Legendary SAXON singer Biff Byford has issued the following New Year's message to fans:
Heavy Metal Thunder – The Movie, Saxon's wonderfully unfiltered and intimate account of their ascent to the upper echelons of heavy metal, recently entered the DVD charts in Germany at #20 and the DVD/Blu-ray charts in Sweden at #11.
Rivetingly honest, and including the frank memories of every musician who has played in the band, Heavy Metal Thunder – The Movie pieces together the earliest incarnations of Saxon, from frontman Biff Byford's teenage years in the coalmines of 'Yorkshire' and 'Son Of A Bitch' (the first incarnation of Saxon) all the way through to top 10 hits and world tours. Nothing is forsaken and nothing skipped.
Heavy Metal Thunder – The Movie will entertain, engage and charm fans and non-fans alike. That's a truth as honest as the film itself…
With a storming new stomp in their boots and a renewed, lithe swagger to their legendary sound, Saxon will release their new album, Sacrifice, on February 22nd in Europe, February 25th in the UK, and February 26th in North America, through UDR.
Taking a sharper, re-invigorated approach to the production, on this, their 20th album, Saxon have produced 10 of their strongest, heaviest and most inspired songs for many-a-year, and a more than worthy successor to their last album, A Call To Arms.
“Less tricks, more power!”, roars frontman and founding father Biff Byford. “My brief to the band was to be raw, be real and not be afraid to look back at the old classic material for inspiration.”
The album was recorded at LS Studios in Yorkshire and was produced by Byford with Andy Sneap mixing and engineering by Jacky Lehmann. It fairly bristles with muscular metallic intent, Paul Quinn’s and Doug Scarratt’s guitar work the best it’s ever been, while Biff’s vocals sound fresher and livelier. The songwriting too harks back to a classic era in Saxon’s history, with the likes of ‘Warriors Of The Road’, ‘Wheels Of Terror’ and ‘Stand Up And Fight’ evoking the halcyon days of yore with a contemporary twist, the classic Saxon sound absorbing the snarl, ferocity and attitude of contemporary bands (and fans) such as MEGADETH, as evidenced by the crunching title cut, ‘Sacrifice’.
“It’s certainly been done from a more early ‘80s thrashier perspective,” explains Biff, “and it’s not just guitars bashing away willy-nilly, they’ve got a fresh drive, purpose and perspective.”
Besides the new material, Saxon will also be adding some unique recordings of revisited classic to certain formats of the release, also produced by Byford and mastered by Andy Sneap, including an orchestrated version of ‘Crusader’ and an acoustic version of ‘Frozen Rainbow’.
“From the songs to the production, I wanted to focus on the raw aspects which made us great in the first place,” concludes Biff, “And living in that rawness, combined with some great classic Saxon-songwriting, has in my opinion made Saxon fresher than ever.”
'Made In Belfast'
'Warriors Of The Road'
'Guardians Of The Tomb'
'Stand Up And Fight'
'Walking The Steel'
'Night Of The Wolf'
'Wheels Of Terror'
'Standing In A Queue'
'Luck Of The Draw' (iTunes only)
'Crusader' (Orchestrated version)
'Just Let Me Rock' (Re-recorded version)
'Requiem' (Acoustic version)
'Frozen Rainbow' (Acoustic version)
'Forever Free' (Re-recorded version)
Saxon's live itinerary is as follows:
24 - Mexico City, Mexico - Plaza Condesa
26 - Sao Paulo, Brazil - A Seringueira
28 - Buenos Aires, Argentina - El Teatro Flores
18 - Leamington Spa, UK - Assembly
19 - Nottingham, UK - Rock City
20 - Newcastle, UK - Academy
21 - Glasgow, UK - ABC
23 - Manchester, UK - Ritz
24 - Leeds, UK - Academy
26 - Wolverhampton, UK - Wulfrun Hall
27 - London, UK - Shepherd's Bush Empire
28 - Bristol, UK - Academy