Reviews

SAFFIRE - For The Greater Good

AOR HEAVEN 2015

The second SAFFIRE record really is an interesting piece of work. On the one hand it's partly conceptual as five or six songs deal with surveillance, control and a totalitarian regime being in power which is perfectly illustrated by the dark cover art with its cartoon-like-style. Guitar player and bandleader Victor Olsson and his lot on the other hand manage to create a multi-layered classic rock album which dares to sound quite contemporary at times and pretty old-fashioned where needed. Quite melodic but never to cheesy ("Dandelion's Shame") or in-depth like in "Casters Of The First Stone" dealing with racism. "Wake Up The World" is very much BLACK SABBATH with Tony Martin-style. Definitely an album you will not stop listening to in a very long time.



MARTIN STARK


   

MAGNUS KARLSSON - Kingdom Of Rock

FRONTIERS RECORDS 2015

Guitar player and songwriter Magnus Karlsson (PRIMAL FEAR) is on fire. The second solo album of the Swede underlines his exceptional talent. Vocalists like Jorn Lande (ex MASTERPLAN), Tony Martin (ex BLACK SABBATH) or Harry Hess (HAREM SCAREM) share the mic and all do a great job. A more straight-forward version of AVANTASIA in many respects, at least musically. A celebration of melodic hardrock!



MARTIN STARK

 


   

SAXON - Battering Ram

UDR Music 2015

Saxon’s 21st studio album follows relatively swiftly on from the largely satisfying outing ‘Sacrifice’ from 2013, which restored things to normal after the largely disappointing ‘Call To Arms’ in 2011. Here we again find South Yorkshire’s finest in fine form as they celebrate an astonishing 40 years in the business! Sonically this is very much Heavy Metal from the off, if you like it’s very much an updated version of Saxon’s classic sound with fuller guitars and a little more pace. When you add to that the fact that front man Byford is in fine fettle these days the result is probably the best we’ve seen from Saxon this Century. Great songs, great sound and great production with Andy Sneap (Accept) again doing a great job.

HMC

 


   

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