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4.7 out of 5 stars
Sacrifice
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format: MP3 Music
British heavy metal institution Saxon is back with a new studio album, titled Sacrifice. It's the band's 20th studio album. Think about that for a second. Twenty albums since their 1979 debut, and with the exception of a few albums in the `90s (hardly metal's brightest hour in general), they've all been rock-solid. How many bands can say that?

Like every album Saxon has released since 2001's Killing Ground, Sacrifice seems like the work of a band in their prime. Compare the last decade's worth of Saxon albums to their first decade and you'll see the same level of "power and glory," as well as sheer energy. Sacrifice is a powerful heavy metal album that balances heaviness with melody, has top rate musicianship and strong vocals, and is very well written.

The album starts strong (after the instrumental intro) with the title track, but it's the middle of the album - "Warriors of the Road" through "Wheels of Terror" - that really shine, with one thundering metal anthem after another. Sacrifice ends with "Standing in a Queue," which is the album's only clunker (it's a b-side if ever there was one), but at that point the previous songs will still have you riding high.

You could argue that Sacrifice's similarity to Call to Arms and the previous Saxon albums means the band is getting predictable (and perhaps not worth the 5-star rating), but for a band in the fourth decade of their career, and one that's still making such high quality metal, predictability really isn't a bad thing. Hell, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest could take a few tips from Saxon at this point.

With Sacrifice, Saxon fans have yet another reason to love this band. It's another first class heavy metal album from a band that has delivered so many of them already. Hopefully they'll make it back to the US to tour in support of this one.

Edition Notes: The limited edition of Sacrifice comes with a second disc featuring five bonus tracks. They're just acoustic, orchestral and rerecorded versions of earlier Saxon songs, and probably nothing you'd ever need to hear more than once, but it's still a neat addition.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2013
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
They started in 1979, 34 years later, "Sacrifice" is released and still delivers great riffs, power and metal. We must take advantage of the fact that great Rock bands like Saxon are still on and creating music, and buy the album that is so valuable. As an extra we have some re-recording of Saxon classic that is also interesting to explore. Keep on, because SAXON KNOWS HOW TO ROCK!!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2013
Format: Audio CD
Sacrifice is truly a great piece of music by one of the greatest metal bands
ever. Thanks guys for all the goodness.......

Im one of the biggest Saxon fans on the planet. I love everything that they have ever done everything ! and I have them all. I love the fullness of this band and there arent many dual guitar bands that do it the way these guys have. They feature two of the best ever in the business. While Saxon maybe pushed and had a hard time with Call To Arms, they have more than made up for it with Sacrifice !

I wondered if Saxon would ever put out a new album again. Im really thankfull that they did and they put this kind of power and goodness into it. Saxon in my opinion have never gotten the kind of respect that they truly deserve, given I know that there are diehard fans just like me out there who believes that they have carried the banner for 80s old school metal for all these years.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2013
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I have been listening to Saxon for about 10 years now, after seeing them live at Bloodstock 2003 and being completely blown away by their performance and their excellent songwriting. I gradually collected many of their albums over the years, and really looked forward to their last 4-5 releases as they came out. The 2000s have been a bit of a mixed bag in my opinion, with certainly more good than bad. But with the release of Call To Arms, it sounded like Saxon were going back to more of a rock feel (I for one have liked their foray into heavier material) and their songwriting was getting a bit weaker. I certainly didn't play it as much as their previous release, Into the Labyrinth.

Well, in comes metal producer Andy Sneap and a fresh set of 10 tracks, and suddenly we have Saxon producing their finest record since Lionheart. The riffs are fantastic, the choruses are soaring and catchy, and the writing in general is just very strong. The instrumentation is also fantastic. The guitars are fresh sounding, the solos are unique and the drums are absolutely thundering, but not overdone where they take over the mix. I'm convinced that if you put a song like Warriors Of The Road on US rock radio and didn't say what band it was, it would catch on. This stuff is so much better than the generic drivel I tend to hear on the FM dial.

The first 5 tracks after the initial "Procession" are the best of the bunch, and make me just want to jump in the car and hit the gas! I suggest you do the same and head over to the record store to pick this up. Or just order it here : )

The bonus disc of new, different versions of older tracks was also more interesting than I thought it would be. Requiem was a great fit for an acoustic version. Thanks to the Saxon guys for another album that I'll be spinning for years. And please come back to the US! The 2011 tour was the best time I've had at a show in a while.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2013
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
SAXON in our opinion have always been an under rated band. Album after album, anthems and classics one after another says it all. This newest album just proves what we've been saying all along! "Saxon Is The Real Deal"!

KEEP \M/ XTREME!
DJ DETOX
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2013
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
I was waiting impatiently for this album to come out, and i must say it was worth the wait. In the 35 plus years that Saxon Has been around, these boys show no sign of slowing down. Sacrifice Is A True Masterpiece. I Highly Recomend This Album To Everyone Who Has Been A Fan Since The Begining And to New Fans. You Will Not Be Dissappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2013
Format: Audio CD
These guys just get BETTER with age; the ENTIRE album ROCKS!!! Even the bonus disc with updated versions of classics sounds FANTASTIC... 'Nuff said!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2013
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
In my opion in the thirty years of listening to Saxon this is the best all around album yet!!powerful,musical.....just flat out rocks!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2013
Format: Audio CD
This is my FAVORITE Saxon CD! After last years dissapointing "Call To Arms" I thought Biff and the boys had lost it. I WAS WRONG! Every song here kicks ass. The production is PERFECT! Every instrument is mixed perfectly. This stands shoulder to shoulder with the last two ACCEPT CDs. (Wow would THAT be a good tour!) I mean this CD is melodic yet totally BRUTAL. I have EVERY Saxon CD and this one I just can't get enough of. WELL DONE BOYS!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2013
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Champions of metal for over three decades, Saxon have again released an album that further cements their reputation for consistency not only in terms of regular album releases, but also in terms of the quality of music they record. Although they have gone through some line-up changes over the years, original members Biff Byford and Paul Quinn have kept the band on the right path from the beginning and this album is no exception. The current line-up has been together since the mid 90’s now and as such has formed a tight night group over the many years on the road and in the studio since then, and it shows.
Sacrifice follows on from where 2011’s Call To Arms left off in that it is more of a straight forward heavy metal album with a sound leaning more towards that of their albums of the 1980’s than those of the 2000’s. We do get an album intro again this time around which sounds like native music from a primitive Central or South American tribe and sets the scene nicely for the title song to open the album. With a good blend of aggressiveness and melody this song is one of my faves. Made In Belfast is good too with it’s acoustic guitars mixed in, great bass and driving rhythm, and is a tilt of the hat to the working class man which is repeated again later with Walking The Steel. This respect and appreciation for the legacy of generations past, whether in their hard work in nation building industries or in exploits on the battlefield has also been a consistent theme in Saxon’s songs over the decades and has helped to maintain their link and popularity with the common man. Of the two songs though, Made In Belfast is better than Walking The Steel in my opinion.

Previously with songs like Backs To The Wall and Never Surrender Saxon have told us to hang in there, tough it out, stand your ground and fight back, to refuse to submit, be down trodden, put down or defeated. That Saxon theme shines through again in Stand Up And Fight which is another song I quite like. Driving cars and riding motor cycles is another theme which has been present over the years right from their very first albums in songs such as Stallions Of The Highway and Motorcycle Man, and this album is no exception with Warriors Of The Road. A straight forward, faster paced rocker about Formula 1 racing (hear the commentary announcing the arrival of Ayrton Senna in the pre-guitar solo bit). I quite like this one too.
A song that won’t win the Nobel prize for literature for its lyrics is Night Of The Wolf, a rather simple warning to beware werewolves (that’s if you ever go “far beyond the forest in a land of ice and snow” wherever that may be?), but I can’t help but like the melody of this one. However, my favorite song of the whole album though is Guardians Of The Tomb which I think showcases Saxon at their best. Biff is a master of writing lyrics that tell stories from history and this is another great example but it also has the perfect blend of aggressive riffs, melodic guitar solos, a couple of change-ups in pace, and a melodic chorus the likes of which has brought me much listening pleasure in Saxon songs for many, many years and is why I like this band so much.

On the down side there are a couple of songs which although aren’t terrible by any means, don’t really do much for me, those being Walking The Steel and Standing In A Queue. The latter is ok musically but pretty boring lyrically. I’m usually not too fussed by lyrics unless they’re pretty bad, but I just find this tale (no doubt based on personal experience) a bit boring to listen to, even if I can relate to it. I haven’t mentioned Wheels Of Terror, so note that while it isn’t a favourite it isn’t too bad with some cool guitar riffing in it.

For some unknown reason Saxon decided that they would only release one song from the album in digital format which is quite irritating, especially when I shelled out the extra dosh to get the digi-pack book version (and very nice too I might add) with a bonus 5 track CD. So I had to buy it on iTunes, but I think I deserved to get that extra track on the CD thanks very much Saxon! Called Luck Of The Draw it’s not a bad song, a straight forward rocker that fits in well with the rest of the album and is far better to finish with than Standing In A Queue.

The bonus disc has a couple of re-recorded songs in Forever Free and Just Let Me Rock, an orchestrated version of Crusader and acoustic versions of Requeim (the original is one of my all time Saxon faves) and Frozen Rainbow. I like these acoustic songs the best, and it’s a good bonus disc which makes for a great package over all.

To sum up Saxon’s latest, I like it better than most of their albums of the 2000’s, but just a little less than 2011’s Call To Arms. However they’re one of my favourite bands and they are always consistent.

Favourite Tracks:
Guardians Of The Tomb, Warriors Of The Road, Stand Up And Fight, Night Of The Wolf, Sacrifice
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Call to Arms
Call to Arms by Saxon (Audio CD - 2011)

Into The Labyrinth
Into The Labyrinth by Saxon (Audio CD - 2009)

Sacrifice
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