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Review: Saxon - Strong Arm of the Law
Strong Arm of the Law

Label: Carrere Records
Year released: 1980
Duration: 37:32
Tracks: 8
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4.75/5

Review online: April 7, 2018
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Strong Arm of the Law

Rated 4.71/5 (94.12%) (17 Votes)

Strong Arm of the Law is the third full-length from Saxon, released in the middle of stretch that saw the band release FOUR albums in just over two years between May 1979 and October 1981. Like Black Sabbath 10 years earlier, Saxon's voluminous early output peaked with the third album. Sabbath's second album, Paranoid, has the more immediately recognizable songs but the follow-up, Master of Reality is the more consistent and that is true with Saxon. Wheels of Steel, with its mandatory live set title track and "Motorcycle Man" might be the darling of the band's discography but Strong Arm of the Law is the better album, period.

Never before or since has Saxon written such an amazing collection of memorable riffs from "Heavy Metal Thunder" to the title track to "20,000 Feet" every single one is an air guitarist's dream. Guitarists Graham Oliver and Paul Quinn were as tight as any duo and never showed off or added anything that wasn't necessary. Sometimes a huge chord just hanging in the air as the distortion fades is more powerful than any flash up and down the fret board. Biff's vocal lines are immediately familiar after only a listen or two and he is in total command of each track and will drag you screaming along to each chorus. The band's "epic" ode to the John F. Kennedy assassination, "Dallas 1PM" caps the album in style and really the only weak track is "Hungry Years," which has a dull riff and pedestrian lyrics.

If you are fan of the NWOBHM, you most likely own this already but if you are just discovering that amazing time in metal history, when you get around to checking out Saxon, you need to start with this one and Wheels of Steel. You won't be sorry.

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