Saxon
Carpe Diem


3.4
great

Review

by manosg STAFF
February 8th, 2022 | 14 replies


Release Date: 02/04/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: They came, they saw, they conquered.

Over the last few years, it has become painfully obvious that the changing of the guards in metal is in full motion. Those who laid the foundations are either retiring or enjoying mead and boar meat - or in Lemmy's case, Jack and Coke - in Valhalla. This is why every new release from one of the most respected metal bands that have walked the face of the earth is always big news, as it emphasizes one of the most important traits: perseverance. Of course, Saxon's messages may resonate more to people of a certain age who can relate with the concept of time (or aging) and its effects, however, Carpe Diem has a lot to teach to younger audiences with its intensity and relentlessness.

From the very start, the title track works perfectly as a convincing mission statement; it's heavy, intense, and screams "Never Surrender". In fact, Saxon's 23rd release is arguably their most inspired since Unleash the Beast. The basis for every song is the mighty riff, the songwriting is solid, and Biff's unique voice still separates Saxon from an array of heavy metal acts, the same way it has been doing for the past 200 years. He even manages to breathe new life to songs with trite matters like "Remember the Fallen" and "All for One", which deal with COVID and The Three Musketeers, respectively. In fact, I can't say if his 2019 heart attack played any role, but this is the heaviest and most pissed-off Saxon has sounded lately; just listen to "Dambusters". In addition, on Carpe Diem you can feel that there has been a conscious effort to write music similar to the band's golden era, but with a modern touch courtesy of Andy Sneap's production. Take, for example, the epic mid-tempo "The Pilgrimage"; one of the highlights on here, it brings to mind Crusader and Lionheart. Even the word " pilgrimage" is so Saxon.

Of course, not everything revolves around the classic period of the band, with "Super Nova" and " Living On the Limit" reminding us that this is still a 2022 release, with whatever that means for a band that has been around for 45 years. Now, as solid as Carpe Diem is, I can't see it being one of my first choices whenever I'm in a Saxon mood. Nonetheless, that doesn't mean that it is not a commendable effort, which is highly recommended to fans of Saxon.



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user ratings (26)
3.2
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2022


12534 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

Never Surrender!

Pikazilla
February 8th 2022


24575 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Didn't like it all that much, felt it was a bottom-tier Saxon release, especially after the great Thunderbolt and Battering Ram.

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2022


18216 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Glad you covered this manosg, such a legendary band deserves some shine around these parts. Sweet, short review, as always.

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2022


17884 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Day just got better:



1. There’s a new Saxon review

2. Manosg wrote it

3. ??

4. Profit

manosg
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2022


12534 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

Really appreciate the kind words and the support, guys. Saxon = Perseverance and this is why I just love seeing them still rocking.



What I enjoyed more about this one, Pika, was the return to roots approach. But I can see why it didn't grab you as much as me, since you enjoyed Thunderbolt and Battering Ram so much.

JeremiahBullfrog
February 8th 2022


1687 Comments


What In Fuckery is that artwork

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2022


9839 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4 | Sound Off

Accurate rating, once you hear Biff's evergreen vocals.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2022


12534 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

Exactly my friend.

Titan
February 8th 2022


23787 Comments


jammin this now.....but damn, only 12 ratings wtf?

rockarollacola
February 9th 2022


1922 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Doesn't even come close to matching the excellence known as Thunderbolt. I enjoyed it, but it's definitely one of their weaker releases. A little better than 'Into the Labyrinth', but not by much. Super Nova is a banger though.

ReturnToRock
February 9th 2022


4759 Comments


This is one of those cases (like UDO, Running Wild before they retired, AC/DC, Maiden, etc) where I can't help but think that at some point, all these late-period songs and albums must start blending together for the musicians. I mean, TWENTY-THREE albums. Holy shit. What even is inspiration after TWENTY-THREE freaking albums?

FadedSun
February 10th 2022


3094 Comments


This album cover looks like Settlers of Catan.

Flugmorph
February 11th 2022


28518 Comments


Listening to Saxon is the hormonal equivalent of cage-wrestling a grizzly bear, strangling it with your bare hands, devouring its raw flesh, and turning its hide into a rug for the cabin you constructed using nothing but a dull box cutter and roll of duct tape.

InFlamesWeThrash666
February 11th 2022


10479 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Really digging the Pilgrimage.



Definitely one of their best late career tracks



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