Saxon – “Sacrifice”

Saxon – “Sacrifice” 2CD (UDR Records)

‘..less tricks, more power..’ quipped Biff Byford when asked about this 20th album in Saxon’s prestigious history. I’d certainly agree with that as even the title might be a misnomer cos it’s wi’ nowt taken out easily the band’s heaviest album for yonks! “Sacrifice” brings back the raw power of the classic NWOBHM years and commendably crafts them into the epic metal style now more commonly associated with the band. Despite producing the album with Andy Sneap at home in Yorkshire, Biff’s vocals have taken a less up front approach in favour of bringing Paul Quinn and Doug Scarratt’s raging twin guitars more to the fore on songs like ‘Guardians Of The Tomb’, ‘Stand Up And Fight’ and ‘Wheels Of Terror’. With Nibbs Carter hammering his bass and Nigel Glockler still faithfully and masterfully pounding those drums (and certainly plenty of cymbal work) this is classic Saxon bar none! If the power of “Sacrifice” wasn’t enough of a shocker then the perfectionist feel to the album, reflecting the experience of Saxon’s 38 year career could no more be better demonstrated by the bonus material made up of re-recorded and acoustic versions of amongst others ‘Requiem’, ‘Frozen Rainbow’ and ‘Just Let Me Rock’ – all given the same top notch treatment and in my opinion a new lease of life. This is how true bonus tracks should be: as value adding extras and not fillers to carry a mediocre album. Only just into the year and out of the blue these bold as brass veterans return with this superb release – and I’m still trying to work out where the ‘sacrifice’ is lol!

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