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Review: Saxon - Into the Labyrinth
Into the Labyrinth

Label: SPV
Year released: 2009
Duration: 50:18
Tracks: 13
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: December 12, 2008
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Into the Labyrinth

Rated 3.91/5 (78.26%) (23 Votes)

You'd think a band would start to lose steam after so many years, after all, so many of them have — Maiden, Priest, Sabbath — but here's Saxon, eighteen albums into a 30+ year career, still kicking some major ass. If you've been following Saxon's recent works like Lionheart and Metalhead then this album will contain no surprises at all. It isn't quite as good as their other recent albums, but it is still really good.

When I'm listening to the glorious, magnificent opening track "Battalions Of Steel" I can hardly believe that this is not a perfect album — it really is one of the best three or four songs they have ever written. Other standout cuts are the heavy-as-fuck speedster "Demon Sweeny Todd" and the epic "Valley Of The Kings". The problem with this album is that as high as the highs are, there is too much filler, and a lot of it is very blues-heavy hard rock. Not that I'm opposed to that in principle, but it derails the epic feel of this album and ruins the flow. "Live To Rock" is okay, but "Crime Of Passion" is pretty dull, as is "Hellcat". Some of the songs, like "Slow Lane Blues" and "Come Rock Of Ages" have good riffs and some killer playing, but they are just too bluesy to be my bag. Maybe they should just do a blues album and get it out of their systems so the next Saxon album won't be schizo like this one.

A worthy album, with some incredible high points, but uneven and filler-heavy overall. Saxon fans should not pass it up, and everyone should hear "Battalions Of Steel", because it's one of the great metal songs of 2009, and the year hasn't even started yet.

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