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Saxon “Hell, Fire And Damnation” Album Review by Curtis J. Dupree

Reviewing a new Saxon album is a surprisingly tricky endeavor. The reason why it is tricky is that Saxon’s discography is so consistently quality that there seems to be little new to say. Nevertheless, greeting a new Saxon album is always a joy because Biff and company continue to deliver excellence with each release. It is hard for this reviewer to think of a more dependably great metal band working today with a catalog anywhere near as extensive as Saxon’s. Hell, Fire And Damnation continues this dependably excellent streak. 

A few preliminary comments will be helpful before we begin dissecting each song. First, the production is beefy, yet sharp and clear. Each instrument sounds good, being modern and yet not too clinical. Biff continues to sound energized and gives another great performance. The riff work ranges from solid to excellent and the rhythm work is dependably high quality. Well-performed lead work is also in place. 

The album begins with an introductory track called “The Prophecy.” The track is a short one designed to whet the listener’s appetite for what follows. After the track concludes the real meat of the album begins. 

The title track slams into the listener and immediately we are engaged. The verses are delivered with speed and undergirded with a cool riff. The pre-chorus slows things down before the band launches into an anthemic chorus. There is a mid-paced break in the middle of the song led by tasteful soloing. Biff sounds downright powerful throughout the song. 

A mid-paced bass line opens “Madame Guillotine.” The guitars build and then give way to a great mid-paced riff. The pre-chorus and chorus are both very melodic and appealing. The lyrics to this one are pretty fun, as well. Subtle harmonies are used well and the soloing is nicely melodic. 

Fire and Steel” picks up the speed with great drum work, riffs, and leads. Biff absolutely wails on this track. The song is best described as catchy speed metal. 

Perhaps my favorite track on the album comes next in the form of “There’s Something in Roswell.” The lyrics are a fun look at alien conspiracy theories. The song is almost ridiculously catchy and will rattle around in your head after just one listen. The song features a great groove and should be appealing to pretty much any listener. 

Kubla Khan and the Merchant of Venice” follows, giving us an awesome, speedy riff. The chorus is appealing and features a nice, subtle melody. The break in the song gives birth to another cool riff. One of the biggest highlights of the song is a wonderful solo. 

Pirates of the Airwaves” leans closer towards the hard rock end of Saxon’s sound. The song has a great groove, cool riffs and solos, a catchy pre-chorus and chorus, all completed with Biff wailing on top. Great song. 

Moving along at a good clip is “1066.” The song is hooky and features a brief slower break before a lovely solo. The quality of this album remains consistently high. 

Things get a bit darker in sound with “Witches of Salem.” The riff work is as good as always. One thing that stands out throughout the album, and is especially evident on this song, is the dynamic songwriting. Saxon maintains a distinctive sound throughout without ever becoming monotonous. “Witches of Salem” is a prime example. 

The album concludes with “Super Charger.” I really like the speedy riff on this song. The chorus is simply designed to be sung along with at concerts. The bridge and solo on this tune are also great. One thing that stands out is just how powerful Biff sounds—like a man half his age. 

In short, Saxon has cooked up another absolute winner in Hell, Fire And Damnation. There are no clunkers in sight—in fact, every single song is a top notch. The riff work throughout sounds like Saxon, but yet there is plenty of variety. The choruses are all strongly memorable. Every musician plays their part well, and Biff positively wails. While it’s only January, it seems this album will be the one to beat for 2024. Essential. 

Reviewer Rating: 10/10

Pre-orders for the new album will be available here: https://lnk.to/SaxonHellFireAndDamnation

Saxon Album Cover

Tracklisting:

The Prophecy 1:24
Hell, Fire And Damnation 5:33
Madame Guillotine 5:25
Fire and Steel 3:37
There’s Something in Roswell 4:10
Kubla Khan and the Merchant of Venice 4:16
Pirates of the Airwaves 3:57
1066 4:04
Witches of Salem 5:11
Super Charger 4:48

Band Members:

  • Biff Byford / Vocals
  • Doug Scarratt / Guitars
  • Brian Tatler / Guitars
  • Nigel Glockler / Drums
  • Nibbs Carter / Bass

Released By: Silver Lining Music
Release Date: January 19th, 2023
Genre: Hard Rock / Metal

HELL, FIRE AND DAMNATION WORLD TOUR (Part 1)
11 March – OVO Hydro, Glasgow (UK)
13 March – First Direct Arena, Leeds (UK)
15 March – 3Arena, Dublin (IE)
17 March – BIC, Bournemouth (UK)
19 March – Resorts World Arena, Birmingham (UK)
21 March – OVO Arena Wembley, London (UK)
24 March – Festhalle, Frankfurt (DE)
25 March – Olympiahalle, München (DE)
26 March – Volksbank Messe, Balingen (DE)
27 March – Westfalenhalle, Dortmund (DE)
29 March – O2 Arena, Prague (CZ)
30 March – Tauron Arena, Kraków (PL)
1 April – Wiener Stadhalle, Vienna (AT)
2 April – Roxy, Ulm (DE)
3 April – St. Jakobshalle, Basel (CH)
5 April – Halle Tony Garnier, Lyon (FR)
6 April – Mediolanum Forum, Milan (IT)
8 April – Zénith, Paris (FR)
13 June – Sant Jordi Club, Barcelona (ES)
15 June – Navarra Arena, Pamplona (ES)
17 June – Palacio Vistalegre, Madrid (ES)
1 July – Barclays Arena, Hamburg (DE)
2 July – Max-Schmeling-Halle, Berlin (DE)
4 July – Arena Nürnberger, Nürnberg (DE)
8 July – Sap Arena, Mannheim (DE)
10 July – Messehalle, Dresden (DE)
More dates TBA .

Tickets: https://www.saxon747.com/

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