As every metalhead knows well for ages Saxon is a band guaranteed for a good time, either we are talking about a live show, or an album, since on both cases they don’t leave anyone unhappy. Their twenty first album couldn’t have been an exception to that rule.
Since the summer, when the video for the title-track was released the fan started to get excited and their enthusiasm is absolutely justifiable listening to the entire album. It kicks off strong with “Battering Ram” and “The Devil’s Footprint” that are already classics. “Queen Of Hearts” is one of their mid tempo songs that have always a distinct position in Saxon’s arsenal, with a staccato riff and chorus. Even on a typical fast song like “Stand Your Ground” there is a slow break in the middle with keyboards that shows us that even now in their 60s this band never stops pushing the envelope even further.
The absolute highlights of “Battering Ram” are “Top Of The World” that opens with a manic riff to transform into something a bit faster than mid tempo with a beautiful fluid solo by Paul Quinn, the slower stadium-anthem “To The End” that was built to raise lighters into the air, as well as “Kingdom Of The Cross” where lies the originality of the album, since the song (a Nigel Glocker idea) features Hell’s David Bower reading a poem accompanied by Biff’s singing in a chilling atmosphere.
Guitar work is truly amazing with Paul Quinn and Doug Scaratt always at the top of their game, especially on “Destroyer” that gives you the impression that it was tailor made for them to shred like crazy. Plus, Biff is once again in great shape with his trademark grain and he even screams when necessary.
My only important question after listening to the album is when are they coming back to play live?