Review by : Chris Hammond
Saxon- Carpe Diem (2022)
Label: Silver Lining Music
Style: Heavy Metal,NWOBHM
Current Band Members:
Peter “Biff” Byford (vocals), Paul Quinn & Doug Scarratt (guitars), Nibbs Carter (bass) & Nigel Glockler (drums)
1/Carpe Diem (Seize the Day)
2/Age of Steam
5/Remember the Fallen
7/Lady in Gray
8/All for One
9/Black Is the Night
10/Living on the Limit
Saxon returns with Carpe Diem (2022), this ten-track release takes the band through well-written lyrics, music while keeping them the leaders of NWOBHM. Byford’s vocals are stronger than ever, this is an achievement on its own as this album (Carpe Diem) is their 22-studio album.
Last year saw the band release Inspirations (a collection of cover songs). This is what the Saxon website posted in regards to that release.
“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
Back to Carpe Diem, this album starts off with the soon-to-be classic song “Carpe Diem”. Lyrically this thing is a beast and oozes heavy metal from start to finish. Musically this one hits hard, fast and never lets up. Guitar work on the solos makes the metal gods gitty. This song leads right into another banger with “Age of Steam”. This one definitely defines the Saxon sound, it’s heavy, hard, full of thunderous guitar solos and Biffy’s signature vocals.
One thing that Saxon continues to do so well is set up a visual picture with the powerful music they unleash on us. This continues tenfold with songs like “The Pilgrimage”, “Lady In Gray”. Then, they hit us with fast uptempo heavy hitters like “Dambusters”, “Super Nova”, and the gritty beast entitled “All for One”. These songs show that just because you get older, doesn’t mean you slow down. Killer guitar work on these ones especially.
The song “Black is the Night” gives listeners the marching orders into one of the darkest songs lyrically and musically from Saxon in years. “The lyrics show us the darkness and send us on our way –
“The Sun is gone, there’s only night, 24 hours a day, black, black is the night”
Saxon never ever disappoints, and to still be releasing quality albums 40+ years into their musical career shows why these guys live and breathe metal. People often leave Saxon out of the conversation when it comes to bands that know their talent and live within it, but for those in the know, we never overlook the might Saxon and neither should you.
Rating: 5 out of 5 KILLER SHREDDING SOLOS
Carpe Diem is out now on in stores and online here