Basically a re-recording of Saxon's greatist hits, Heavy Metal Thunder successfully brings the listener back to twenty years of great headbanging fun from one of Britain's best heavy metal bands. This 2 CD collection contains 13 classic tracks that the band went back into the studio to re-do with the current line-up, plus bonus live cuts from their recent tour in the USA.
Many of the band's trademark anthems are here, including "Crusader", "Motorcycle Man", "Never Surrender", and the hard hitting "Strong Arm of the Law." Saxon has choosen to beef up the rhythm guitars a bit this time around, which gives new life to songs like the monstrous "Denim & Leather", the metallic "Power and the Glory", and the quintessential "Princess of the Night." While new lead guitarist Doug Scarrett has some decent chops, I found myself missing the melodic, tasty leads of Graham Oliver, who along with long time axe-slinger Paul Quinn, made one of the best dual guitar attacks in metal history. Quinn still struts his stuff proud, as on the live version of "The Eagle has Landed." The live tracks are poorly recorded, and the band seemed to not really be "on" that night, but it is still cool to hear a tune like "Broken Heroes" , which the band dedicated to the US after 9/11. Ageless Biff Byford still has a powerful voice after all these years, and injects the re-recorded classics with renewed pomp and vigor.
In short, a great place to start for those looking to get into the band, and a must for Saxon fans.