The true legends of British metal, SAXON, have just unleashed their no less than 20th album upon Europe and the U.K. (March 1st – March 4th, 2013) through the home of true legends, UDR. ‘Sacrifice’, recorded at LS Studios in Yorkshire, England and produced by vocalist Biff Byford and Andy Sneap, with mixing and engineering done by Jacky Lehmann, will be distributed in North America through UDR/EMI, starting March 26th, 2013. Beside the new material, some unique recordings of revisited classic tracks also produced by Byford and mastered by Andy Sneap, including an orchestrated version of ‘Crusader’ and an acoustic version of ‘Frozen Rainbow’, have been added to certain album formats. So, show due respect and buy ‘Sacrifice’ from here (UDR store):
“Less tricks, more power,” [reportedly roared SAXON frontman and founding father Biff Byford] “My brief to the band was to be raw, be real and not be afraid to look back at the old classic material for inspiration. From the songs to the production, I wanted to focus on the raw aspects which made us great in the first place. And living in that rawness, combined with some great classic SAXON-songwriting, has in my opinion made SAXON fresher than ever.”
Formed in 1976 in South Yorkshire, England, the front-runners of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, SAXON, have since recorded twenty albums and have sold more than 15 million albums worldwide. The original lineup, namely vocalist Peter “Byff” Byford, guitarists Graham Oliver and Paul Queen, bassist Steve Dawson and drummer Pete Gill, released the band's eponymous album in 1979 and ‘Wheels Of Steel’ in 1980. Due to damaged hand, drummer Gill dropped out and was replaced with Nigel Glockler, featured on the band's first live album, 1982's ‘The Eagle Has Landed’, regarded as one of the metal's great live albums until today. Coincidentally, as the NWOBHM movement began its decline, SAXON issued their highest selling album to date, 1983's ‘Power & The Glory’. Moving from French label Carrere Records to EMI Records, the band recorded ‘Crusader’ which, issued in 1984, sold over two million copies worldwide. But, according to Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic, “their next album, [1985's] ‘Innocence Is No Excuse’, would only lead to greater extremes of personality disorder and leave the group's fan base confused and utterly divided” (more here). First cracks appeared in the lineup as well, as SAXON lost their bassist Steve Dawson prior to recording their eight album, 1986's ‘Rock The Nations’. Bassist Paul Johnson, with whom the band recorded 1988's ‘Destiny’, was later replaced by Nibbs Carter. Dropped by EMI, SAXON issued their tenth longplayer, 1991's ‘Solid Ball Of Rock’ through Virgin Records:
“Clearly, having almost permed and peroxided themselves into a hair metal fate worse than death, the bandmembers finally accepted the fact that they were both too old and too ugly to compete with the L.A. pretty boys, and thus wisely returned to their more honest and, well, heavier, British metal values, embracing them as the only viable way forward. Good choice,” [approved Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – more here]
In 1995, SAXON released ‘Dogs Of War’, and the first album recorded with guitarist Doug Scarratt came soon after in form of double live album ‘The Eagle Has Landed – Part II’. 1997's ‘Unleash The Beast’ was followed by 1999's ‘Metalhead’ and ‘2002's ‘Killing Ground’, both recorded with drummer Fritz Randow; the latter was also SAXON's debut for SPV/Steamhammer which next issued the band's greatest hits album, ‘Heavy Metal Thunder’. SAXON's sixteen album, ‘2004's ‘Lionheart’, was recorded with drummer Jörg Michael, while 2007's ‘The Inner Sanctum’ welcomed Nigel Glockler back behind the drum kit. In 2009, SAXON celebrated their 31st anniversary with ‘Into The Labyrinth’, as their nineteenth studio album and UDR debut, 2011's ‘Call To Arms’, debuted at number 6 on the U.K. Rock Albums chart.
SAXON features: Biff Byford – vocals, Paul Quinn – guitar, Doug Scarratt – guitar, Nibbs Carter – bass and Nigel Glockler – drums