Saxon - Into the Labyrinth (SPV/Riot)

With Saxon, you always know what you're going to get. But that doesn't make it any the less enjoyable.

 

It's about time I reviewed this Saxon release. It's been sitting on my desk for months. While I have had it, I've given it numerous spins, and the more I listen to it, the more it grows on me. Initially, I felt that it was almost soulless, just another Saxon album in the same style, put out under a recording contract. But I slowly began to realise that, like with some of Saxon's other works, it just takes a while to embed itself under your skin.

 

Once it has, though, god help you. 

 

With Into the Labyrinth, Saxon have delivered a totally rockin' release. I like to think of it as easy listening metal, because it usually is. You know what to expect, you get it, you're happy about it. And let's face it, these guys have been in the business for so long that it would be weird if it was any other way.

 

There are parts of this album that you can sing along with, that are a real chin-thrust fest, that make you glad that this particular genre still exists. It's been described by the band - highly accurately in my opinion - that it's a mix of in-your-face rock songs and pure heavy metal tracks. What you see is what you get.

 

While Into the Labyrinth isn't something that you'd think of first up when you are sorting through your CD collection, when you put it on, you're fucking glad you did, and then want to spin it again.

 

Stand out tracks for me are the first track, Battalions of Steel and Valley of the Kings. Gold, both of them. Fuck it - they're so good I'm gonna go put it on again right now. Sometimes, and especially with bands like Saxon, you've just got to hear it again.

 

Saxon's Into the Labyrinth is out now on SPV/Riot.