Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013


CD review SAXON "Saxon" / "Wheels of Steel" / Strong Arms of the Law" - re-issues

Veröffentlicht am 26. März 2018 von Markus W. in Saxon, Reissue, News, NWoBHM, Heavy Metal, Wheels of Steel, Strong Arms of the Law, CD Review

CD review SAXON "Saxon" / "Wheels of Steel" / Strong Arms of the Law" - re-issues

(8/10) (10/10) (9/10) I few weeks ago I could witness Saxon live on stage. The five-piece from Birmingham played a fabulous show at 013 in Tilburg,  a set that featured classics like "747 (Strangers in the Night)", "Heavy Metal Thunder" and Wheels of Steel". To enjoy these songs also at home and while being on the road, BMG reissues the first three longplayer of the NWoBHM legend.

The debut, simply entitled "Saxon", was originally released in 1979 and was the start of an impressive career in rock. NWoBHM started to gain momentum at the end of the 70's and had an impact on Saxon sounds. The band, that belongs to the pioneers of metal, combined this new rising metal style with glam-rock and progressive influences, leading to songs like "Judgement Day" and "Backs to the Wall". What's the real benefit of this re-issue is the comprehensive booklet that comes with the CD and it's additional bonus tracks that enriches this release. Five songs from the demo are part of the re-release plus songs that came out of a BBC session in 1980 and a live recording from Donington, recorded in the same year.





  1. Rainbow Theme
  2. Frozen Rainbow
  3. Big Teaser
  4. Judgement Day
  5. Stallions Of The Highway
  6. Backs To The Wall
  7. Still Fit To Boogie
  8. Militia Guard


CD Bonus Tracks:

  1. Big Teaser (demo 1978)
  2. Stallions Of The Highway (demo 1978)
  3. Backs To The Wall (demo 1978)
  4. Rainbow Theme (demo 1978)
  5. Frozen Rainbow (demo 1978)
  6. Backs To The Wall (BBC session 1980)
  7. Stallions Of The Highway (BBC session 1980)
  8. Motorcycle Man (BBC session 1980)
  9. Still Fit To Boogie (BBC session 1980)
  10. 747 (Strangers In The Night) (BBC session 1980)
  11. Judgement Day (BBC session 1980)
  12. Still Fit To Boogie (Live at Donington 1980)
  13. Backs To The Wall (BBC session 1980)
  14. Stallions Of The Highway (BBC session 1980)


Label: BMG

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: March 30th, 2018

CD review SAXON "Saxon" / "Wheels of Steel" / Strong Arms of the Law" - re-issues

One year later, Saxon released their sophomore longplayer "Wheels of Steel" which belongs to the shining pearls in metal. The record was a break-through for the quintet from the UK with entering the single charts twice. Furthermore the album achieved gold-status and tunes like "747 (Strangers in the Night)", "Motorcycle Man" and "Wheels of Steel" are indispensable parts of present live sets. Like with the others re-releases also "Wheels of Steel" comes with an extensive booklet that features photos, lyrics and additional background information when it comes to band and album. The special treat is again some demo versions and live recording from this early era of one of the most influential heavy metal bands.





  1. Motorcycle Man
  2. Stand Up And Be Counted
  3. 747 (Strangers In The Night)
  4. Wheels Of Steel
  5. Freeway Mad
  6. See The Light Coming
  7. Street Fighting Gang
  8. Suzie Hold On
  9. Machine Gun


CD Bonus Tracks

  1. Suzie Hold On (1980 demo rehearsals)
  2. Wheels Of Steel (1980 demo rehearsals)
  3. Stallions Of The Highway (Live B-side)
  4. Motorcycle Man (Live at Donington 1980)
  5. Freeway Mad (Live at Donington 1980)
  6. Wheels Of Steel (Live at Donington 1980)
  7. 747 (Strangers In The Night) (Live at Donington 1980)
  8. Machine Gun (Live at Donington 1980)


Label: BMG

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: March 30th, 2018

CD review SAXON "Saxon" / "Wheels of Steel" / Strong Arms of the Law" - re-issues

Biff Byford and bandmates have been extremely busy and productive in 1980. The highly acclaimed second longplayer saw the light of day, the band performed at the legendary Monsters Of Rock festival and Donington and last but not least it was the third longplayer that came out after summer. 6 months after "Wheels of Steel" arrived at the record stores it was "Strong Arm of the Law" that followed. In times when some bands work for years on their next release it's amazing that Saxon could do such a job in half a year by not compromising on quality at all. It proves that if you're bursting to do something in short time and with enormous passion you can achieve it. As with the predecessor also "Strong Arms of the Law" features songs that are a standard at any Saxon show. Classics such as the title track and "Dallas 1pm" are part of this disc that established the band in heavy metal. Bonus tracks are part of this re-release too, as with the other two albums. 

Saxon's first three longplayers, actually all their longplayers, are a 'must' for any seriously meant metal record collection. If you missed them to date, this is your chance to close the gap. 





  1. Heavy Metal Thunder
  2. To Hell And Back Again
  3. Strong Arm Of The Law
  4. Taking Your Chances
  5. 20,000 FT
  6. Hungry Years
  7. Sixth Form Girls
  8. Dallas 1PM


CD Bonus Tracks

  1. 20,000 FT (BBC session 1982)
  2. Dallas 1PM (BBC session 1982)
  3. The Eagle Had Landed (BBC session 1982)
  4. 747 (Strangers In The Night) (BBC session 1982)
  5. To Hell And Back Again (Abbey Road mix)
  6. 20,000FT (Abbey Road mix)
  7. Mandy (Early version of Sixth Form Girls)
  8. Heavy Metal Thunder (Abbey Road mix)


Label: BMG

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: March 30th, 2018

Photo: Markus Wiedenmann

Photo: Markus Wiedenmann


Live report SAXON / DIAMOND HEAD / ARMORED DAWN, 013, Tilburg, 27.02.2018

Veröffentlicht am 28. Februar 2018 von Markus W. in Saxon, Diamond Head, Armored Dawn, News, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Classic Metal, NWoBHM, 013 Poppodium, Live Review, Live, Tour, Rock Hard Festival

It was an ice cold February evening when British metal icons Saxon had a stop at 013 in Tilburg to warm up the city with some hot metal riffs. No less than the legendary Diamond Head joined Saxon on their European tour and it was Brazilian metal newcomers Armored Dawn who got the opening slot in this package.


The first time I saw Armored Dawn on stage was when they opened for Fates Warning a few months ago and the impression I got wasn‘t the best. And since the new longplayer wasn‘t the most exciting one either I was curious about what they guys from Brazil will offer that night in Tilburg, being the opener for Saxon and Diamond Head. In general I must say that the guys did a much better job than earlier. They could create some reserved excitement in the first row and earned some well-meant applause at the end. As on the album, guitars were spot-on and also the sound they got was better. The biggest challenge though for Armored Dawn is their singer and frontman Eduardo Parras. He tries hard but there are much better metal sirens out there in the metal universe. All in all Armored Dawn showed some improvement and a solid show - not more but also not less.

Live report SAXON / DIAMOND HEAD / ARMORED DAWN, 013, Tilburg, 27.02.2018
Live report SAXON / DIAMOND HEAD / ARMORED DAWN, 013, Tilburg, 27.02.2018

Diamond Head‘s concert was the first highlight tonight. The band, known by many from the Metallica’s cover version of  „Am I evil“, preformed a professional and dedicated gig that was full of hits. The temperature in the venue immediately rose by the first riffs of guitar icon Brian Tattler. The guitarist is the only remaining founding member and driving force behind the band since many years. He and his three band mates showed that night how classic metal should sound like if being performed with a lot of passion. Next to Tattler it was vocalist Rasmus Bom Andersen who is not only an excellent singer but also a great frontman. Constantly in motion it was him being an engine of youth on stage with great vocals and agile stage acting. He was constantly motivating the crowd to be loud, and fans reacted accordingly. In the end each of the guys on stage obviously enjoyed playing live and fans rewarded this attitude with more than just a warm applause. Diamond Head was a true special guest for Saxon and since the guys aren‘t around too often, it was a pleasure to witness their show in Tilburg, a concert with the earlier mentioned „Am I evil“ as the Grande finale with audience being a huge choir for the chorus.

Live report SAXON / DIAMOND HEAD / ARMORED DAWN, 013, Tilburg, 27.02.2018

After warming up the crowd in such a good way it was an easy thing for Saxon to take over and turn the venue into a metal madhouse. I have seen the band several times over the last 6 years and they never disappointed. It‘s the combination of almost 40 years experience in rock, terrific songs and powerful stage acting that makes each Saxon concert to a special moment. The guys play together in the same line-up since many years and you can see and hear that the chemistry is there. It’s a blindfolded interplay and interaction that grew over many years, leading to a dense and powerful sound that builds the base for 90 minutes of metal delight.  As if it would be the most natural thing on earth Paul Quinn and Doug Scarrett create enormous riff power while it’s bassist Nibbs Carter who spreads the metal virus by a pounding bass play that‘s heavier than what you get to hear on any album. 

Saxon ignited a firework with old classics that were highly anticipated by fans. And it has been the new songs that fitted perfectly into the context by creating a seamless experience of rock that night.

As frontman Biff Byford said: „It‘s Tuesday - and it feels like fucking Friday“ and what he meant was the metal party vibe that filled the venue. Saxon might get older, but they are in an impressive shape and form. These guys are metal pioneers and it was the big crowd at 013 that rewarded all the band’s effort with horns up and an enthusiastic applause at the end. 

I‘m already looking forward to see the quintet from England again on this year’s Rock Hard festival where Saxon headlines one day. ... And Saxon plays on. Hopefully for many more years.

Live report SAXON / DIAMOND HEAD / ARMORED DAWN, 013, Tilburg, 27.02.2018

Tracklist Diamond Head:

  1. Helpless
  2. Bones
  3. In the Heat of the Night
  4. Lightning to the Nations
  5. It's Electric
  6. The Prince
  7. Am I Evil?


Tracklist Saxon:

  1. Thunderbolt
  2. Sacrifice
  3. Nosferatu (The Vampire Waltz)
  4. Motorcycle Man
  5. Strong Arms of the Law
  6. Battering Ram
  7. Power and the Glory
  8. Sniper
  9. The Secret Flight
  10. Dallas 1PM
  11. Never Surrender
  12. Predator
  13. They Played Rock and Roll
  14. And the Band Played On
  15. 747 (Strangers in the Night)
  16. Crusader
  17. Princess of the Night
  18. Heavy Metal Thunder (Encore)
  19. Wheels of Steel (Encore)
  20. Denim and Leather (Encore)


Location: 013, Tilburg, The Netherlands

Date: February 27th, 2018


More photos of Saxon on FLICKR

More photos of Diamond Head on FLICKR



ROCK HARD festival announces first bands

Veröffentlicht am 1. Februar 2018 von Markus W. in Rock Hard Festival, News, Saxon, Cirith Ungol, Live, Concert, Overkill, Marduk, Thundermother, Night Demon, Dool, Attic, The New Roses, Diamond Head, Tiamat, Uli Jon Roth

ROCK HARD festival announces first bands
ROCK HARD festival announces first bands

This year’s Rock Hard Festival edition will take place from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th of May - the Whit Weekend. As usual the Rock Hard team could put together a very exciting billing, which looks like this so far:

  • Saxon
  • Overkill („Feel The Fire“ & „Horrorscope“-Set)
  • Tiamat („Clouds“- und „Wildhoney“-Set)
  • Uli Jon Roth  („Scorpions Revisited“)
  • Marduk
  • Cirith Ungol
  • Backyard Babies
  • Diamond Head
  • Dool
  • Night Demon
  • Nocturnal Rites
  • Thundermother
  • The New Roses
  • Attic
  • + 8 top atcs to be announced!



CD review SAXON" Thunderbolt"

Veröffentlicht am 25. Januar 2018 von Markus W. in Saxon, Heavy Metal, Thunderbolt, NWoBHM, Silver Lining Music, Power Metal, CD Review, News

CD review SAXON" Thunderbolt"

(9/10) It’s next year when British metal pioneers Saxon will celebrate their 40th anniversary. It means a lot to be in business for such a long time. To be such a stable factor demands passion and quality, both key-characteristics of the British quintet. With the exception of some tougher years in the 90’s, Biff Byford, Paul Quinn and bandmates always delivered excellent metal records, featuring classics that went right into the DNA of metal music.

Now, in 2018, Saxon will ship their newest longplayer to the record stores. If you expect something totally new you should stop reading right here and now because Saxon stays true to themselves. The five guys found their sound and their signature, all coming back on the new longplayer entitled “Thunderbolt”.

The record might not be a bolt out of the blue but it carries the energy of thunder and lighting. Eleven new songs with a total running time of 47 minutes provide metal fans with terrific traditional metal. ‘Traditional’ in this context doesn’t stand for dusted and old-fashioned. Saxon’s newest strike sounds fresh and vital featuring heavy metal tracks reminding of the glorious NWoBHM era.

I can recommend to listen to tunes like the great title track, the uptempo “They Played Rock and Roll” and “Speed Merchants” with its roaring guitars. Also “Sons of Odin” is worth more than one loop. The song comes with a slower pace and an awesome bassline, adding an enormous groove to this highlight.

Now I mentioned some songs, but actually it’s the entire longplayer that stands as a rock and even the more complex “Nosferatu (The Vampire Waltz)” grows over time.

It goes without saying that the sound of “Thunderbolt” is beyond all doubts. Andy Sneap was once again at the helm, giving Saxon’s 22nd album the power and appeal needed to let each of these eleven pearls shine bright, meaning sound good.

Saxon proves that age and metal don’t have any correlation. Even after four decades the quintet is still hungry for good heavy metal which is probably the most crucial factor for this great longplayer. Saxon are still in a ‘power and the glory’ mood with “Thunderbolt” being an album that will be a delight for every metalhead.





  1. Olympus Rising
  2. Thunderbolt
  3. The Secret of Flight
  4. Nosferatu (The Vampire Waltz)
  5. They Played Rock and Roll
  6. Predator
  7. Sons of Odin
  8. Sniper
  9. A Wizard’s Tale
  10. Speed Merchants
  11. Roadie’s Song


Label: Silver Lining Music

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: February 2nd, 2018


SAXON announces "Thunderbolt"

Veröffentlicht am 7. November 2017 von Markus W. in Saxon, Thunderbolt, News, Heavy Metal, NWoBHM, Power Metal

SAXON announces "Thunderbolt"

Metal pioneers Saxon announced a new longplayer that’s supposed to be in the record stores on February 2nd, 2018. “Thunderbolt” is already record number 22 in the bands long and rich history in metal. The new studio longplayer features eleven songs and it was Andy Sneap who provided the powerful sound the album demands.



  1. Olympus Rising
  2. Thunderbolt
  3.  The Secret of Flight
  4. Nosferatu (The Vampires Waltz)
  5. They Played Rock and Roll
  6. Predator
  7. Sons of Odin
  8. Sniper
  9. A Wizard’s Tale
  10. Speed Merchants
  11. Roadie’s Song
  12. Nosferatu (Raw Version)*

(*not on vinyl)


“Thunderbolt” can be pre-ordered from December 1st and comes as:

  • CD in Digipack
  • 180 g colored vinyl  - Gatefold
  • Special Edition Boxset
  • Tape Cassette
  • Digital Download


And last but not least: Thunderbolt 2018 European Tour - Part 1:

23.02.18  UK, Cardiff University
24.02.18  UK, Cambridge Corn Exchange
25.02.18  UK, Hull City Hall
27.02.18   NL, Tilburg 013
28.02.28  GER, Saarbruecken Garage
01.03.18  GER, Hannover Capitol                          
02.03.18  GER, Frankfurt Batschkapp               
03.03.18  GER,Dresden Schlachthof      

DVD review SAXON "Let Me Feel Your Power"

Veröffentlicht am 7. Oktober 2016 von Markus W. in Saxon, Heavy Metal, Live, CD Review, DVD review, News, Power Metal, NWoBHM

(8/10) I guess that Saxon was one of the bands I have seen live most during the last years. It was always a pleasure to this fivepiece live on stage. Next to excellent new studio releases Saxon shows their real strength when they play live

To capture this live energy, Saxon decided to film some shows of the last tour, material that is now available as DVD and CD. Saxon has released numerous live albums and there might be the question of 'why'. Now, this is easily answered: because this is one of the best live recordings I have seen from the band. Maybe this is more of a subjective view on this album, however, it is what it is.

What I really like with "Let Me Feel Your Power" is the excellent sound, a weaker part of some of the former live records. A good sound in this context doesn't mean that it's over-produced. Saxon captured the live atmosphere of the three shows in an authentic way.

Three shows? Yes. The release contains material from Munich, the core of this release, with some additional tracks taped in Brighton. What is mentioned as bonus material is actually a full show Saxon played in Chicago. The sound of this recording is a bit more basic, which means that it's still very good, just a bit 'more live' than what you get from the Munich show.

In this sense the DVD brings some Saxon into your living room, supported by the visual part that comes dynamic and entertaining. 

The choice of song for the setlist of these three shows leaves nothing to be desired. "Denim and Leather", Crusader", "747 (Strangers in the Night)" and Princess of the Night", all classics of the NWoBHM dinosaur. Some of them are even twice on this release. But also newer songs have been performed and its amazing to see/hear them together with the old stuff. Saxon stands for a consistency of quality that's amazing. While some bands are mainly focussing on their 'old' hits the guys from the UK can easily place old and new next to each other without one being better than the other. They're just all good.

The funny part of the album happens in the beginning of the Munich show when Biff Byford as well as guitar legend Paul Quinn got some denim jackets, wearing them for the entire show.

Maybe some of you will miss some 'behind the scene/interview' material. However, "Let Me Feel Your Power" is what the title states, Saxon lfilling the venues with their unleashed power and the fans giving back their powerful enthusiasm for a band that never seems to get old. That's true rock'n'roll.





Live in Munich (November 2015)

  1. Battering Ram
  2. Motorcycle Man
  3. Sacrifice
  4. Destroyer
  5. Power And The Glory
  6. 20000FT
  7. Devil's Footprint
  8. Heavy Metal Thunder
  9. Queen Of Hearts
  10. Princess Of The Night
  11. Wheels Of Steel
  12. Denim And Leather
  13. Crusader

Live in Bighton (January 2016)

  1. Eye Of The Storm
  2. Battalions Of Steel
  3. Requiem

Bonus Material (Live In Chicago) (September 2015):

  1. Motorcycle Man
  2. Battering Ram
  3. This Town Rocks
  4. Sacrifice
  5. Power And The Glory
  6. Solid Ball Of Rock
  7. Dallas 1 PM
  8. Heavy Metal Thunder
  9. Rock The Nations
  10. The Eagle Has Landed
  11. Wheels Of Steel
  12. Backs To The Wall
  13. Just Let Me Rock
  14. Strong Arm Of The Law
  15. 747 (Strangers In The Night)
  16. Princess Of The Night
  17. Crusader
  18. Denim And Leather

Label: UDR Music

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: October 7th, 2016

DVD review SAXON "Let Me Feel Your Power"

Live Review SAXON, Zoetermeer, 16.10.2015

Veröffentlicht am 17. November 2015 von Markus W. in Saxon, Heavy Metal, News, Live Review, Power Metal, NWoBHM, Classic Rock

I think that there is no band I have seen more often during the last years than Saxon - Haarlem 2012, Zoetermeer 2013 and now Zoetermeer again in 2015.

It's always a pleasure to see the five guys on stage. Saxon stands for passion and dedication for metal. Thise dudes breathe metal and rock'n'roll. So there was no doubt that I will report you from their show in Holland.

But this time things have also been slightly different than earlier. Three days after the terrible attacks in Paris the ease and pleasent anticipation was still there, but there have been also those pictures from the weekend in my mind. 

However, life goes on and (metal) music is the best distraction I could think about. I also had the feeling when I arrived at De Boerderij, that I wasn't the only one with exactly those thoughts.

The show was almost sold out and honestly, it was a great expereience to be there again. Not only due to the fact that Saxon is a great band with awesome songs. It was also a good thing to watch the show with people having the same interest in good music and a good time. In union we stand; that must be the header in these days.

But let's talk about the show itself. There wasn't any support band tonight which means that the guys from England entered the stage around 20:30. "Battering Man", "Motorcycle Man" and "Sacrifice" marked the start of the show and couldn't have been chosen much better. As those three songs reflect, there has been a well chosen mix of old and new songs. 

I guess I mentioned it in an earlier review, but the quality of songs, regardless from which period of Saxon's history, is very high. They are just all good. "Battering Ram" from the latest release can easily cope with classics like "Princess of the Night" and "Denim & Leather". 

This evening Biff Byford and gang also added a song to their setlist which they dedicated to the vicitms of Paris. A heartbreaking version of "Broken Hero" was performed but in general I must say that the longer the show went on, the more the sad thoughts from the weekend could be blocked out. With each tune played, the evening got a more positive vibe, based on good music ... 'and the band played on'. 

All in all it was a bit of a different show that night in Zoetermeer. It was more than just a concert. It was a statement; Never give up. Keep going. Music unites.

Go to shows, listen to music and enjoy life.

Live Review SAXON, Zoetermeer, 16.10.2015


  1. Battering Ram
  2. Motorcycle Man
  3. Sacrifice
  4. Power and the Glory
  5. Destroyer
  6. Heavy Metal Thunder
  7. Eye of the Storm
  8. Broken Hero
  9. And the Bands Played On
  10. Queen of Hearts
  11. Battalions of Steel
  12. 20,000 Ft
  13. The Devil's Footprint
  14. 747 (Stangers in the Night)
  15. Crusader
  16. Princess of the Night
  17. Wheels of Steel (Encore)
  18. Strong Arm of the Law (Encore)
  19. Denim & Leather (Encore)


Location: De Boerderij, Zoetermeer, The Netherlands

Date: 16.11.2015


CD review SAXON "Battering Ram"

Veröffentlicht am 19. Oktober 2015 von Markus W. in Saxon, News, NWoBHM, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Classic Rock, CD Review

(8/10) Art demands freedom and freedom screams for independence. That's when art, and also music, gets best. Everything that's forced, for whatever reason, ends up in compromisses that limits the creativity and the result.

Why do I start with such a philosophical thesis? I think, that some bands enjoys this freedom in their beginning phase when passion rules the game. This enthusiams leads to outstanding results. Then the pressure raises and also party the fear of failure becomes bigger before a 'now more than ever' attitude brings back freedom.

I can't really say if Saxon went though those phases too. However, if I look on the excellent records from the early days and the more experimental longplayers in the eighties, the guys from England are back since a few years with full force.

"Battering Ram" is the newest release that proves again that power and metal isn't a matter of age.

In my opinion the album title couldn't have been chosen better. The new studio record is a 'battering ram' that tears down everything that stands in it's way. The same goes for tracks like "Destroyer", "Hard and Fast" and "Stand Your Ground" - the titles say it all. Saxon are doing what they can do best. Fast and hard metal tunes that carries you away by the power spread; that's what you get with "Battering Ram".

Tracks you should have listened to on this new record are the heavy pounder "Battering Ram", the more epical "The Devil's Footprint" with some spoken words in the beginning and the straight-forward "Hard and Fast". 

Talking about epical; a song you shouldn't miss either is "Kingdom of the Cross" that is with six minutes the longest one on the longplayer. Again Saxon uses spoken words in the start of the tune. It is a silent number from beginning till end and it feels like musical storytelling. It's an excellent piece of music that shows the width of Saxon's sound.

Good that a four minutes smasher is next. "Three Sheets to the Wind" is also the last song on the album and we are talking about a tune without frills. It's a pure rock'n'roller that gets the pleasure of rounding off another very well done Saxon longplayer.

"Sacrifice" was already a great Saxon album, but the denisity of highlights and the excellent sound on "Battering Ram", done by Andy Sneap, lifts "Battering Ram" to a next level. It's great headbanging stuff and a 'Must' for each serious metal collection. I'm looking already forward to see those songs performed live later this year. Thumbs up.





  1. Battering Ram
  2. The Devil's Footprint
  3. Queen of Hearts
  4. Destroyer
  5. Hard and Fast
  6. Eye of the Storm
  7. Stand Your Ground
  8. Top of the World
  9. To the End
  10. Kingsom of the Cross
  11. Three Sheets to the Wind (The Drinking Song)


Label: UDR

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: October 16th, 2015


CD review SAXON "Battering Ram"

SAXON posted title track from the coming album

Veröffentlicht am 1. August 2015 von Markus W. in Saxon, NWoBHM, Heavy Metal, Classic Rock, Hardrock, Power Metal, News, Video

Also Saxon comes with a first new song called "Battering ram" which is the title track from the upcoming album - the 21st studio album of the NWoBHM legends. And as "Sacrifice", also the new longplayer seems to become a very good one. Stay tuned.


CD review THE STORYTELLER "Sacred fire"

Veröffentlicht am 10. März 2015 von Markus W. in The Storyteller, Hardrock, Power Metal, Heavy Metal, News, CD Review, Saxon, Helloween, Hammerfall

(7/10) Hmmm. What should I say about this album? That was and still is my question after several rounds of listening to the twelve songs.

The Storyteller comes from Sweden and is playing power metal with a very melodic component. Sometimes they remind a bit to Helloween and the vocals of L-G Persson sound in certain parts even like Andy Deris. But I had to think about Saxon's Biff Byford as well. The crosslink to Saxon is not by coinsidence since The Storyteller add also some traditional heavy metal to their sound too.

The sixth album of the band from Gävle, Sweden is called "Sacred fire" and as I said in the beginning it is a hard cookie. In almost all meanings of the word.

The twelve tunes on the album are well crafted and sound powerful. We are talking about real headbanging stuff based on heavy riffs, rough but melodic vocals and a rhythm section that comes across very pushing. Sometimes the guys speed up to some doublebass parts and on the other hand the ballad takes care about the emotional moments on "Sacred fire". So, all right you might think.

But there is something that still limits my enthusiasm. It's hard to describe, but I think it is a certain kind of diversity that is missing. The songs, except the ballad, sound very similar and follow a same kind of structure. Except of the ballad it's not easy to differentiate between the different tunes on "Sacred fire". This takes out the tension  and gives the album some length after a while. Maybe less would have been more in this context or a bit more courage to try out new elements would have been benefitial.

However, fans of melodic power metal should give this album a try since it has its moments and is a solid piece of metal. 





  1. As I die
  2. One last stand
  3. Sacred fire
  4. Ferryman
  5. Serpent eyes
  6. Sons of the North
  7. In search for treasure, stones and gold
  8. Coming home
  9. The army of Southerfell
  10. Curse of the seven seas
  11. Let your spirit fly
  12. God of war


Label: Black Lodge Records

Genre: Power Metal

CD review THE STORYTELLER "Sacred fire"

CD review SAXON "Heavy metal thunder" re-release

Veröffentlicht am 2. Februar 2015 von Markus W. in Saxon, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, NWoBHM, CD Review, News

(*/10) It was in 2002 when Saxon released a compilation album called "Heavy metal thunder". The album came with 13 Saxon classics from the late 70's and the early 80's; each of them even new recorded by the 2002 line-up. Part of the release was also a second CD that covered a live recording from a show the band played 2002 in St. Antonio, Texas.

UDR is now re-releasing this album and they added a new CD to the "Heavy metal thunder". The San Antonio show is replaced by a new live recording from the Bloodstock festival in 2014. The joy with this is, that the tracklist varies from the 'Best of...", but also from the San Antonio gig. It contains a wider overview of Saxon's discgraphy. New songs like "Sacrifice" are part of the live CD as well as classics like "Princess of the night".

The sound of the live album is surprisingly good. It is powerful and didn't get too much adjustments afterwards. It sounds very authentic and reflects a live show in a good way.

The only question remaining is if you need another live release from Saxon. The band burned quite some shows on CD/DVD during the last months. However, for younger fans, that are maybe not that familiar with the band I can recommend "Heavy metal thunder", since it gives an excellent overview on the the bands classics over time.





CD 1:

  1. Heavy metal thunder
  2. Strong arm of the law
  3. Power & the glory
  4. And the bands played on
  5. Crusader
  6. Dallas 1pm
  7. Princess of the night
  8. Wheels of steel
  9. 747 (Strangers in the night)
  10. Motorcycle man
  11. Never surrender
  12. Denim & leather
  13. Backs to the wall


CD 2:

  1. Sacrifice
  2. Power and the glroy
  3. Heavy metal thunder
  4. Battalions of steel
  5. Motorcycle man
  6. And the band played on
  7. To hell and back again
  8. 747 (Strangers in the night)
  9. Crusader
  10. Wheels of steel
  11. Princess of the night
  12. Denim and leather


Label: UDR

Genre: Heavy Metal

CD review SAXON "Heavy metal thunder" re-release

CD/DVD review SAXON "Warriors of the road - The SAXON chronicles part II"

Veröffentlicht am 10. November 2014 von Markus W. in Saxon, CD Review, DVD review, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Rock, News, Classic Rock

(8/10) The eagle is on the road again. Next to the Saxon tour, taking place right now, the metal icons also released a CD/DVD package called "Warriors on the road". It is the continuation of "Chronicles" from 2001 and the focus is more on 'old and new'. 

The content of this package could have been enough for three DVD's. It's not only one show they pressed on a silver disc. No. It's four gigs from big festivals all over Europe in 2012 and 2013. The most extensive show was played in Wacken 2012. In total 19 classics from Saxon have been performed there, recorded and burned on DVD. It was an amazing event covering hits like "747 (Strangers in the night)", "Princess of the night" and "Crusader". 

In order to capture also newer material the legendary band also released stuff from the 2013 Graspop, including "Sacrifice" and "Wheels of terror" from the latest studio album.

The first DVD contains the Steelhouse Festival show and what is nice is the fact, that inbetween you get many insights from Biff Byford and his fellows. Partly interviews and partly a documentary it is good and entertaining stuff to look at.  You might think that it is a downer not seeing the entire show in a row. But the constant switch gives the DVD a good flow and the show is also available on the CD (eventhough the sound isn't the very best). The real live pleasure comes with the three other mentioned appearances on DVD 2. All in excellent quality when it comes to the filming and the sound with the Wacken show as the 'heart' of "Warriors on the road".

"Warriors on the road" is a great package that gives a lot of Saxon. This release is for fans, collectors and also people who haven't heard about the mighty  NWoBHM band before.

Go for it and by the way, it also can be a very nice Christmas present too.




Tracklist Steelhouse Festival 2013 (CD/DVD):

  1. Sacrifice
  2. Wheels Of Terror
  3. And The Bands Played On
  4. Conquistador
  5. Stand Up And Fight
  6. 747
  7. Crusader
  8. Denim & Leather
  9. Princess Of The Night


Tracklist Download Festival 2012 (DVD):

  1. Heavy Metal Thunder  
  2. Hammer of the Gods  
  3. Power and the Glory  
  4. 20,000 Ft  
  5. Strong Arm of the Law  
  6. Denim and Leather  
  7. Wheels of Steel  
  8. Princess of the Night  
  9. And the Bands Played On


Tracklist Wacken Open Air 2012 (DVD):

  1. Heavy Metal Thunder  
  2. Hammer of the Gods  
  3. Power and the Glory  
  4. 20,000 Ft  
  5. Never Surrender  
  6. Dogs of War  
  7. Motorcycle Man  
  8. I've Got to Rock (To Stay Alive)  
  9. Crusader  
  10. Rock the Nations  
  11. Drum Solo  
  12. Battalions of Steel  
  13. The Eagle Has Landed  
  14. Wheels of Steel  
  15. To Hell and Back Again  
  16. Denim and Leather  
  17. Encore:
  18. Strong Arm of the Law  
  19. 747 (Strangers in the Night)  
  20. Princess of the Night  


Tracklist Graspop Festival 2013 (DVD):

  1. Sacrifice  
  2. Wheels of Terror  
  3. Power and the Glory  
  4. Heavy Metal Thunder  
  5. Made in Belfast  
  6. Denim and Leather  
  7. Motorcycle Man  
  8. I've Got to Rock (To Stay Alive)  
  9. Stand Up and Fight  
  10. 747 (Strangers in the Night)  
  11. Strong Arm of the Law  
  12. Wheels of Steel  
  13. Crusader  
  14. Princess of the Night  

Label: UDR

Genre: Heavy Metal

CD/DVD review SAXON "Warriors of the road - The SAXON chronicles part II"

CD review THE SCINTILLA PROJECT "The hybrid"

Veröffentlicht am 4. September 2014 von Markus W. in The Scintilla Project, Saxon, Hell, Balance Of Power, CD Review, News, Heavy Metal, Prog Metal

(8/10) Since decades we know Biff Byford as charismatic frontman and singer from the NWoBHM legend Saxon. Interesting enough the Byford did a sidestep from the  mighty metal band. According to the motto 'a rolling stone doesn't gather moss' Byford started a project called The Scintilla Project.

By doing this he replaced 'denim and leather' by 'monsters and aliens'. How come? The entire storyline is based on the science fiction movie "Scintilla". It is a thriller about a team of mercenaries with a mission to secure specimens of genetically engineerd human and alien hybrids. All this on the territory of the former Soviet Union.

Byford was inspired by the movie and decided to start this project. He hooked up with three more guys; Lionel Hicks, Anthony Ritchie (Balance Of Power) und Andy Sneap (Hell, Sabbat), and they all together started to write the tracks for  "The hybrid".

"The hybrid" is actually more a monlith with crispy sharp riffs and a punching rhythm that characterizes all the songs; maybe except the ballad. The nine songs long album stands like a rock; showing Byford and his distinctive voice in a new light. While Saxon is more straight-forward heavy metal, The Scintilla Project has a quite obvious prog touch as well.

The tunes reflect the theatrically context pretty well and without having seen the movie I could imagine that both goes together pretty well.

Stylewise the album switches between more prog related songs refelcted by e.g. "Permanence", Avanatsia-like rock opera tracks ("Angels") and the balladic "Some nightmare". The final tune on the album is "No rest for the wicked" which is a Saxon track from the "Call to arms" album.

"The hybrid" is a brave step from experienced guys that want to try out (a kind of) new things. The experiment was a successful one. The Scintilla Project released a gorgeous album which is highly entertaining from the beginning to the end. Maybe we can hope for more, eventhough it is 'just' a project.






  1. Scintilla (One black heart)
  2. Beware the children
  3. Permanence
  4. Some nightmare
  5. Angels
  6. Pariah
  7. The damned and the divine
  8. Life in vain
  9. No rest for the wicked


Label: UDR

Genre: Prog Metal

CD review THE SCINTILLA PROJECT "The hybrid"
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