SAXON - Hell, Fire And Damnation

January 19, 2024, 5 months ago

(Silver Lining)

Rich Catino

Rating: 8.0

review heavy metal saxon

SAXON - Hell, Fire And Damnation

40 years and 24 albums since Saxon released their NWOBHM debut, and they’re still going strong with no shortage of riffs, harmonies, melodies, or hooks. Singer Biff Byford is still joined by longtime members drummer Nigel Glockler, bassist Nibbs Carter (since 1988), and guitarist Doug Scarratt with Diamond Head guitarist Brian Tatler the newest addition. 

If you have been, hopefully, listening to Saxon's albums post 2000s, more so 2010s (Call To Arms going forward), you already know the music on each album still retains those classic NWOBHM guitars and arrangements (“Call To Arms”, “Carpe Diem”), to harder hitting and aggressive (Sacrifice, Battering Ram, Thunderbolt title tracks) like the "Hell, Fire and Damnation" title track. Lyrically, all topics are explored, history, this time around Marie Antoinette (the melodic mid pace "Madame Guillotine"), Kublai Kahn, the Battle Of Hastings, and aliens "There's Something in Roswell" a tried-and-true ‘90s Saxon banger. 

Elsewhere, "Kluba Kahn And The Merchant Of Venice", "Fire And Steel" are fast barn burners for those who like the more aggressive side of the music and vocal delivery. "Pirates Of the Airways" verses brings me back to the Saxon mid ‘80s albums, while "1066" the late ‘90s and say, Unleash The Beast, maybe Metalhead. Fitting choice of riffing accents "Witches Of Salem", and "Super Charger" brings things home with a traditional Saxon gallop. 

Two things about this album, no symphonic or power metal elements that were included on Lionheart - Into The Labyrinth, which is fine. Nor is there any Diamond Head influence from Tatler, which is good, he has fit in well. 

Ten songs that get in and out, no extra bells and whistles. It’s Saxon as you want them.

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