving the listener wanting more. This aside, it’s hard to fault Saxon for doing what they know; Solid tracks without extended play times, stereotypical traditional British heavy metal riffs (developed by the likes of Saxon and Iron maiden), consistent drum work and even some rather basic vocal patterns. In terms of production, Sacrifice
is quite literally top notch. Produced by Andy Sneap (who’s worked with and for countless heavy metal groups), Saxon has found a sound that is polished suiting the record perfectly. Overall, if you liked the rest of Saxon’s discography you’re bound to enjoy this. There’s little in the way of a dull moment or filler for that matter, for Saxon’s Sacrifice
it’s business as usual. Just because the music is simplistic and straight forward takes nothing away from this release. It is simply put that these guys have been doing this for almost thirty-five years, and doing it well. Sacrifice
is an album filled with quality. Anthems come and go, but with this release Saxon show they are not willing to fade into obscurity.