Saxon | Battering Ram (UDR Entertainment)

Saxon-Battering-RamGuitarists Paul Quinn and Doug Scarratt trade riffs and solos with grace mixed with rage.

 

 

The godfathers of medieval metal are back with a scathing new album, their 21st. Battering Ram brings forth a new Saxon with a full, tight sound, and is exquisitely produced. Packed full of classic metal riffs and throat-ripping vocals, yet melancholy on some of the new songs, Battering Ram is a must for all metal fans.

As one of the greatest groups to come out of the new wave of British heavy metal, they are still going strong, unlike many of their contemporaries. Now, 30 years later, they hold their heads high as not only accomplished musicians, but for surviving the most decadent decade in rock ‘n’ roll: the 1980s.

The album opens with the bombastic title track, an in- your- face anthem delivered with sass and attitude. Guitarists Paul Quinn and Doug Scarratt trade riffs and solos with grace mixed with rage. Founding member and lead vocalist Biff Byford still dons his heavy sound and vibrato, but uses a softer voice this time around on the slower material, of which there is more than I had anticipated This creates an elegant blend of hard and heavy, to ballad-type tunes.

On tracks like “The Devil’s Footprints,” the band unleashes a metal juggernaut and a vocal comparable only to the late Ronnie James Dio. On “Queen of Hearts,” a darker Saxon comes to light; with a melodic vocal and a crunching noir guitar, it is one of the best tracks on the album.

Produced by Andy Sneap, Battering Ram is just slick enough to maintain credibility and a heavy metal approach. Guitar riffs reign supreme here, accompanied by a killer rhythm section. With Byford’s powerful pipes, the result is one scorching album chock full of melodic lyrics and dynamic song structures. Basically, this is one hell of an offering by a much-underrated band.

Overall, this is a fantastic, balls-to-the-wall album that may even go down as one of the best metal albums of 2015. B+ | Marc Farr

About Marc Farr 244 Articles
Marc Farr is the Live Music & Assignments Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. He's so invaluable to us, we've nicknamed him Mr. Music. Reach out if you have coverage ideas! "I know it's only rock and roll...but I like it!"
Contact: Website

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply