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Saxon: Dogs of War (remastered)

Dogs of War was the 1995 release from NWOBHM veterans Saxon, and last with one half of their classic guitar duo Graham Oliver. Their 12th album is now being reissued by UK label Demon Records, and also being made available on a charming vinyl picture disc.

Opinions have been mixed on Dogs of War over the years, as half the album is pretty kick ass molten metal as we've come to expect from Saxon, the other half sort of by the numbers early '90s hard rock in the style of Guns 'n' Roses or other bands of that ilk. "Dogs of War", "Burning Wheels", and "Hold On"(which could pass for a killer Def Leppard song) feature plenty of cranking Oliver & Paul Quinn riffs, with singer Biff Byford delivering his always impressive vocals. "Big Twin Rolling (Coming Home)" has a certain bluesy element going on, which is kind of strange for Saxon but it isn't bad, while "The Great White Buffalo" and "Demolition Alley" are serviceable heavy metal tracks that might not stack up with some of the bands classics, but certainly get the job done here. "Walking Through Tokyo" sticks out like a sore thumb, as the band seem to be going for that Mutt Lange/Def Leppard 'party metal' sound, and it fails miserably, and "Don't Worry" goes for that late '80s California hair metal style ala Guns 'n' Roses, and again, doesn't really work. Both "Give It All Away" and "Yesterday's Gone" are solid examples of melodic heavy metal, but there's an attempt at 'glossiness' here that just doesn't seem to sit well on a Saxon record. Again, it was 1995, and the metal scene was changing with grunge all the rage, so you have to commend the band for trying something a little different, but not all of these new sounds here worked for the band.

Some very good tracks here on Dogs of War, a few weak ones, but it's mostly a solid, if unspectacular affair. It is however Saxon, and it's always been hard for these guys to deliver a complete dud. This one comes with some pretty sparkling remastered sound, so expect a great sounding album from the folks at Demon Music. As a look back to what seems like a forgotten era in the history of the band, they've done a nice job with this one.

Track Listing

  1. Dogs of War
  2. Burning Wheels
  3. Don't Worry
  4. Big Twin Rolling Coming Home
  5. Hold On
  6. The Great White Buffalo
  7. Demolition Alley
  8. Walking Through Tokyo
  9. Give It All Away
  10. Yesterday's Gone

Added: July 3rd 2013
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2243
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Saxon: Dogs of War (remastered)
Posted by Jordan Farquharson on 2013-07-03 20:54:32
My Score:

Guns N Roses was never hair metal. Don't insult a great band like that.

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