By Dark Starr

The latest from Saxon delivers some decent metal riffing but is far removed from their early stuff. For my tastes, this disc is a tough one to get through. It's not that it doesn't does. It's just that there aren't enough hooks or catchy riffs to really grab the listener. In my case, it nearly bored me to sleep several times when I tried to sit through it. There's not enough hear to engage and grab the brain with these tunes. Too often it seemed like they put this little guitar bit here, tossed in some vocals and tried to throw a section on top for the heck of it. It's kind of like a cross between musical masturbation and cut and paste songwriting. At its best, it feels like Saxon doing Iron Maiden. Songs like "Made In Belfast" and "Wheels of Terror" tend to work best because they feel more like real songs and they have enough meat to grab the listener. Frankly, I've been a fan of Saxon since the early days and I really wanted to like this. Unfortunately, it just feels like something released in a half assed way just to get a record out. Sure, it's better than a lot of bands but one expects more from Saxon. I'm definitely disappointed by this thing. This is a case where it's probably better to grab a few legal downloads of the best songs and ignore the album as a whole.