Album Review: Saxon - Hell, Fire and Damnation

Album Review: Saxon - Hell, Fire and Damnation

Saxon's 24th studio album Hell, Fire and Damnation will be released on January 19th 2024 via Silver Lining Music Ltd

Fast approaching their 50th anniversary and the imminent release of their 24th studio album Hell, Fire and Damnation, Saxon were amongst the leading pioneers of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement who were responsible for putting the genre on the international map in a blaze of glory. Almost 50 years on and the legends are continuing to charge through the fiery gates of Heavy Metal with their raw, no-nonsense style.

Photo Credit: Ned Wakeman

Internationally-renowned actor Brian Blessed OBE delivers a booming proclamation for opening track, 'The Prophecy', bringing forth an air of pure 80s-style Heavy Metal flair and sheer diabolical power. The title track then roars in to life with crushing attitude and Byford's crisp, commanding vocals. A chant-worthy, ridiculously catchy track embodying the very denim and leather-clad soul of Heavy Metal itself. The groove-laden mid tempo stomp that is 'Madame Guillotine' tells the story of Marie Antoinette's execution during the French Revolution. Somber, soaring guitar solos greet you at the midway point setting a gorgeously melancholic scene before picking up the tempo once more.

'Fire and Steel' is a straight-up homage to 80s heavy metal. Loud, proud and in your face with riffs and solos flying everywhere. 'There's Something in Roswell' continues the mysterious, story-telling theme the band are known for; creating a vivid scene with out of this world guitar tones and addictive rhythm. 'Kubla Khan and the Merchant of Venice' has a very distinct Iron Maiden element and influence with an incredible rhythm section and stellar guitarwork. 'Pirates of the Airwaves' takes a swing back to the 80s once more and it also features another brief cameo appearance from the ever omnipresent Brian Blessed with his distant yet booming yells of "Saxon's Alive!"

Photo Credit: Ned Wakeman

Back to the energetic storytelling with "1066" which tells the tale of the infamous Battle of Hastings accompanied by intricately wonderful guitarwork and commanding energy guaranteed to get the crowd moving. Byford's powerful vocals are especially well showcased here as he recounts the historical battle. 'Witches of Salem' has a blues-style edge to it accompanied by another mid-tempo stomp that hits hard repeatedly. Finally, the record's closer 'Super Charger' is aptly named and does exactly as it is intended to do. A triumphant air of superiority as it gallops forward with intense ferocity and devastating attitude. This track closes the record with all the sheer force and crushing atmosphere as it began with.

It's clear that Saxon still has what it takes to smack you square in the face with pure Heavy Metal epic-ness and they have no plans to back down. They are about to take the world by storm once again both with the release of Fire, Hell and Damnation and their extensive touring schedule with Judas Priest and Uriah Deep. With 24 studio albums under their belt, Saxon are the ultimate masters of their craft and their latest offering is stoking the flames of Heavy Metal and keeping it very much alive.

Rating: 8/10
Release Date: January 19th 2024
Released By: Silver Lining Music Ltd
FFO: Judas Priest, Diamond Head, Iron Maiden


01 - The Prophecy
02 - Hell, Fire and Damnation
03 - Madame Guillotine
04 - Fire and Steel
05 - There's Something in Roswell
06 - Kubla Khan and the Merchant of Venice          
07 - Pirates of the Airwaves    
08 - 1066
09 - Witches of Salem
10 - Super Charger

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