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Review: Saxon - The Inner Sanctum
The Inner Sanctum

Label: SPV
Year released: 2007
Duration: 44:34
Tracks: 10
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: March 16, 2007
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
The Inner Sanctum

Rated 4.51/5 (90.29%) (35 Votes)

I'll admit I've never been a big Saxon fan. I had a couple of their older albums back in the day, and I have Unleash The Beast and Killing Ground around here somewhere, but they have never really grabbed me. The cover art for this, their seventeenth frigging full-length studio album, is really cool, but when I got it from SPV I wasn't terribly excited.

Thankfully, The Inner Sanctum is a very nice surprise. There is a bunch of killer shit on here, starting off with four killers in a row. "State Of Grace" is a killer opener, with a great chorus and stellar guitar work, followed by the hard-rocking "Need For Speed" and the killer "Let me Feel Your Power". "Red Star Falling" is a power-ballad that shows Saxon's almost thirty-year history in its focus and memorable melodies – this is what a power ballad is supposed to sound like.

From this point the album gets a lot rockier that strictly metallic, but it rocks so good I don't care. "I've Got To Rock" is pretty silly, but the single "If I Was You" is pretty cool. "Going Nowhere Fast" is, bar none, the best AC/DC song ever written, and one of my favorites on this disc. The closer "Atila The Hun" is Saxon's stab at an epic, and while it's not bad, it doesn't stand up to the quality on the rest of the disc. The track "Empire Rising" is a 40 second intro to "Atila", and has no reason to be there, or be a separate track, so that's a small annoyance.

Overall The Inner Sanctum is a tremendously strong album that manages to marry Saxon's later works with their rockier NWOBHM roots with some energetic, killer tunes. The guitar work is sometimes breathtakingly awesome, and Biff sounds absolutely great. Even if you are not a Saxon fan, I unreservedly recommend picking this one up. An excellent start for 2007.

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