Saxon - Thunderbolt

by Kevin Wierzbicki

This veteran English metal band will be on tour in North America for much of the spring, including lots of dates where they'll be the support act on the Judas Priest tour. Speaking of touring, one of the album's standout tracks is "They Played Rock and Roll," a speedy Motorhead-like cut that is in fact a tribute to Motorhead and a look back at the first-ever Saxon tour, a 1979 jaunt where the band shared the stage with Lemmy and the boys. The album opens with the brief instrumental "Olympus Rising," and somewhat akin to walk-out music for a concert, the cut gives listeners a chance to take a deep breath before the real action starts with "Thunderbolt" where vocalist Biff Byford sings about the heavens crying while the rest of the band whips up the appropriate heavy metal storm. Mythology is a favorite subject here with "The Secret of Flight" referencing Icarus, the eerily-tinged "Nosferatu (The Vampire's Waltz)" paying homage to the Dracula-inspired bloodsucker while other imaginative stories play out on "A Wizard's Tale" and "Sons of Odin" where Dio fans will hear the guitars of Paul Quinn and Doug Scarratt momentarily channeling the riff from "Holy Diver." Saxon celebrated their 40th anniversary last year and fans have long taken it for granted that the band produces fun and quality music every time out, and Thunderbolt is no exception. Heavy-hitting but always melodic, this new album finds Saxon in the perfect mindset to keep conquering as they enter their fifth decade of service.

Get the album (streaming, CD, mp3, vinyl and cassette) here

Saxon - Thunderbolt

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