Saxon - Lionheart

I haven't listened to a lot of these guys previous work, but after hearing this record, I would say I'm going to start. The latest release from UK hard rock legends Saxon kicks off in fine fashion, with ‘Witchfinder General' – a fast, double kicked song reminiscent of old Iron Maiden. This song leads the way into a series of genuine kick arse hard rock tunes. The title track is an epic, which perfectly showcases the sound of early 80's UK rock, with the clean guitar background, behind the crunching power chords, and high pitched singing. This song in particular is one that displays vocalist Biff Byford's continuing ability. A lot of bands from Saxon's era are long gone, and the ones that are still around could never ever hit the high notes they used to. Rest assured this is not the case with Byford. He almost sounds better than he did on early recordings, which is a huge bonus on this record for Saxon fans.


The guitar work on this record is impressive throughout – the solos are well constructed, suited to the song, and don't try to show off with fancy licks or speed. The same can be said for the guitar work through the whole record. It is refreshing that there are still people out there who are obviously very talented musicians, who are quite happy to create a good hard rocking song without trying to astound listeners with their musical abilities. You won't find any musical showing off on here, but that's not to discredit this album in any way. Saxon do what they do, and if it didn't work, they wouldn't still be around today.


There are only a couple of tracks that slow this album down – there are the customary slower songs which are to be expected. They are good for what they are, but the quality of the rest of this album far exceeds Saxon's slower work. These guys are almost the anti old rockers, in the sense that they are still making cool music today, and their faster songs are better than their ballads.


I love the speed of this album, and the way each song changes tempo when it needs to. This is not a thrash album, nor is it a bunch of recycled tunes from a band well past their peak. This is a genuine hard rock album that should be judged on its music alone, and the music is great!

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