Saxon – Call to Arms
by: Jerad Ford
It’ s very impressive that a classic style of music can be both preserved and fresh at the same time. I suppose that’s evolution, and traceable on any musical account, tracing amounts of a musical style or multiple styles, per any recording.
With Call to Arms, the latest from English heavy metal band Saxon, the extremely strong roots of the classical heavy metal pioneers definitely show.
Off the starting line, “Hammer Of The Gods” commands respect with its charging riffs from razor sharp guitarists Paul Quinn, an original member, and Doug Scarratt with speedy bass pulsating from Nibbs Carter, symbol- heavy drums filling in appropriately courtesy of Nigel Glockler.
Combine all that with the metallic rasp of original lead singer Biff Byford and throughout its entirety Call To Arms delivers a crushing retro rock-out.
An extremely high water mark is the track “When Doomsday Comes,” recorded with current Deep Purple keyboardist Don Airey (Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Jethro Tull and more).
Airey showcases a killer solo toward the final seconds of his artistic contribution to its journey through life, death, and apocalypse.
Saxon display some excellent thrash, as displayed on tracks such as “Afterburner.” “Power! screaming! burning! afterburner!” “The messengers of death will come among you.”
“Back In 79″ is a nostalgic anthem that lyrically rocks back to Saxon’s past and is a tribute to fans who have rocked loyally throughout the decades. Saxon is a truly fan appreciative band, for fans were invited into the studio for thunderous choir in “79″.
A welcome addition to the record, this is one of those songs that sweeps the dust off the ol’ vinyl and gets it spinning again.
A must for any Saxon fan, Call To Arms is an album with the definite potential to make many more people fans of a truly iconic and classic band.
Rating: Solid B+ and on the cusp of an A-