Album #23: Saxon is truly a band, which you have to name being legends in the heavy metal business. 45 years after the band has been founded, they release their new set of songs, Carpe Diem. Release date is 4th February 2022.
Saxon – About The Artists
Saxon have been founded in 1977 in Barnsley, a town between Sheffield and Leeds in England. There are still two original members, Biff Byford (singer) and Paul Quinn (guitars). However, the band has a quite steady lineup, as the other three Saxon musicians, Nigel Glocker (drums), Nibbs Carter (bass) and Doug Scarratt (guitars) already look back to quite a long band history. The beginning of Saxon was extremely successful: their self-titled debut in 1979 did not really attract the masses, but in 1980 and 1981, they released three album, one being platinum and two golden records. The bad had good success, especially in the first half of the 1980’s, with the U.K., Germany, Netherlands and Sweden being their key markets.
However, the band had some issues to stay at that level and finally also reduced the frequency of album until they came back in the later 2000’s. The 2004 album Lionhard felt to be some sort of a turning point after the band had a constant fan base more or less only in Germany for more than a decade. They had more and more good chart placements in several markets. Their last studio album Thunderbolt was Top 10 in Germany and Switzerland and at least Top 30 in the U.K., Austria and Sweden again. In March 2021, they also released a cover album, Inspirations.
Saxon – Carpe Diem – Track by Track
The ten track album lasts 51 minutes.
1. Carpe Diem (Seize The Day)
The title track just needs a few notes before Biff Byford and his band kick the metal gas pedal down to the floor panel. The opener gives a great welcome and the repeating carpe diem – sieze the day almost feels like a metal mantra. Welcome to Saxon XXIII.
2. Age Of Steam
Here comes the revolution – here comes the age of steam – indeed, this boiler is under huge pressure. Again, Saxon present a powerful, straight, rapid track, which comes with nice melodic elements, but also very catching vocal parts. Is there any potential not to like this song? My vote is clearly a no!
3. The Pilgrimage
When Saxon is taking you on The Pilgrimage, you should reserve some time in your calendar – the song is close to seven minutes. The song is slower, a bit of dark, so that it leads to a nice contrast to the songs before. Nice melody, indeed.
Dambusters strongly reminds me of Age of Steam. The song themes the destruction of river dams during WWII. Saxon is doing Saxon music – melodically and in the lyrics. And they do a damn good job in this song.
5. Remember The Fallen
The fifth track has been one of the pre-releases of the album – and it is indeed one of the highlights of the album. A song, which is dealing with the recent pandemic and the impact to our lives.
6. Super Nova
Have you recently trained your neck muscles? Saxon is asking you to bang you head. Okay, they rather force you to do so with the massive Super Nova. Metalheads, enjoy this 4:21 minute firework.
7. Lady In Gray
Saxon is also not bad at all in spooky atmosphere as well. If you like a bit of a scary atmosphere, the Lady in Gray may haunt you. I love the interlude, which even has some goosebumps potential. Nice one.
8. All For One
All for one // One for all… The eighth song is lacking something special to me. It is nice, well arranged and played. But it is also ordinary. In a really good album like Carpe Diem, this already feels like a weak spot.
9. Black Is The Night
Black Is The Night comes with a nice chorus. Overall, I however feel that other songs on the album are better. The guitar solo is a cool one, though, and creates a lot of atmosphere.
10. Living On The Limit
2:55 minutes duration at the end almost feels like a mainstream pop-rocker at the end – but smashing riffs from the very beginning tell you that good, old Saxon simply want to close the album with a shorter message. I enjoy the instrumental part, but overall, the song is lacking a bit of character to me.
Saxon – Carpe Diem – Spotify
Here is Carpe Diem on Spotify:
Saxon – Carpe Diem – My View
Carpe Diem is full of power and fun. Some songs are a bit of weaker, but they are still in the good song range. Thus a great rating on this collection of tracks almost feels mandatory. Love it!
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