Saxon Lionheart

One of the leaders of the NWOBHM movement, Saxon are somehow creating music that seemingly gets better with each release these days. With Lionheart, this trend continues, with the band delivering another batch of melodic metal/hard rock anthems that manage to avoid being too cheesy while they’re rockin’ and rollin’ all night long. New drummer Jorg Michael (ex-Stratovarius, oddly enough) lays down a solid and enjoyable performance, while the usual impressive guitar work shreds and rips and all that stuff. Of course, the man behind the mic is the one and only Biff Byford; it’s hard to believe, but he sounds excellent, in possession of some of the best pipes around for this sort of traditional metal. While the lyrics are, as usual, a sore spot (songs about modes of transportation, British history, and mythological cities just aren’t cutting it anymore and never did), they are worthy of a beer-fuelled chuckle or three while cranking this one long into the night. Not just nostalgia, Saxon have delivered yet another album that will put a smile on any avid metal fan’s face. (Steamhammer)