Saxon - The Inner Sanctum
Heavy Metal
10 songs (44:34)
Release year: 2007
Saxon, Steamhammer/SPV
Reviewed by Jeff
Album of the month

Red Alert! Sound off the Jericho Siren! The Dogs of War are finally back! Saxon continue to show that they Can't Stop Rockin with their latest release, The Inner Sanctum. After all these Hungry Years, the Battle Cry that Saxon first shouted way back in 1979 can still be heard as they continue to Rock The Nations. On The Inner Sanctum, there is no holds barred. They come out with All Guns Blazing and Raise Some Hell. From the first track until the last, Saxon deliver a barrage of Heavy Metal Thunder that is sure to get you Rockin' Again!

The one element that really brings a renewed energy to this album is the drum work of Nigel Glockler. He hasn't been in the band since the Unleash The Beast album, almost ten years! His return to the band is a welcomed one and he is truly the driving force on all the songs. Check out State of Grace. There's a good mix of galloping bass drum kicks and straight on power drumming along with some serious drum quad rolls. Need for Speed and Let Me Feel Your Power are two very upbeat tracks that include some pummelling double bass drum patterns. This is some of Glockler's best drum work to date. His drumming technique has come a long way since the Saxon albums from the 80's era.

With regards to the vocals, Biff Byford can still carry a tune despite some of the wear and tear that his voice has suffered from throughout the years. I can respect the fact that Byford is still a force to be reckoned with vocally. I like that he still tries to sing in ranges that most vocalists at his age wouldn't dare. Listen to songs like Attila The Hun, Need For Speed, Nowhere Fast and Let Me Feel Your Power. Biff still maintains a good vocal vibrato with alot of power and a touch of raspiness.

Once again, Saxon excels in the guitar department. There are plenty of killer guitar riffs and power chords throughout the album. The lead guitar work is phenomenal and puts the icing on the cake. At times the guitar playing reflects more of a power metal style; songs like Need for Speed and Let Me Feel Your Power sound similar to those on albums like Unleash The Beast, Lionheart or even Metalhead. At other times, they bring back a classic NWOBHM rock sound. Tracks such as Nowhere Fast and I've Got To Rock (To Stay Alive) are reminiscent of ones found on albums like Strong Arm of the Law, Crusader or even Denim and Leather. The guitar tone is very dominant and sticks out like a sore thumb. The dual axe attack of Paul Quinn and Doug Scarratt continue to deliver a standard of excellence that rates up there with other dueling guitar great teams like Glenn Tipton/K.K. Downing of Judas Priest and Dave Murray/Janick Gers of Iron Maiden. Nibbs Carter's bass lines help provide a nice solid bottom end sound for guitars and vocals, keeping in sync with most of the drum patterns. The overall production on The Inner Sanctum is fantastic and very crankable for any audio system!

Don't Worry fellow listeners! On The Inner Sanctum, Saxon prove they have not lost the Midas Touch on their music! Like Travelers In Time, they continue to deliver The Power and the Glory of Saxon sounds and styles both past and present. I Just Can't Get Enough of the release! I truly feel this is their best album within the last fifteen years. It's an album that no Metalhead should be without!

Killing Songs :
Need For Speed, Attila The Hun, Let Me Feel Your Power, I've Got To Rock (To Stay Alive), State of Grace
Jeff quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Saxon that we have reviewed:
Saxon - Call To Arms reviewed by Erik and quoted 88 / 100
Saxon - Into The Labyrinth reviewed by Marty and quoted 87 / 100
Saxon - The Eagle Has Landed III (LIVE) reviewed by Jeff and quoted no quote
Saxon - Lionheart reviewed by Mike and quoted 90 / 100
Saxon - Heavy Metal Thunder reviewed by Danny and quoted no quote
To see all 9 reviews click here
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