14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 19 October 2004
If fans of metal and rock were pleased with the direction Saxon have been taking over the last few albums (Unleash the Beast, Metal Head, Killing Ground) they will be more than happy with 'Lionheart'. This is a natural progression for the band and they sound better than ever! Saxon have found a sound that is distinctly their very own!
Highlights of the album are too numerous to isolate, but rock fans will be content to hear the title track - a sequel to 'Crusader' - bring back memories of a time when Rock and Metal were not simply an art form to be exploited by the likes of certain contemporary artists.
Byford's vocals are amazing and have evolved to an incredible degree over the years. No other mortal sounds like Biff!
Quinn and Scarret perform superbly - never overplaying, yet providing serious licks and riffs. Some lovely middle section solos are played by both!
The prime success of 'Lionheart', however, is the songwriting. Melodies, lyrics and anthems grow on the listener like a super virus, creating an addictive experience.
This is, quite possibly, the best album Saxon have produced since 'Denim & Leather' and, considering there have been a fair few decent efforts in between, is saying something!
Quite simply - if you enjoy Rock or Metal, JUST BUY THIS ALBUM!
And, to top it off, go see the band live - it is an experience like no other!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 6 December 2005
I was hoping for a good show when I saw Saxon recently in Edinburgh as it had been 17 years since I last saw them and age may have mellowed them. Well, live they are harder and faster than ever if more crinkly! This album also moves them on in the same way, harder and faster than ever but retaining their signature song writing style and melody. This is Saxon at their best and even if it might upset the old school purists I would say this is their finest album yet and one of the best metal albums from any artist I have heard in sometime. Along with Motorhead's Inferno and Iron Mainden's Dance Of Death this is a classic example of showing that these old time metal boys can cut it with the best of the new acts and in many ways still show them how it is done.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 4 April 2007
I have enduring memories of the last year of senior school and having a penchant towards Saxon's music that influenced my magical journey into heavy metal wonderland! This was during the `Strong arm of the Law' & `Wheels of Steel' era and Saxon where harvesting a strong reputation for themselves on the music scene.
This period was the pinnacle of the `New wave of British heavy metal' explosion that was taking the world by storm, Saxon being a piviotal player alongside other top acts like Iron Maiden and Diamond Head. Along with this new-found resurgence, the old guard was vanquished for good by cementing their position in the chronicles of heavy metal history forever.
A great deal of water has passed under the bridge since those early days, so my musical taste-buds have changed with a natural progression taking place combined with curiosity to explore other genres. Saxon cannot be accused of sitting on their laurels and taking life easy, as they have been a very active over the past three decades consistently producing memorable albums and mustering up new fans along the way.
`Lionheart' reached the masses sometime in 2004, being received well by the fans and the media alike. As I mentioned previously, I had taken time away from the Saxon fold whilst exploring other musical pathways and then decided that it was due time to touch base and see how the band had progressed or regressed, which could have quite easily been the case.
On exploring the aural assault on `Lionheart', I was elated that the band had turned out better than what I would have expected. Naturally, there has been a total revamp of the sound, with a few new and old faces coming in and out the band, but at least they had not stuck to the tried and tested formula of the early days. Does the name Motorhead sound familiar?
What we have here in 2004 is a well-oiled band with mature song writing, hooks aplenty, memorable solos, strong choruses and awe-inspiring riffs to name just a few of the ingredients in the music. It is interesting to point out that Saxon has been playing longer than the average age of some of the up and coming musicians of today, so they certainly can stand and deliver with the best. I have to say they do not sound like a band that commenced their career in 1979, having a very young attitude and approach to the music along with progressing favourably with trends and not stagnating.
Peter `Biff' Byford's voice has matured over years and this is no more apparent on the track `Justice' with his signature scream being unleashed...awesome indeed! Drummer extrodianaire, Jorg Michael from Stratovarius fame has been a favourite drummer of mine for sometime now and has joined the Saxon ranks. Michael is a motivating force behind the kit, packing a nice meaty beat combined with awesome riffs of Doug Scarratt and original guitarist Paul Quinn on a number of the songs.
There is an assortment of fast and slow songs scattered throughout the album, as well as some old influences from earlier albums (English Man o War). The production is superb with German producer Charlie Bauerfiend being utilized behind the production desk. His inclusion was a wise choice as he's worked with some top names in international metal arena, gaining himself a colourful resume over the years.
The digi-pack has been nicely designed and includes a badge (Lionheart logo) to be adorned on those `Denim and Leather' jackets for the die-hard fans! Roll on 2007 and the new Saxon album `Inner Sanctum' has just hit the shelves, so if it's anything as strong as what `Lionheart' is, then Saxon are going to be an unstoppable force in the future.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 21 November 2004
This is an excellent album from beginning to end, this has all the elements of truely excellent power metal plus more. The opening notes of Witchfinder General tell you to stay away from the stop button and to keep your seat (or keep headbanging/ moshing/ whatever you do when listening to music).
Lionheart; a moderatly catchy song with excellent riffs and great guitars.
To live by the sword; this is a song of slightly stretched vocals but in this case that makes it slightly better instead of worse.
Listen, learn enjoy, listen again and bash your brains out.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 27 September 2004
Saxon have done it again. The musicianship and vocals are outstanding as always. "Flying on the Edge" is set to become a metal classic. Modern rock that teaches the youngsters how it should be done. There isn't a bad track on this album, if you like a well produced, full sound then you won't be dispointed. Superb.
on 29 February 2008
I've been a metal fan for many years, but came to Saxon with some trepidation, as they were always the butt of the latest spandex joke when I was growing up, reading my Kerrang. So I couldn't believe what I was hearing when I bought and played Lionheart for the first time. This is just pure undiluted heavy metal from start to finish. Amazing screaming vocals from Biff (what a voice after all these years), superb riffs and solos, insanely catchy hooks and choruses. And an overall sound of pounding metal. I saw these guys play the Graspop Metal festival in Belgium a few years ago, and expected the crowd to all head for the nearest beer tent. Quite the opposite. I couldn't believe how many people came from watching other bands, so they could pack into the stage area for Saxon's performance. I asked one of the Belgians I was with, why so many people were bothering to see Saxon - a band regarded as a bit of a joke in the UK. He gave me a confused look and simply replied "These guys are the founders of Metal". And having watched their performance that sunny afternoon, I couldn't agree more. Long Live SAXON!
on 17 July 2008
What a great album this is from Saxon,this is heavy and really is what the band are all about,quality metal,great songs and riffs.I have followed this awesome bands career over the years and they have got stronger and stronger as the years have gone on and truly become metal giants that can still show the youngsters how to do it.Dont expect to hear 70s style Saxon here these days are over expect to hear a much heavier sound that the band have perfected and is what they are all about now.Along with this great album I would highly recommend these other great works by the band in no particular order;Unleash The Beast,Dogs Of War,The Inner Sanctum and Killing Ground all excellent works that if you enjoy Lionheart you will easilly enjoy these other great albums,of course you can always go back to the early days and go for;Wheels Of Steel.Denim And Leather and Strong Arm Of the Law all superb but not quite as meaty and heavy as the sound is now but get them all there all superb.
Keep Rocking Saxon you are ledgends and deserve all the positive praise that is going.
Hope review is of help to you.
on 7 March 2008
It is well documented that Saxon write songs about knights of old, floundering airliners, nasty radiation clouds that `follow you around' and about a hundred songs with the word `Rock' in the title. This takes this one massive step further - Biff wants to tell us about Richard the Lionheart, Spanish war ships, the world speed record, Atlantis and witches, not to mention an unfortunate turn of events which left him stranded on an aeroplane somewhere whilst trying to get to a show..... (really). It would be easy to be put off by this. However what is hard to ignore about is the sound. The riffs are HUGE, the drums are HUGE, the production is HUGE and Biff sounds absolutely amazing. This is not some rehashed Crusader. It is crushingly heavy but with the melodic edge that made Saxon amazing some twenty years ago. Absolutely magnificent.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 22 September 2004
Wow! This is one very good album. I think it is the most consistant album Saxon have ever done. It is pounding from start to finish and the title track Lionheart is marvellous. Man and Machine is my favourite on the album, it is one of my favourite Saxon tracks. This is a must for all Saxon fans and anyone who likes class metal music. Top!
on 11 March 2010
After "Killing Ground" this is the best album of Heavy Metal in the Rock History. It has perfect combination of hardness and rythm, and its lyrics mantain the spirit of Saxon, from the begining.
The DVD was a mistake, it doesn't say me nothing, it's only a space for a friend, for me doesn't matter. I expect a video of making off, or some concert underground, etc.
The audio CD, the best. The video DVD the worst.