|My Saxon Albums List WORST to BEST|
Regarded as one of the most important New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands to come out between 1978 and 1982, Saxon defined a heavier style of Metal that would eventually evolve into multiple genres ranging from Thrash to Progressive and Groove Metal. Here, I will name their albums from Worst to Best.
Solid Ball of Rock
Solid Ball of Rock is by far their worst effort. As the 1990's changed musical tastes, Saxon found themselves in the same predicament as many other popular Metal acts at the time. Struggling to keep their sound while also adapting to changing tastes, Solid Ball of Rock became a disjointed mess with almost no consistency in quality.
Innocence is No Excuse
Innocence is No Excuse is one of those albums which make me wonder why it exists in the first place. Featuring a more Rock-oriented sound when compared to their previous efforts, leaving Saxon fans divided over its quality. Regardless of whatever genre it really was, this definitely ranks as one of Saxon's worst efforts, a vapid cash grab capitalizing on Saxon's fame at the time. It served no good purpose and I still wonder why it exists to this day.
The early 1990's were not kind to Saxon, but then again they brought most of their problems on themselves. Forever Free came out one year after Solid Ball of Rock. Like its predecessor, Forever Free was inconsistent as Hell and by far one of their worst albums.
This album is not very good, but to be fair, it could have been much worse. As the 80's drew to a close, Saxon began the infamous "going through the motions" phase of their career. The result was the absolutely boring "Destiny". As I stated, Destiny is utterly boring, as the tracks follow mostly the same guidelines with almost no sign of energy or creativity.
Their debut shook the ground of Metal and provided fans with a band that would continue for over 30 years. While the debut had some kinks to work out, it was a solid debut that established Saxon's core sound and brought them a large fanbase as the 70's drew to a close.
Saxon's most recent album has continued a revival in NWOBHM acts receiving commercial and critical attention again. While Battering Ram was not on par with their most finest offerings, it was a great album with a lot great tracks that shows that Saxon need not retire just yet.
Dogs of War
After completely dropping the Solid Ball of Rock, Saxon took a two year hiatus as they worked to redeem themselves in the Metal sphere. Dogs of War featured the return of Saxon's old sound, and became the best Saxon album released in a long time up to that point.
After releasing two excellent records during the late 1990's, Saxon once again provided fans with a treat in the release of Metalheads. In terms of sheer ambition and power, Metalhead ranks among the most powerful. It was a celebration of all that Saxon had accomplished as the new millennia was closing in.
Into the Labyrinth
The success of Into the Labyrinth largely hinged on the recent nostalgia for old Metal acts of the 70's and 80's. For Saxon, this gave them the drive to return to their roots and craft a more "classic" sound that would show the new fans why they were who they were. With that, Saxon entered a second coming and gave a whole new generation of metalheads the glory of Saxon.
After releasing a more adventurous album in 2011, Saxon decided to return to the classic sound of Into the Labyrinth. With Sacrifice, Saxon both refined and improved the original blueprint they established in Into the Labyrinth, creating an amazing album.
Unleash the Beast
By far Saxon's best 1990's record. Unleash the Beast was a massive undertaking in power, ambition, and creativity. Despite the band continuing a steady decline in popularity and acclaim, Unleash the Beast remains one of the highlights of that decade for Saxon.
As the new millennia began, Saxon went completely balls deep in their 2001 album Killing Ground. From its heavy instrumentation, crazy vocals, and brilliant composition; Saxon continued to startle and amaze even if Saxon was no longer as popular as they used to be. Not to mention their amazing cover of "The Court of the Crimson King" by King Crimson.
As the 2000's continued, Saxon decided to push the boundaries of their music, and released one of their hardest albums in the form of Lionheart; a bombastic, tremendously powerful album featuring some of Saxon's finest outings.
Call to Arms
Saxon leader Biff Byford stated that Call to Arms was designed with a more "working-class sound" in mind. In that sense Saxon was adventuring into both new and old boundaries, creating one of their most diverse albums. Featuring both mixing of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal influences, Call to Arms became one of their best albums, and a must have for fans as Saxon's new fanbase and growing popularity continued to rise.
Rock the Nations
After completely faltering with Innocence is No Excuse, Saxon went back to doing what they do best. The result, Rock the Nations, became one of Saxons best albums. A symbol of 80's aggression and excess, Rock the Nations was a caricature in itself and that was what made it such a fun record to listen to.
The Inner Sanctum
Nigel Glockler's return to drums since he left in '97 was one of the best things to happen for the band in 2007. Despite not being a financial success, Saxon's The Inner Sanctum became one of Saxon's darkest recordings. With this, The Inner Sanctum is an unusual piece within Saxon's diverse discography, and ranks as one of their greatest records.
Strong Arm of the Law
Despite only being released four months after Wheels of Steel, Strong Arm of the Law became a runaway commercial success, peaking to No. 11 on the UK album charts. With Strong Arm of the Law, Saxon continued to define the sound associated with the NWOBHM, by crafting one of their most enduring classics. It was heavy, powerful, aggressive, and a timeless classic.
Power and the Glory
Power and the Glory holds an important place in Saxon history as it was the first Saxon album to feature Nigel Glockler on drums. Being the already talented drummer that he was, Power and the Glory became one of Saxon's most refined albums; featuring a more technical side to their material and helping make one of their most important albums.
Denim and Leather
The fan favorite Saxon album Denim and Leather is that way for a reason. From its technical mastery, heavy riffing, and powerful vocals; Denim and Leather continued the meteoric rise to popularity for Saxon. It was by far one of the greatest Heavy Metal albums of the 80's and one of the greatest NWOBHM albums of all time.
Wheels of Steel
Wheels of Steel comprises what is called the "Saxon Triptych", a trilogy of classic albums including Wheels of Steel, Strong Arm of the Law, and Denim and Leather. With the first, Wheels of Steel, Saxon largely abandoned their Rock sounds and opted to go harder and heavier than their previous effort. The result was a commercial success, reaching platinum status and critical acclaim from those who touted it as one of the greatest Heavy Metal albums of all time.
As the 80's was in its prime, Saxon felt it was time to diversify their sound. With this, Crusader became a more tempered release. It was technically astute, brilliantly crafted, and emotionally resonant; becoming Saxon's greatest achievement. A Magnum Opus within the Saxon sphere, Crusader became a commercial juggernaut, selling over two million copies and charting on the US billboard charts in 1984. With this album, Saxon tore itself off from the shackles of the NWOBHM and established themselves as their own movement, and the fans went with them.