Released through: UDR / EMI. Release date: Available now.
Biff Byford (Vocals) and Paul Quinn (Guitars) have been with the band from the start and current drummer Nigel Glocker (Drums) joined the band originally in '81 and although he has dropped in and out of the band here and there, he is the longest serving drummer to date with the band.
For his latest stint with the band he's been back onboard since around 2005.
Then there's the multi-talented Nibbs Carter (Bass, Keyboards) who's been with the band since '88 and 'newest' member Doug Scarratt (Guitars) who's been around since 1996.
They are a serious force to be reckoned with these days and have really got back into a great stride once more!
That said I have no doubt that those fans of the era of Saxon that covered their heavier, less commercially edged stuff will love this!
Intro track ‘Procession’ basically for me just delays getting into the album proper, but you know, it kind of brings back memories to me to how expectant I was of UFO when they released ‘No Place To Run’ the first post Michael Schenker era release.
It kind of makes me feel like just saying, ‘get on with it already!’
A little too dark, in that sense and kind of kills it a little for me.
The mandolin returns here and there and you kind of perhaps wonder, ‘what’s the point,’ with so much heaviness elsewhere in the song.
It has its moments for me, but it just seems a little bit of an odd structure.
There’s some interesting timing changes throughout and I do like the song overall, it is heavy, but good!
Next track ‘Guardians of the Tomb’ from its title right down to its structure is almost like the band paying tribute to Iron Maiden, seriously and forgive me but doesn’t the chorus come across just like the previous track? They are very similar choruses indeed.
Sounds good, don’t get me wrong, but … Well, when you hear this, you’ll know what I mean I’m sure!
It’s a familiar Saxon song structure if heavier crunching, chugging chords throughout. Great guitar solo, really love it!
‘Night of the Wolf’ starts with a frenzied guitar assault before easing back a little for the verses and then crunching guitars once more for the chorus, then the bridge bring in acoustic guitars for a nice interlude before building back into its main groove, where it’s seriously heavy. It’s an epic like track, with its light and dark touches throughout.
The very dark ‘Wheels of Terror’ has a kind of Metallica vibe to it and pretty much maintains this throughout.
Think ‘And the Bands Played On,’ ‘Denim and Leather,’ ‘Back In ’79,’ etc for common threads here.
Yes, it’s basic in that context, but it worked before and otherwise it’s a good solid Saxon rocker to close the album.
This review covers the basic standard album that has a surprisingly short running time of just over thirty nine minutes and while you may track down the iTunes version with the bonus track, ‘Luck of the Draw’ that only adds another three minutes or so.
There is a deluxe two CD version out there with five bonus tracks on the second disc, an orchestrated version of ‘Crusader’ done in similar fashion to what the band did on the magnificent ‘A Call To Arms’ release and its title track. Also on the bonus disc are different re-recorded versions of ‘Just Let Me Rock,’ ‘Requiem,’ ‘Frozen Rainbow’ and ‘Forever Free’ too.
I have heard those tracks and they are very well done.
Perhaps it’s a theory of quality over quantity being used, as that was pretty much what Steve Lukather (Toto) had told me about his last solo release ‘Transition’ being so short and also that most people’s focus tends to drop a little if something becomes a little longer, drawn out some songs may possibly be considered mediocre. Perish the thought!
Sometimes even before review promo copies are available to reviewers like myself, it’s just wrong!
Links to purchase 'Sacrifice':