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   SAXON
Lionheart
2004
SPV
http://www.saxon747.com


rating: 5/5

1. Witchfinder General
2. Man And Machine
3. The Return
4. Lionheart
5. Beyond The Grave
6. Justice
7. To Live By The Sword
8. Jack Tars
9. English Man'O'War
10. Searching For Atlantis
11. Flying On The Edge

Saxon are back!!! After the 2002 best-of reocrd "Heavy Metal Thunder" where they re-recorded 13 classic songs, now they return with new stuff: "Lionheart"! But something has changed: Jörg Michael replaced Fritz Randow behind the drumkit, but it can't be said if he will be a full member of Saxon because they want to wait and see what will happen to the Finnish melodic-elks Stratovarius. The rest of the band stayed the same and they are in great shape; especially frontman Biff Byford! And what does one or another booklet say?!? "For best results play at maximum volume!". Well, my neighbours wouldn't like maximum but I turn it up a bit ;-)

The CD starts off with a real headbanger, "Witchfinder General" which also comes along with aggressive riffing und pounding drums. The next one is a typical Saxon-song that can really become a classic song someday: "Man And Machine". "The Return" is the intro/prelude to the titletrack "Lionheart", another great number where the audience really gets a shiver! Next one, "Beyond The Grave", begins with a quiet guitar-intro but gets heavier soon, a great riff is played there! The complete song is in the midtempo-section and it intercedes a dark atmosphere, just like the upcoming guitar-solo. "Justice" convinces through fast, almost thrashy guitars by Mr. Paul Quinn and Mr. Doug Scarratt. During the chorus, Biff can show what a singer needs to survive more than 25 years in this business. Another fast track is "To Live By The Sword" where not just the rhythm section (Nibbs Carter, bass-guitar, and Jörg Michael) is doing a great job! The storyline of "Jack Tars" reminds a bit of Running Wild, but it is just a prelude to "English Man'O'War". Another typical Saxon-song, and it is so unbelievable how the guys can write that riffing, bridge and chorus in a row, almost magic!!! "Searching For Atlantis" is another slower song, generates a thoughtful atmosphere. At the end there's another classical song, "Flying On The Edge". The song is about the Rock Hard festival 2003 where the band almost missed their gig due to bad weather.

The record is produced by Charlie Bauerfeind together with Biff Byford and the production is really good; clear and full of blow-away sounds, but also the typical Saxon-sound is not getting lost!
During the current tour you can hear almost all of these songs live on stage, seeing Saxon live is never wasted time nor money!!!

submitted by Paddy 16.10.2004

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