(Running time: 47: 47 minutes; 12 songs)
("Silver Lining Music"; 2018; CD):
Hey guys, back from the fantastic TANKARD gig yesterday and somehow holding the infuenza a bit 'on distance' today or so it seems at least currently I decided after an easy-going day today that will thankfully and very smoothly move over into an easy-going night tonight I could also do something new up here and come up with a new post one more time again, yes, and so I now do with my record-review on the brandnew SAXON album "THUNDERBOLT", yes, the 22nd SAXON (pushing on since 1979) full-length-album that was released @ the 2nd of February 2018 via "SILVER LINING MUSIC". Last year I did my review on the predeccessor "BATTERING RAM" from 2015 and if you know this then you pretty much know that I love "BATTERING RAM" and also and especially SAXON in general, right, and so it was instantly clear for/to me that I would grab a copy of "THUNDERBOLT" as soon as it would be out, yes, and so I did. "THUNDERBOLT" is purest and best Heavy Metal through and through, SAXON are still NWOBHM in perfection, and... "THUNDERBOLT" is just damn great, period. It's not exactly that strong as "BATTERING RAM" but it comes pretty close and it is anyhow one hell of an asskicking Metal output of the highest quality grade. I still think it's amazing how fresh, how powerful, how strong and how enthusiastic these fine gentlemen still sound after now almost 40 years of delivering the goods and still they deliver fresh ideas and surprising sprinklings in and with their songs and albums like the (Viking/Pagan) Death Metal marks in "PREDATOR" or the operetta-like dramaturgy'n'arrangements in/of "NOSFERATU (THE VAMPIRE'S WALTZ)" up here on "THUNDERBOLT", yes, that's really great and makes SAXON at least in my book stand-out quite a bit with (maybe even only in little steps) ever 'ongoingly' enriching and cultivating their sound'n'style even after nearly 40 years of playing Rock & Roll. And it's also amazing and just heavily and massively rousing how high the dynamics and energy levels still are that SAXON serve us again and again and "THUNDERBOLT" is no exception to this, hell no, but rather the complete opposite as it stands in the best tradition of high energy Heavy Metal that SAXON are so well known (and loved) for. Also in 2018 SAXON deliver hard rocking, sharp and heavy slashing, and yet very melodic and catchy respectively hymnal/anthemic Heavy Metal with great atmospheric intensity and marked by a fresh, powerful, rousing, and nicely varying and diverse songwriting that offers nice little surprises and very alive/lively twists and truns all along the road and that shines with an immense own character/identity and some damn strong arrangements and compositorial tricks so that "THUNDERBOLT" stays from start to finish and also again and again and time after time 'thunderous' like it should be with a title like that. Really strong and forceful onwards pushing guitars, that deliver first class riffs and smashing rhythms all the way and yet especially shine with atmospheric melody lines, singing leads, and brilliant solos, mark the songs heavily as well as the razorblade like sharp cutting and 'highliest' charismatic vocals, and the heavy roaring bass work and the thunderous drumming reliable pouring the loadable concrete of SAXON's "THUNDERBOLT" and making sure that this Heavy Metal warhorse one more time again rides gloriously into battle bringing destruction to All False Metal outta there... or so to say. My personal favorites are the heavily forward pushing titletrack "THUNDERBOLT" himself/itself, the epic "THE SECRET OF FLIGHT", the highly dramatic "NOSFERATU (THE VAMPIRE WALTZ)", the heavy rocking and hard rolling MOTÖRHEAD tribute "THEY PLAYED ROCK & ROLL", the fantastic SAXON/AMON AMARTH mash-up "PREDATOR", the 'epicly paganized' and 'worn-intoned' hymn "SONS OF ODIN", and the catchy as fuck and highly hymnal anthem "ROADIES' SONG". A gorgeous artwork, very strong and diverse, interesting lyrics, and a powerful and heavy smacking production sound finally round it all up and turning SAXON's "THUNDERBOLT" finally and one more time again into the real deal and the complete package. To any Heavy Metal/NWOBHM fan I can nothing but give my honest and highest recommendations and so make sure that the thunder strikes and so that SAXON's "THUNDERBOLT" will become a (prominent) part of your record collection and this by far better much sooner than any later. And don't Forget: Heavy Metal is the law.
(9 of 10 points)
www.saxon747.com (-the link to the homepage of the band)
SAXON - "THEY PLAYED ROCK & ROLL" (2018, "THUNDERBOLT")