(Running time: 50:21 minutes; 11 songs)
("UDR"; 2015; CD/limited digibook Edition):
Hey guys, back on track again, next post, next record-review, next 2015 release in the focus, and after paying respect to a lot of great 2015 releases especially over the last days now we will have a look on one of my personal favorites and top ten albums of 2015 and so now here comes my review on SAXON's "BATTERING RAM" for you. Okay, so here we go: "BATTERING RAM" is the 21st studio/full-length-album by the Heavy Metal/NWOBHM legends SAXON in their impressive career that's already ongoing since 1979, and this alone already means or says something. But what really says and means something and "something-a-lot" is the stunning and breathtaking quality of "BATTERING RAM", an album that from start to finish lives up to the promise of its name. We get hard hitting, sharp cutting, and hymnal stomping, nicely varying and incredible fresh delivered and strong done Heavy Metal/NWOBHM full of "playfullness" and to the peak packed with forceful energy and energized dynamics and shining bright with fresh ideas, cool surprises, and a strong and especially hard (or "hard'n'heavy") rocking'n'rolling approach to it all and that also not shies away from massive stunning groovy rhythms. Sharp cutting, definitely harsh and powerful yet pretty to very melodic and especially very charismatic lead vocals; brilliant and very, very forceful as well as diverse done guitars that shine with very strong rhythmic work(s) and with "earthy" and "organic" grooves and all delivered highest skilled and also damn fucking very fresh and exciting, yes, and all heavily defining the music and the songs, while the first class top notch melodic lines and also the very "out-standing" leads and the exciting killer solos that are nothing else than a pure "joyride" full of "hellish joy" enrich it all massively and also truly pretty unique; varying and all the time damn "crushingly" heavy and just very, very bulky and to the point played, delivered, and done drumming in combination with an asskicking bass work culminate in an over the top rhythm section: this are the ingredients of "BATTERING RAM" and SAXON melt it all "uniquely" together by fresh and alive/lively songwriting full of great ideas, a bunch of nice surprises, outstanding strong verses and just "mighty-to-almighty" athemic refrains that turn song after song in one hymn followed by the next, the passionate play with different tonings in combination with a wide palette of moods and emotions, with strong tension building via impactful arrangements and an intense "dramaturgy" and a tight atmospheric "composition-work" to it all. "BATTERING RAM" is an intense and a forceful and an exciting, a through-and-through powerful and thrilling, and very unique as well, yes, a true stand-alone album and this also to date with now being already two years old; and in short it's in my book one of the very, very best SAXON albums ever and maybe my favorite one of them since their almighty "UNLEASH THE BEAST" masterpiece from back then in the glory days of my youth that were the 1990's. My personal favorites are the crushing "BATTERING RAM" itself, the hard rocking AC/DC inspired anthem "THREE SHEETS TO THE WIND", the "breath-takingly" intense "KINGDOM OF THE CROSS", my personal anthemic über-hit "TO THE END", the sinister and stoic smasher "QUEEN OF HEARTS", the "loud'n'proud" asskicker that is "HARD AND FAST", and the larger-than-life "TOP OF THE WORLD". All is finally enriched by very strong lyrics that also really had and still has a lot to say, a just "stunningly" beauty of an artwork, and a sheer massive wall of (production-) sound as well. For every SAXON maniac and every Heavy Metal and NWOBHM fan, yes, you now here get nothing but my highest recommendation, and I think that all you Hard Rock fans outta there will also nothing but love this out-standing masterpiece that is SAXON's "BATTERING RAM"; and so, in case you really don't know/have it so far, shame on you, go and get it as soon as possible. This is just amazing, it's awesome, and it's a fantastic masterpiece that's since two years now on my heavy rotation schedule, and trust me, that should tell you all about it. I just truly love the "BATTERING RAM", it's one of those (few) perfect albums out there.
(10 of 10 points)
http://saxon747.com/ (-the link to the homepage of the band)
SAXON - "TO THE END" (2015, "BATTERING RAM")
SAXON - "KINGDOM OF THE CROSS" (2015, "BATTERING RAM")