For this latest edition of Rock Pile Kevin Wierzbicki tells about some exciting new rock album releases including classic metal legends Saxon's latest studio album Sacrifice and Queen V's The Decade of Queen V.
The Medieval-sounding instrumental "Procession" opens the record, appropriately enough leading into "Sacrifice," a chilling rocker that is about exactly what you would think.
"Guardians of the Tomb" also has ritual and mysticism as its theme but the boys turn to more earthly subjects for "Made in Belfast," an ode to Irish shipbuilders that, while as heavy as the steel being sung about, also has a neat bit of Celtic guitar inserted into the melody.
Touring is something this long-running Brit band knows all about and they celebrate their longevity on "Warriors of the Road," a speedy number that sounds like a mash-up of Motorhead and Judas Priest.
"Wheels of Terror" takes life on the road to another dimension all together and it's a good thing the words are metaphorical; lyrics equate the group to a band of ruthless marauders who will leave your town and every other in ruins.
Then again, musically Saxon has been doing just that for a long time and with Sacrifice they show no signs of slowing down. An included bonus disc features re-recorded or acoustic versions of five tunes including favorites "Just Let Me Rock" and "Frozen Rainbow."
The Decade of Queen V
Queen V has been rocking Manhattan for a good ten years but as this album's title insinuates, it's time for Queen V to rule over the rest of the country as well. And The Decade of Queen V is just the royal edict needed to reach that goal; V even addresses the situation directly with the words "Can you hear me America?" in radio-ready castle-stormer "America."
Not unlike the best Heart albums, The Decade of Queen V alternates hard rocking numbers with sensitive numbers, but even the quieter songs like "Good Enough" have a heavy element to them.
Fans of female rockers like Pat Benatar, Heart and Lita Ford will quickly submit to being a loyal subject of Queen V.