Customer Review

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Saxon's second wind, July 30, 2007
This review is from: Inner Sanctum (Bonus Dvd) (Audio CD)
It's funny, but Saxon, despite being active for the better part of the last three decades seems to really have hit their stride in recent years. The band's glory days may be long behind them, and their lineup shattered, but with their last few albums (2001's Killing Ground, 2004's Lionheart, and now 2007's the Inner Sanctum), Saxon has reached a musical peak not seen since their benchmark New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) albums.

It's refreshing to see a veteran band that isn't content to rest on their laurels and deliver the same stale albums over and over again. Saxon is rocking with all the energy of a much younger band, and that energy is the driving force behind albums like the Inner Sanctum. This is a tight, professional album that recalls both the seminal NWOBHM movement as well as today's more refined power metal sound. Driving anthems like "Need for Speed" and "I've Got to Rock (To Stay Alive)" would not have been out of place on Wheels of Steel or Denim and Leather, and epic tracks "Red Star Falling" and "Attila the Hun" are worthy of NWOBHM peers Iron Maiden.

Anyone who may have written Saxon off in the 90's would do well to pay attention to what the band has been up to recently. Call it a metal revival, or maybe just the band's second wind. Whatever it is, the result is a string of fantastic metal albums that no classic metal fan should be without.

NOTE: There are a couple of different versions of the Inner Sanctum. The European version features a radio edit of the song "If I Was You" as a bonus track, while the US version comes with a bonus DVD that features outtakes, live material and other behind the scenes footage. Given its lower price tag, the US version is probably the way to go.
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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 18, 2007 11:20:01 AM PST
JP says:
Getting this on your recommendation. They are another band that I was into in the early 80s but gave up on after they turned "poser".

I think "The Eagle has landed" is one of the better live albums from the period and I saw them once with Rainbow and Krokus.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2007 12:14:13 PM PST
Justin G. says:
I hope you like it. I love the Wheels of Steel sound, and I hear a lot of that in their last few albums.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 22, 2008 1:51:12 PM PDT
They did go Poser, and I gave up on them as well when they did pap like "innocence is no excuse". You could play the 33 on 45 and it would still sound slow and uninspired. But I took the recommendation and gave this one a try. What is this the sound of? "Bwhahooom!!! Shikasheesh Kablash!" That is the sound of all their previous work being blown out of the water. These guys are more back than back. This is more intense than anything I've heard from these guys, and yes, I did buy the classics when they were released in the 80s. It's time to give them another try.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 22, 2008 2:14:56 PM PDT
Justin G. says:
Ha! I'm glad you enjoyed this one. Lionheart is another recent fave.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2008 3:53:36 PM PST
This is a very nice review of one of Saxon's MANY fantastic albums.

One thing though. Saxon never went "poser." If you're referring to the late 80s early 90s material that resembled the music of the hair bands, that was some of their best work in my opinion. When Saxon adopted a little of the glam metal style, their music only gained more melody (which makes music good, duh), while still remaining metal. They made some fantastic ballads in the late 80s too. It's outrageous that great Saxon albums like Innocence Is No Excuse and Destiny are currently out of print.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2008 4:43:46 PM PST
Justin G. says:
Good point. One fan's poser album is another's favorite. Personally, I have yet to hear what I'd consider a bad Saxon album.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2008 9:32:13 AM PST
Hoagie Mike says:
Right, I mean Saxon just had a few albums in the mid-late 80's where they were a little more commercial, more pop-metal. Like lots of other bands from that era...remember "Turbo" from Judas Priest-? ?!
Still metal. Sure they had a few duds on those records, but so what? They never went "poser" or wimped out too bad.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2008 11:59:25 AM PST
Justin G. says:
I actually love Turbo. I really don't get why so many Priest fans seem to hate it. I'll take that album over the very predictable (but still good) Painkiller any day.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2009 4:18:04 AM PST
I remember "Turbo" all right. That was also a disappointment to me, since even the non-synth tracks were weak, like "Parental Guidance". Maiden did the same thing with the synths, but "Somewhere in Time" was actually quite interesting and enjoyable. Maybe I'll dust off my LP collection and give "Innocence" another spin...

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2009 4:22:41 AM PST
Saxon's debut album was slow and melodic, but it still made you want to listen, so I know Saxon can do great melodic stuff. Remember "Crusader?" That was Saxon doing excellent melodic music, and on the same album you had "Sailing to America" which sounded like a supergroup comprising members of Rush, Night Ranger, and Saxon. Also on "Crusader" you had thrashers like Saxon's cover of Sweet's "Set Me Free" and "Bad Boys Like To Rock And Roll" with the infamous opening line: "Step right up and ring the bell, this carousel goes straight to Hell!"
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Justin G.
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Location: Northern Virginia

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