Saxon, a band that has long been a cornerstone of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, returns with their 24th studio album, “Hell, Fire and Damnation.” Released on January 19th, 2024, this album marks a significant chapter in the band’s enduring legacy and is certainly their best since the 1980s. Known for their influential role in shaping the heavy metal landscape since the late 1970s, Saxon has consistently produced music that resonates with both die-hard metal fans and newcomers alike.
“Hell, Fire and Damnation” arrives as a testament to the band’s ability to evolve while staying true to their roots. The album opens with the track “The Prophecy,” which features the distinctive voice of Brian Blessed, setting a dramatic and captivating tone. This opener is not just a song but a statement, heralding the band’s unwavering presence in the genre.
Following this powerful introduction, the title track, “Hell, Fire and Damnation,” unfolds as a showcase of what Saxon does best: combining hard-hitting riffs with melodic guitar solos, creating a sound that is unmistakably theirs. This song sets the stage for an album that balances the band’s classic heavy metal style with fresh elements, ensuring its appeal to a broad audience.
“Madame Guillotine” introduces a bluesy touch, slowing the pace and adding depth to the album’s sound profile. It’s a track that demonstrates the band’s versatility and willingness to explore different musical territories while staying anchored in their heavy metal roots.
“Fire and Steel” is a high-energy homage to the band’s 80s era, packed with roaring riffs and solos that encapsulate the spirit of that time. This song, in particular, is likely to resonate with long-time fans, serving as a bridge between the band’s storied past and its present.
The narrative-driven “There’s Something In Roswell” and “Kubla Khan and The Merchant of Venice” showcase Saxon’s knack for storytelling, blending historical and mystical themes with their signature sound. These tracks not only entertain but also enrich the album with layers of meaning and context.
“Pirates of the Airwaves” offers a nostalgic look back, with another cameo from Brian Blessed. This track, alongside others like “1066” and “Witches of Salem,” reflects the band’s ability to weave historical narratives into their music, a trait that has endeared them to fans over the decades.
“Hell, Fire and Damnation” is not just another album in Saxon’s discography, there’s something special about it. It’s a vibrant, multifaceted work that speaks to the band’s enduring relevance in heavy metal. Through this album, Saxon continues to demonstrate their mastery in creating music that is both reflective of their rich history and forward-looking at the same time.