Saxon Killing Ground

Saxon are old; Saxon look (unbelievably) old; Saxon sound old. The problem is that on Killing Ground, the band, despite their obvious dalliances with Geritol, Depends and the Grim Reaper, make a feeble attempt to sound young. I guess you have to give props to any band that has been treading the boards for as long as Biff and the boys have, but sometimes things can get embarrassingly out of hand. Saxon attempt to come across all relevant and remarkable by playing as fast as their arthritic fingers and creaking bones will let them, and there wouldn’t be so much as a cynical peep from my yap if only the resulting metal mania had been halfway listenable. Killing Ground, instead of coming across as a solid pub rock/power metal album from the pleather trousers of a band with umpteen years of rock experience, sounds more like an album put together by the kind of guys who gather round a headbanging circle at the local biker bar when the mullet working the decks throws on Painkiller. Ugh! (Steamhammer)