Genre: Heavy Metal
Label: Silver Lining Music
Even after 44 years of heavy metal thunder, Saxon step out of their comfort zone, this time by releasing a cover album. Approaching their “Inspirations” within 11 tracks, they do cover pretty much both 70’s and 80’s era, not staying strictly of course to heavy metal sound. Saxon chose to get back to their routes and release “Inspirations” despite the fact that, as Biff Byford has already admitted; band’s new material is in production’s final stage. Obviously, they didn’t want to “spoil” their work while lacking band’s strong suit, to wit live shows and touring. Hence, they came up with the idea of buying some time with “Inspirations”. The album comes along with a “making off” documentary aiming according to Biff to enlighten a bit the audience about the concept of the album by letting us look behind the scenes. The album was 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. Maintaining a firm eye on the old school way using Marshall cabs, Marshall amps, real drums and produced by Biff Byford with Jacky Lehmann recording and mixing. Saxon approach Motörhead’s ‘Bomber’, AC/DC’s ‘Problem Child’, Black Sabbath’s ‘Evil Woman’ and Deep Purple’s ‘Speed King’ with refreshingly warm, unfiltered, “vintage” sounding renditions. Byford takes on some new vocal challenges while approaching for example Thin Lizzy’s masterpiece, ‘The Rocker’. Classics such as Led Zeppelin’s ‘Immigrant Song’ or AC/DC’s ‘Problem Child’, are in the list too. Also there’s this sparkling take on Toto’s ‘Hold The Line’. Pioneers of NWOBHM do a decent job entertaining them and us throughout this album. We’re anticipating though for their wheels of steel to hit the road once again.