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Saxon – Thunderbolt Review

Label: Silver Lining Music

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date: February 2nd, 2018

 

Line-up:

Biff Byford – vocals

Paul Quinn – guitar

Doug Scarratt – guitar

Nigel Glockner – drums

Nibs Carter – bass

 

Tracklist:

Olympus Rising

Thunderbolt

The Secret of Flight

Nosferatu (The Vampire Waltz)

They Played Rock and Roll

Predator

Sons of Odin

Sniper

A Wizard’s Tale

Speed Merchants

Roadie’s Song

 

It’s next year when British metal pioneers Saxon will celebrate their 40th anniversary. It means a lot to be in business for such a long time. To be such a stable factor demands passion and quality, both key-characteristics of the British quintet. With the exception of some tougher years in the 90’s, Biff Byford, Paul Quinn, and bandmates always delivered excellent metal records, featuring classics that went right into the DNA of metal music.
Now, in 2018, Saxon will ship their newest album to the record stores. If you expect something totally new you should stop reading right here and now because Saxon stays true to themselves. The five guys found their sound and their signature, all coming back on the new work entitled “Thunderbolt”.

The record might not be a bolt out of the blue but it carries the energy of thunder and lighting. Eleven new songs with a total running time of 47 minutes provide metal fans with terrific traditional metal. ‘Traditional’ in this context doesn’t stand for dusted and old-fashioned. Saxon’s newest strike sounds fresh and vital featuring heavy metal tracks reminding of the glorious NWoBHM era.

I can recommend listening to tunes like the great title track, the uptempo “They Played Rock and Roll” and “Speed Merchants” with its roaring guitars. Also “Sons of Odin” is worth more than one loop. The song comes with a slower pace and an awesome bassline, adding an enormous groove to this highlight. Now I mentioned some songs, but actually, it’s the entire record that stands as a rock and even the more complex “Nosferatu (The Vampire Waltz)” grows over time.

It goes without saying that the sound of “Thunderbolt” is beyond all doubts. Andy Sneap was once again at the helm, giving Saxon’s 22nd album the power and appeal needed to let each of these eleven pearls shine bright, meaning sound good.

Saxon proves that age and metal don’t have any correlation. Even after four decades, the quintet is still hungry for good heavy metal which is probably the most crucial factor for this great record. Saxon is still in a ‘power and the glory’ mood with “Thunderbolt” being an album that will be a delight for every metalhead.

 

Written by: Markus Wiedenmann

Ratings: 9/10

 

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