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Saxon, the venerable British heavy metal titans, have proudly unfurled their latest sonic epic, "Hell, Fire And Damnation," on January 19th, 2024.

With the internationally-renowned actor Brian Blessed OBE lending his commanding voice to the proclamation of the opening track, "The Prophecy," the bar is set sky-high from the outset.

But fear not, for Saxon not only meets but exceeds these lofty expectations on their 24th studio release, delivering a superlative British Heavy Metal classic that straddles the line between confident contemporary power and a glorious, irreverent flexing of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal muscle they helped forge.

Confidence oozes from every note and lyric. Biff Byford, the indomitable frontman, serves up some of his most robust vocals in years, while Nigel Glockler and Nibbs Carter lay down the rhythmic law with thunderous power on drums and bass. The guitar tandem of Doug Scarratt and Brian Tatler ignites the album with fresh and fiery fretwork, a perfect complement to each other. Their collective energy and fury are bound to leave fans salivating for more.

Lyrically, Byford embarks on a captivating journey through history and mystery, weaving tales of Marie Antoinette, Kubla Khan, the Battle of Hastings, the Salem witch trials, and the timeless battle between good and evil on the title track. Musically, Saxon pulls out all the stops. "Fire And Steel" pays a furious tribute to the very essence of heavy metal, adorned in denim and leather. "Pirates Of The Airwaves" lovingly nods to the birth of NWOBHM with an electric mid-pace anthem. Yet, the true gem among these treasures is "There's Something In Roswell," a sprawling masterpiece with a groove that deserves to reverberate within massive arenas.

To top it all off, the album benefits from stellar production, courtesy of Biff Byford and Andy Sneap (who also handled the mixing and mastering duties). This collaboration yields Saxon's most definitive statement in years, a testament to their enduring power and prowess in the world of heavy metal.

In sum, "Hell, Fire And Damnation" is a glorious addition to Saxon's storied discography, a testament to their unwavering commitment to the genre they helped shape. It's an album that not only pays homage to their NWOBHM roots but also blazes forward with an undying, fiery spirit. Whether you're a longtime Saxon devotee or a newcomer to their sonic realm, this release promises to ignite your passion for true heavy metal.

Recommended Track: "There's Something In Roswell" – A sprawling masterpiece that demands your attention with its infectious groove and arena-sized presence.

Note: This review is based on the 1xCD Digipak edition of the album.


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