Battering Ram


SAXON need no introduction. And I am proud to review their new album "Battering Ram". […]
November 6, 2015
Saxon - Battering Ram album cover

SAXON need no introduction. And I am proud to review their new album "Battering Ram". It's always hard to decipher what the album of the year is; this year is no excepting with great bands like IRON MAIDEN, MOTORHEAD, SLAYER, SOULFLY, DEATH DEALER, MACHINE HEAD and so on releasing new material... I truly can't decide what an album of the year would be this year, it would be too hard a task for me. But SAXON also enters the fray, making it even harder to decide. Metal is stronger than ever and I believe "Battering Ram" is one of the best albums this year, and also, one of SAXON's best albums to date. While I've listened to every SAXON album, and truly loved their previous album "Sacrifice" and the one before that, "Call To Arms", "Battering Ram" is brand new territory for SAXON (at least that's how I feel). There is also the old vibe fused in with modern aged technology, but there's so much more to it than that.

The title track "Battering Ram" might have you thinking, huh? JUDAS PRIEST's "Battering Ram"? Nope, this is SAXON's new baby. Biff Byford channels some fantastic vocal ranges in this release, some insanely high-pitched, epic screams (it makes me think, he's that old and he's still doing this?!) which is just awe-inspiring in most cases. "The Devil's Footprint" has some IRON MAIDEN- like story telling at the beginning of the song, think "The Number Of The Beast", only with a much heavier, song following, in my opinion. Riffs are spot on and probably some of the heaviest SAXON have produced. Doug Scarratt and Paul Quinn perform like Metal Gods (let's not forget about the pounding bass, curtesy of Nibbs Carter) and SAXON most definitely earned that right I would have thought. "Queen Of Hearts" had a similar vibe to something from the album "Call To Arms", which was a great album in its own right. Vocal ranges are very similar and it's a nice return for fans of that album.

It's crazy to think that Nigel Glocker is still playing despite his battle with a serious illness that could have jeopardized his career and the band as a whole, but he is still alive and kicking, "Hard And Fast" one would say, pounding those drums like his life depended on it. This song in general, kicks so much arse, delivering some insane solos that it shows that Doug Scarratt and Paul Quinn should get more credit where they are due. Despite Nigel Glocker's battle for his life, he returned stronger than ever. And this shows on throughout the rest of the album.

Speaking of Biff Byford's incredible vocal talent (for his damn age) intense screams (on par with Sean Peck in his bands DEATH DEALER and DENNER/SHERMANN) he really went all out on "In The End", which just left me shocked that he could still perform such a feat. If I were to choose a British album of the year though, the deal would go to "Battering Ram"...

Why? Because it is such a unique album, just full-blown out Metal, not much filler, no concepts, just a purely epic winner. Comparing "Battering Ram" to "The Book Of Souls" (while a fantastic album in its own right as well) wouldn't be wise, both albums kick arse in their own right and should be appreciated and respected, at least that's how I feel.

If I were to continue the rest of the album, "Kingdom Of The Cross" slows things down a little bit but keeps that IRON MAIDEN story-teller, in the sense of "Rime Of The Ancient Mariner": very epic. And concluding that, is a drinking song, "Three Sheets To The Wind (The Drinking Song)" though it didn't have that KORPKILANNI "Beer, Beer!" or "Vodka!" kind of drinking music, it was still a rifftastic winner. In the end, if you got the Deluxe Edition, you would own a Live CD entitled "Saxon Over Sweden 2011" for you SAXON collectors out there.

Overall, this is an album for old and new SAXON fans alike. Almost masterful. Get it!


9 / 10

Almost Perfect

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"Battering Ram" Track-listing:

1. Battering Ram
2. The Devil's Footprint
3. Queen of Hearts
4. Destroyer
5. Hard and Fast
6. Eye of The Storm
7. Stand Your Ground
8. Top of The World
9. To The Top
10. Kingdom of The Cross
11. Three Sheets to The Wind (The Drinking Song)

Saxon Lineup:

Biff Byford - Vocals
Nibbs Carter - Bass
Nigel Glockler - Drums
Paul Quinn - Guitars
Doug Scarratt - Guitars

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