Although they have never released a bad album, the British did not make me go excited with their releases over the last ten years. I consider “Unleash the Beast”, released in 1997, as their last very good project.
I think that “Call To Arms” is their best album from that date onwards. It surely is a typical Saxon album, featuring their characteristic sound, mostly written in a mid tempo form. The point where it supersedes its predecessors could easily be some compositions, which could be included in “Innocence Is No Excuse” or “Destiny”, almost twenty years ago, during the melodic Saxon eras. I’m referring to “Surviving Against The Odds” and “Mists Of Avalon” mainly, even “Chasing The Bullet”, a song written to be performed live. Without experimentations, or sloppy production, “Call To Arms” features a crystal clear sound, excellent flow and, most of all, good songs; I’m more than satisfied even though “Back In 79” is a really boring song, even though “When Doomsday Comes” reminds me of “Perfect Strangers”… The album finale though, with “Ballad Of The Working Man”, is the one leaving us with the best picture, at the end of the day. The title track orchestral version is the album bonus track.
There is a second c.d. over the digipack version, featuring a big portion of the band’s appearance over “Monsters Of Rock” in Donington, 1980. (What is up with everybody and Donington lately?)
A mighty good release by the Metal veterans, who refuse to take a break.