Saxon 'Carpe Diem' Album Review By The Metal Voice
Updated: Feb 3, 2022
Saxon 'Carpe Diem' Album Review By Jimmy Kay for The Metal Voice
On Feb 4 2022 Saxon will release their 23rd studio album 'Carpe Diem' comprised of 10 titanic tracks via Silver Lining Music. Produced by Andy Sneap (Judas Priest, Exodus, Accept and Priest guitarist) at Backstage Recording Studios in Derbyshire with Byford and Sneap mixing and mastering.
There can only be one word to best describe these NWOBHM legends and that word is constancy. Don't expect too many left or right turns just expect more great Saxon tunes equal to the quality of the band's catalog.
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Let's break it down. The production is once again brought to you by Andy Sneap their go to producer in the last few years, so the overall production is similar to the bands last few Albums. However saying that, I found the productions slightly heavier this time around, somewhere between Saxon's 'Unleash the beast', 'Metalhead' and 'Thunderbolt' albums. The sonics also seem to project a lot better when played on loud speakers compared to headphones. In terms of vocals, Biff Byford's at the age of 71 proves once again he can still still deliver the goods no problem, phrasing, range, melody, timing it's all there. In the Engine room drummer Nigel Glockler and bassist Nibbs Carter prove once again they too are a force to be reckon with in terms of precision and metallic foundation for the album. Last, guitarists Paul Quin and Doug Scarratt crank out the contemporary Saxon style riffs with the injection of some pretty memorable solos throughout the album.
Song highlights include, 'The Age of Steam' which comes with traditional Saxon lyrical history lesson. This time around Biff teaches us about the 'Steam Age' referring to: A period of industrialization in parts of Europe between roughly 1770 and 1914 during the Industrial Revolution. The musical direction on this tune is melodic, upbeat set alongside with a rhyme guitar and drum heavy sound. The track is completed with 2-3 outstanding guitar solos.
Another stellar track 'Lady In Gray' a ghostly atmospheric haunting mid paced tune with a similar vibe to Saxon's past tracks like 'When doomsday comes' ( Call to Arms) or 'Queen of Hearts' (Battering Ram). Another more atmospheric track on the record a la Crusader/ The Eagle has landed, is 'The Pilgrimage' a mid paced destination song that should go down well during their live shows.
The most uplifting tracks would be the first single, title track 'Carpe Diem' who we all have heard and the second single and Covid inspired 'Remember the Fallen' where the band remembers the heroes and the ones who have passed, as we all soldier on. Two super catchy tunes.
Then of course you have the traditional Saxon barn burner, need for speed tracks, where the band kicks it into overdrive with songs like 'Dambusters', 'Super Nova' and 'Black is the night'.
If there were any cons to this album I would say the songs 'All of one' and 'living on the limit' seemed like a bit of but I've heard this before but overall I think Saxon has once again proven true legacy comes with always pushing oneself to keep on making the best music possible and never settling for anything less.
'Seize the Album' Feb 4 2022
Carpe Diem Track Listing:
Carpe Diem (Seize the Day)
Age of Steam
Remember the Fallen
Lady In Gray
All for One
Black is the Night
Living On the Limit
Produced by Andy Sneap and Biff Byford
Album mixed and mastered by Andy Sneap
Guitars recorded by Andy Sneap at Backstage Recording Studios, Derbyshire (UK); Vocals recorded by Seb Byford at Big Silver Barn, York (UK); Drums recorded by Jacky Lehmann (Audiosound) at Velbyproductions, Grünenplan (Germany).
All lyrics by Biff Byford. Backing vocals by Seb Byford
BIFF BYFORD – Vocals
PAUL QUINN – Guitar
NIGEL GLOCKLER – Drums
DOUG SCARRATT – Guitar
NIBBS CARTER – Bass
SAXON - Remember The Fallen (Official Video)
Saxon - Carpe Diem (Seize The Day) [Official Video]