Saxon’s Classic Albums Revisited – A Journey Through Heavy Metal History
I’ve been filling the gaps in my Saxon collection, particularly focusing on their work from 1991 to 2009 – a period often overshadowed by the hustle of the ’90s and early 2000s. BMG has done a fantastic job remastering and repackaging these albums, and I’m here to share my thoughts on each of these reissues.
1. Solid Ball of Rock (1991)
This album kicks off our journey with its polished sound and strong sales history. The gatefold sleeve and booklet, complete with lyrics and photos, add a nice touch to this classic.
2. Forever Free (1992)
Continuing with ‘Forever Free’, the album artwork is nostalgically replicated in the gatefold design. The booklet is a treasure trove of photos and lyrics from that era.
3. Unleash the Beast (1997)
‘Unleash the Beast’ stands out with its striking cover of Biff Byford. The album is packed with hits like ‘Terminal Velocity’ and ‘Absent Friends’, making it a fan favorite.
4. Killing Ground (2001)
A personal highlight for me, ‘Killing Ground’ features an incredible metal rendition of King Crimson’s ‘Court Of The Crimson King’. The album’s production quality truly brings out the best in each track.
5. The Inner Sanctum (2007)
This album showcases a more sophisticated side of Saxon, with a bit more keyboard layering. The sound quality is exceptional, making it a standout in their discography.
6. Into The Labyrinth (2009)
Ending our journey with ‘Into The Labyrinth’, this album includes a booklet and a sophisticated sound, marking a strong finish to this series of reissues.
While each album has its unique charm, ‘Unleash the Beast’ and ‘Killing Ground’ are my top picks. If I had to choose just one, ‘Killing Ground’ would be it, primarily for its bold take on a classic King Crimson track.
The Saxon reissues by BMG are a fantastic set for any heavy metal enthusiast. Each album comes with extensive booklets featuring Biff’s commentary, enriching the listening experience. I recommend streaming them first to find your favorites.
Exploring these Saxon albums has been a journey through a pivotal era in heavy metal history. These reissues not only revive the classics but also highlight the evolution of a band that has significantly contributed to the genre. Whether you’re a long-time fan or new to Saxon’s music, these albums are worth exploring for their rich musicality and historical significance.
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Phil Aston | Now Spinning Magazine