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Saxon: The Eagle Has Landed III

Longtime metal veterans and one of the leaders of the original New Wave of British Heavy Metal back in the early 1980's, Saxon are back with their third installment of their The Eagle Has Landed live album series. While the original The Eagle Has Landed, released way back in 1982, is considered somewhat of a classic among live metal releases, this brand new double album recorded on the 2004 & 2005 World Tours is pretty strong in its own right. Yeah, Saxon may be a little older, but they are a lot wiser and certainly just as lean and mean, showing that a bunch of cagey veterans can still rock with any young band on the scene.

Saxon were always a band that thrived on the stage, which was their natural home. Sure, many of their studio albums were great examples of top-notch British metal, but it was in a live setting that this band really showed what they had. This lavish and jam-packed live set includes many Saxon classics old and new, a few that haven't been played on stage in quite some time. The first CD is culled from the 2005 tour, which sees the return of classic drummer Nigel Glockler after many years away. He really fits this band perfectly, and it's nice to see him back after so many years. Old gems like "Wheels of Steel", "Crusader", "This Town Rocks", "Redline", "Never Surrender", "Warrior", and "Suzie Hold On" rock just as hard as they did 20+ years ago, led by the still sizzling vocals of Biff Byford and the dual guitar attack of original member Paul Quinn and Doug Scarratt. Rounding out the line-up is bassist Nibbs Carter, who, like Scarratt, has been in the band for a few years now. This line-up really cooks on newer tracks as well, like "Backs to the Wall", "Frozen Rainbow", and "Stallions of the Highway". CD 2 is made up of live tracks from the 2004 tour for Lionheart, with Jorg Michael on drums. This set features mostly newer tracks from their 90's material and up, proving that the band still could deliver quality metal after all these years. Songs like "Unleash the Beast", "Man & Machine", "Dragon's Lair", and of course the crankin' "Solid Ball of Rock" all are fueled by Byford's histrionic vocals and plenty of dual axe-riffing. As an extra treat, the classic Saxon ballad "Broken Heroes" from their 1985 album Innocence is No Excuse is given a fine rendition here. Also notable is their take on the prog rock classic by King Crimson "Court of the Crimson King".

So, plenty of Saxon favorites old and new over two CD's, what more could you ask for? This is a recommended live set from a mainstay of the NWOBHM fold.

Track Listing
Disc: 1
1. This Town Rocks (Stockholm 2005)
2. Backs To The Wall (Nuremburg 2005)
3. Redline (Hamburg 2005)
4. Stand Up And Be Counted (Berlin 2005)
5. Never Surrender (Berlin 2005)
6. Frozen Rainbow (Fulda 2005)
7. Suzie Hold On (Nuremburg 2005)
8. Play It Loud (Nuremburg 2005)
9. Warrior (Nuremburg 2005)
10. See The Lights Shining (Hamburg 2005)
11. To Hell And Back Again (Hamburg 2005)
12. Stallions Of The Highway (Fulda 2005)
13. Wheels Of Steel (Nuremburg 2005)
14. And The Bands Played On (Wacken 2004)
15. Crusader (Wacken 2004)
Disc: 2
1. The Return (Paris 2004)
2. Lionheart (Paris 2004)
3. Man & Machine (London 2004)
4. Beyond The Grave (London 2004)
5. Searching For Atlantis (London 2004)
6. To Live By The Sword Pt. I (London 2004)
7. Unleash The Beast (London 2004)
8. To Live By The Sword Pt. II (London 2004)
9. Flying On The Edge (Paris 2004)
10. Jack Tars (Kiel 2004)
11. English Man'o'War (Kiel 2004)
12. Court Of The Crimson King (Kiel 2004)
13. Broken Heroes (Kiel 2004)
14. Dragon's Lair (Kiel 2004)
15. Rock Is Our Life (Wacken 2004)
16. Travelers In Time (Wacken 2004)
17. Solid Ball Of Rock (Wacken 2004)

Added: February 23rd 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Saxon Website
Hits: 2392
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Saxon: The Eagle Has Landed III
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-02-23 10:13:27
My Score:

Saxon was one of front line leaders when The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal began and since their formation in 1976 have been holding the banner high as they can in delivering consistent levels of quality with their Metal. With the third chapter in their Eagle Has Landed ready for consumption they have shown that they don't follow the standards as much as set them. This CD is packed with classic material both old and new and was recorded over a span of shows that were held during 2004-2005. It was recorded at numerous locations as well and gives the listener music from Stockholm, Berlin, Nurnberg, Fulda, Wacken Open Air, Paris, London, and Kiel. Despite their influences on the genre, Saxon was always a band that found larger acceptance in Europe than it ever managed to generate in the States. Collections like this one allow that fan base to catch up a little more and see what they are missing, because when it comes down to it the members of Saxon bring Old School Metal to the table like no others. Their sound is a mix of timeless classic and it has held true for decades.

The lineup of Saxon has changed a number of times but for the live recordings on this release we find the band as follows: Biff Byford (vocals), Paul Quinn (guitar), Doug Scarratt (guitar), and Nibbs Carter (bass). The drums were done by two different players with Jorg Michael (from Stratovarius) doing the music recorded in 2004 while Nigel Glockler handled the recordings from 2005. Only Byford and Quinn remain as original members since the formation while Glockler had been a member in the past but had left. He would return and take the place of Michael, who would return to a reformed Stratovarius. Having always been more of a legacy, and casual fan of this group I enjoyed the presentation of their older classics such as "Wheels Of Steel" and "Never Surrender" a bit more than some of the other selections. I can also raise the horns high to the songs from their latest studio effort Lionheart, which received a strong representation here as well. This was an album that found the band jumping back into the fray harder and heavier than one expects after so long a career. This is a worthy piece of Metal for the collection because it shows the younger generation of fans that they still got it, and deliver it the way it is meant to be. One can seldom go wrong with a double CD live set, so there is clearly something here for everyone.

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