Saxon - Sacrifice

Saxon have released their 20th Album, Sacrifice. It's another in a line of excellent albums, though it feels a little short at only 38 minutes and 9 tracks lets not include the opener which is only an intro track. The shorter format does bring back echoes of the 80’s. Those days when bands had to concentrate on producing eight quality tracks over to two sides of 20 minutes, rather than trying to pad something out over 80 minutes to cover the CD format.  

 The production on Sacrifice has been handled by Biff Byford and what a great job he has done aided by Andy Sneap’s mixing. The result is heavier than the last CD, Call to Arms, with a great crunchy mix.

Both guitarists shine with some excellent solos and riffs. Biff sounds great and Nigel Glockler's drum sound is huge!! Perhaps the bass guitar of Nibbs Carter a little low in the mix, but this only a minor point.

Sacrifice is a great hard hitting opener about the Mayan culture. We love the extra soloing that happens throughout the song. This would make a great live opener on the tour in April/May. 

The start of Made in Belfast has brought some mixed reviews here at I have to say that I quite like the different sound of the acoustic opening before the heavy rift, but one colleague wasn’t quite so sure. The song is great anthem about the ship building industry in Belfast.

The screaming engines of the race track opens up Warriors of the Road. Fans of my generations are going to make the obvious comparisons with the start of Motorcycle Man, but this track stand up on its own merit. It’s a great song, hard hitting and will be great live.

Guardians of the Tomb is our favourite song as it has a change of pace and some great melodic soloing. There are some real light and shade moments in this song. The great lyrics paint a really vivid picture of the terracotta army, a quality track.

Stand up and fight evokes memories of early defiant Saxon songs like Backs to the Wall, Taking your Chances and Never Surrender but has a contemporary feel. Walking the Steel is a slower stomper of a song about the rebuilding of New York after 9/11. Again, this change of pace shows the strength and variety throughout of the CD.

Another song with melody and touch of acoustic guitar that adds that element of light and shade is Night of the Wolf. We then move into the rift soaked Wheels of Terror, you can almost feel the tanks crushing your house down as you play it.

The final track is the slightly quirky Standing in a Queue. I first heard this song whilst stuck on the M62 and just laughed my head off. We’ve all thought that “there’s got to be a way, than standing in a queue.” Simple but brilliant.       

Sacrifice brings together nine well written songs that cover diverse subject matters, it may be Saxon’s last studio album, we shall have wait and see, but whilst they are writing material as good as this we hope it isn’t.

Here is the first video "Sacrifice"

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