Call To Arms Original recording remastered
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Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. Hammer of the Gods|
|2. Back in 79|
|3. Surviving Against the Odds|
|4. Mists of Avalon|
|5. Call To Arms|
|6. Chasing the Bullet|
|8. When Doomsday Comes (Hybrid Theory)|
|9. No Rest for the Wicked|
|10. Ballad of the Working Man|
|11. Call To Arms (Orchestral Version)|
2011 release, the 19th studio album from the veteran British Heavy Metal band. Fronted by the legendary Biff Byford, Saxon has been rocking the world with their own brand of Heavy Metal since they formed in 1976. Call To Arms features a guest appearance from Deep Purple keyboardist Don Airey.
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If by now anyone hasn't realized that this album is aimed squarely at fans of the bands early years, then they probably won't get into this album that much at all. But for anyone who like me is a huge fan of the NWOBHM era Saxon then this album is a welcome return to all that we loved about this band in the first place. Yet at the same time they have cleverly kept enough of a modern tinge to the music so that recent fans might indeed find some appeal and could in fact be drawn back to their first four or five albums.
The albums highlights are undoubtedly Mists Of Avalon with it's wonderful melodic chorus and the title track which is another great Saxon war song, but one which conveys the emotion of loss and longing rather than guts, glory and/or horror. But I think what makes this album a bit better than the last few is not only a return to a less heavy, more melodic and straight forward sound, but also the quality and consistency of what could be described as the "second tier" songs. The recent albums Into The Labyrinth, The Inner Sanctum and Lionheart each contained many moments of absolute Saxon bliss but were let down a little bit (just a little... these guys are always very reliable) by some filler. But with Call To Arms that isn't the case at all. Surviving Against The Odds and Chasing The Bullet are great Straight ahead Saxon rockers to please any fan, and Afterburner is Fire In The Sky or 20,000 Feet for the new millennium.
Then modern era Saxon shines through with When Doomsday Comes and another favorite No Rest For The Wicked which sounds quite "Metalhead-esque". Ballad Of The Working Man is probably the weakest track in my opinion but it still isn't too bad and sounds very reminiscent of something from Wheels Of Steel or Denim And Leather. The album closer is the orchestral version of the title track, but personally I prefer the normal version which I think works better for the more straight forward sound they were going for with this album.
And then at 43 minutes it's over. Again I think a deliberate move by the band to make an album like they used to be made, before everyone expected a 70 minute CD to be filled. No padding the album out, no fluff, just straight into the metal and there you have it.
Over all a very well-conceived and well executed album that should please the fans, with Saxon showing why they have been around for over 30 years, and why they deserve to be recognized up there with the great bands that are their contemporaries in Judas Priest and Iron Maiden.
Call to Arms opens with a full-on rock anthem in "Hammer of the Gods," and never really lets up from there. The album is loaded with fist-pumping, head-banging metal songs like "Back in '79," "Chasing the Bullet" and "Afterburner," and when the pace does slow down, it's not for some sappy ballad but rather a powerful epic like the war-themed title track. The album is packed with great melodies, driving rhythms, fantastic vocals (anyone saying Biff Byford has lost his voice needs to have their ears checked) and that incredible Saxon energy that we've seen all these years. With just 11 songs (and one an orchestral version of the title track), Call to Arms is a shorter album, but it's also an album without any filler.
How many bands that emerged in the original NWOBHM scene are still going strong all these years later? Better yet, how many are consistently releasing albums that rival their classic 80's material? Arguably, Saxon is the only one. Call to Arms is another rock-solid album from one of the most consistent (and consistently awesome) bands in heavy metal. It's sure to please Saxon fans, and ought to satisfy just about anyone into well-crafted, hard-hitting melodic heavy metal.
Edition Notes - The US release of Call to Arms comes in a digipack that includes a bonus disc. The second disc is a 7-song live performance - fully remastered - from Donnington in 1980. It's a nice addition to an already impressive album, and more than makes up for the delay in getting Call to Arms to American shores.
PS - I was fortunate enough to finally see Saxon live on their recent US tour, and it was one of the best performances I've ever witnessed.
This cd has some great riffs, amazing solos, and pure power. The song Chasing The Bullet is allmost worth the price alone wow!