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Saxon: Lionheart-Special Edition

The limited edition of Saxon's latest album Lionheart is a nifty little box set package containing the 2 disc version of the release, the extra disc being a DVD of audio and videos that is a must for the Saxon fanatic, and an exclusive Saxon lanyard/keyholder which is a nice collectors item, all housed inside an attractive gift box. The album itself is probably Saxon's best album since their early 80's classics like Strong Arm of the Law, Wheels of Steel, Power and the Glory, Crusader, and Denim and Leather. In fact, this album sounds like anything but an aging NWOBHM band, as the British combo sounds more energized than they have in years. Lead singer Biff Byford's voice seems to have gotten better with age, as he delivers a richer tone than years past and even can still hit those high notes. Joining Biff in this version of Saxon is fellow original member Paul Quinn on guitars, plus guitarist Doug Scarratt, bassist/keyboard player Nibbs Carter, and drummer Jorg Michael.

The first thing you notice about the songs on Lionheart is how heavy yet melodic & memorable they are. Tunes like "English Man 'O' War", "Witchfinder General", "Flying On the Edge", and the title track contain crunchy guitar work from Quinn and Scarratt, not to mention fiery and powerful vocals from Byford. It's a formula that really works well on each song, as the band delivers one solid song after another here that will please any sucker for early 80's classic metal. If you like your tunes with balls and slightly speedy, go no further than the rip-snortin' "Justice", a song fueled by plenty of crunchy and intricate guitar riffs and bashing rhythms, as well as wailing Byford screams, who gets higher than I've ever heard him before. If you like that high-pitched and powerful metal scream, also check out rampaging Biff on the killer 'To Live By the Sword", he's been eating his Wheaties!

It took Saxon a while to deliver an album of this caliber, but it was worth the wait. I think these geezers can still teach a lot of these young, up and coming bands a thing or two about how to create a kick ass metal album, which Lionheart certainly is. If you can find this special edition box set, you get some fun stuff on the DVD (live clips, videos, and making of clip), the collectible lanyard, and of course, the rockin' album itself, which is also included in 5.1 mix on the DVD as well if you have DVD Audio capabilities. If not don't fret, the CD itself sounds fantastic, and is one of the crisper albums I have heard in a while. Good stuff all around!

Track Listing
1. Witchfinder General
2. Man And Machine
3. The Return
4. Lionheart
5. Beyond the Grave
6. Justice
7. To Live By The Sword
8. Jack Tars
9. English ManŽO`War
10. Searching For Atlantis
11. Flying On The Edge

Added: April 27th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Saxon Website
Hits: 2856
Language: english

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