Saxon -Inspirations (2021)

Reviewed by: Chris Hammond (Digital download)

Saxon- Inspirations (2021)
Label: Silver Lining Music
Style: Heavy Metal

Current Band Members:
Peter “Biff” Byford (vocals), Paul Quinn & Doug Scarratt (guitars), Nibbs Carter (bass) & Nigel Glockler (drums)

Tracklisting

  1. Paint It Black
  2. Immigrant Song
  3. Paperback Writer
  4. Evil Woman
  5. Stone Free
  6. Bomber
  7. Speed King
  8. The Rocker
  9. Hold The Line
  10. Problem Child
  11. See My Friends

Saxon is a Heavy Metal band that has been touring and recording since 1977. They’ve been actively putting out music and been embraced by Europe and Japan. Personally, I saw them on tour with Judas Priest a couple years back and they sounded better than ever. So many bands have cited them as an influence on their musical styles, now Saxon pays tribute to the songs and bands that inspire them. The new album Inspirations is chalk full of different cover songs from bands that helped pave the Saxon way.

Inspirations were recorded at Brockfield Hall near York in the UK, which was built in 1804 and holds the largest collection of paintings by Yorkshire’s impressionist artists – the Staithes Group. For Byford, recording Inspirations all together within such a rich historical environment was a major ingredient of the project. “The warmth and feel of Inspirations had so much to do with being together in this magnificent place and doing it ‘old-school’ style,” Byford explains. “This is how many bands back in the day -including some of the ones covered here- made such great albums, so it just felt really good to be able to do this somewhere like Brockfield Hall.” The results speak for themselves. –Saxon Official Website

Saxon’s Inspirations album may not be new material, but that doesn’t stop the band from rocking hard and enjoying the songs which they cover here. The album starts off with a stellar version of The Rolling Stones “Paint it, Black”. Next up is Led Zepplin’s “Immigrant Song”. Biff hits some high notes here vocally that Robert Plant would be proud of. Musically the band covers the tempo and pace perfectly.

Saxon switches it up musically and Cover The Beatles’ “Paperback Writer” This is a great fit as musically it’s a fast tempo song and Biff can show off more of his vocal range, which only seems to get better with age. The next song up is “Evil Woman” which was originally recorded by the band Crow. Later Black Sabbath covered this in 1970 and released it in England as their first single. This song again shows the diversity which Saxon has musically.

Inspirations is a raw unfiltered and fun take on classic songs through the lens of Saxon. Maintaining the old school feel the band uses Marshall cabs, Marshall amps, real drums. This is evident in songs like Motörhead’s ‘Bomber’ (with an added whistle!), AC/DC’s ‘Problem Child’and Deep Purple’s ‘Speed King’.

Inspirations is for fans of Saxon and the songs covered. Each song is pretty close to the original release but with a Saxon feel. The album is a 30+ minute romp through musical classics, turn it up and get in the groove.

Rating 4.6 out of 5 Biffs
Release Date March 19, 2021
Saxon’s Official Website


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