Updated: May 5, 2018
Discussing Saxon is a topic that is worthy of conversation. While I was always aware of them and was a casual fan in younger years, I had friends who lived by the 'Denim n Leather' anthem and when they rolled through town with MOTLEY CRUE there were more people at school with Saxon tees the day after. I finally saw the quintet along with MALICE and WASP at the sectioned off Long Beach Arena and they kicked major ass but for some reason I never went further into the rabbit hole.
Fast forward years later and casually listening I had the opportunity to see them in SoCal along with FOZZY and it clicked! Songs from their then recent released album, SACRIFICE sounded fresh as did their older material. But today we're hear to discuss their February 2 release, THUNDERBOLT. And what instantly comes to mind is the power and validity of singer BIF BYFORDin that his voice is still as strong both on album and in the live format. While others in their age group tend to falter, his pipes are still golden and his trademark vibrato still persistent in the track The Secret Of Flight. Nosferatu (The Vampire Waltz) has a laid back groove but the tones in the guitar tracks layered with the orchestration create a memorable journey with a memorable guitar solo. Songs like Sons Of Odin and A Wizard's Tale plow ahead with validity and there is a thematic overtone of Greek Mythology.
While I don't feel the same strength on Thunderbolt as I did on its predecessor, this album still rocks! ANDY SNEAP continues to capture good sounds, keeps the songs focused, and stays to true to the Saxon formula. Outside of the growl vocals in Predator there is nothing outside of the Saxon box but they have never been about coloring outside the lines.
What makes Saxon so good? Simple! They don't try to reinvent the wheel. They don't succumb to a trend. They do what they do and they do it well! I am looking forward to April at Holy Diver in Sacramento and seeing them live in an intimate room.
Thunderbolt is available to pre-order in the following formats: · CD Album in Digipack · 180 gms coloured vinyl in a Gatefold · A Special Edition Boxset · Tape Cassette · Digital Download
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