Label: Militia Guard (Silver Lining Music)
Genre: British Heavy Metal
Release Date: February 2, 2018
Metal music masters Saxon are back and are set to release album number 22 titled ‘Thunderbolt’ on February 2nd via Militia Guard (Silver Lining Music). I got my hands on the new album today and am blown away by it.
Where do I start? Well how about with the obvious, Saxon is a name known to metal fans all around the world for their classic British heavy metal sound and I am happy to tell you is the core of the new album. Classic, British heavy metal! Where many bands veer away from what made them who they are, not Saxon. They know their fans love that meaty, heavy classic British metal sound with intense vocals that have high pitched notes scattered throughout. The instrumental music must always contain the old school feel of real classic metal with wailing guitars, angry, wild riffs, heavy guitar solos embedded with gnarly metal bass and kickass drumming. That is ‘Thunderbolt’. It’s Saxon‘s answer to the decay of classic heavy metal so prominent in today’s heavy metal scene.
For me, ‘Thunderbolt’ is a breath of fresh air that is breathing life back in to heavy metal. Struggling heavy metal bands need to take note of what Saxon‘s been doing and still doing exceptionally well today. Most of all, this is what the heavy metal fans are craving to get their hands on. Nothing pretentious, no need for garbled vocals or gutturals where traditional heavy metal lives. Just genuine heart pounding heavy metal that makes listeners want to raise their fists high and give way to some serious head banging laced with some crazy desires to sling that air guitar high without shame and hands pounding like a pair of drum sticks! This is the test of a true metal album, the power of the music that is able to transport the listeners to another time and place. This is exactly what Saxon has captured in ‘Thunderbolt’! I am not ashamed to say the music overpowered me and took me back to the glory days of my youth and allowed me to let loose and fully enjoy the new album.
From the very beginning, as the album starts out with a thundering instrumental intro with “Olympus Rising” that the listener can immediately feel the pull of intensity that is to follow as the intro arrives at the title track “Thunderbolt”. Having seen Saxon back in June and looking back to how the fans around me reacted to them live, I was instantly able to visually imagine the fan response to the new music and I have to say, I am sure that reaction is what fans will be exhibiting when they get their hands on the new album and live as Saxon hits the road in spring across North America with Judas Priest and Black Star Riders.
‘Thunderbolt’ lays down track after track of amazing metal. It brings me back to what made me fall in love with this genre as a teen and never let go over it as well as what sparked my interest in Saxon many moons ago. This is album is full of speeding, gear grinding heavy metal that will make the listener rejoice that they’ve found something new to enjoy yet still has that classic essence. You will feel this all through the album up to the very end. One of my favorite tracks off this new album is toward the end with “Speed Merchants”. One hell of an intense song that even ends with tires burning rubber. I mean really, can you get more classic of metal moment than that? Who hasn’t been inspired to speed away in their car with some great heavy metal blasting over their speakers? I know many who even have the speeding tickets to prove my point!
In conclusion, my thoughts on this album come to this, this is superior heavy f***king metal done the Saxon way. It’s massive, its raw, its intense and true British heavy metal! Finally, buy this album, buy tickets to their tour and get out and support these legendary metal pioneers!
Thunderbolt Track Listing
01. Olympus Rising
03. The Secret of Flight
04. Nosferatu (The Vampires Waltz)
05. They Played Rock and Roll
07. Sons of Odin
09. A Wizard’s Tale
10. Speed Merchants
11. Roadie’s Song
12. Nosferatu (Raw Version)*
*not available on vinyl
Thunderbolt is available to pre-order now in the following formats:
· CD Album in Digipack
· 180 gms coloured vinyl in a Gatefold
· A Special Edition Boxset
· Tape Cassette
· Digital Download
Check out our coverage of Saxon at Sweden Rock Festival 2017 here.