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Not quite as vicious as the last, still quite fun - 80%

UltraBoris, August 25th, 2002

Saxon further their solid metal attitude here - quality songwriting with nice, prominent, memorable riffs are the norm here. Nothing is quite as insanely speed-metal as on the previous album, but nonetheless this one is quite enjoyable.

"Princess of the Night" is the fastest song on here - this is certainly speed metal, though not quite as heavy as say, Machine Gun. It has a really great solo in the middle, though, bringing to mind Highway Star at times. "Never Surrender" is a bit slower and more anthemic, with a nice chorus. It's merely okay on the studio release - definitely hear it live for greatest effect. "Out of Control" has silly lyrics - something that on a previous album would not have worked, but here the riffs make the song quite consistent.

"Rough and Ready" is also pretty damn heavy, and "Play It Loud" is good solid defiant heavy metal attitude, with great riffs to boot. "And the Bands Played On" is a tribute to Donington, Monsters of Rock (a performance that must be heard to be believed, Saxon completely tore it up that day!!). The song brings to mind "Rock Hard Ride Free" by Priest in the way the intro melody works and goes into the song.

"Midnight Rider" is not quite fast, but the riffs keep the song moving steadily enough. "Fire in the Sky" is apparently about nuclear death or whatnot - still, the music fits in with the rest of the album. Decent classic heavy metal - doesn't quite turn the riffs to 11, but doesn't descend into self-mockery either.

The title track... it's pretty nice, though the chorus is just a bit silly, and has to be heard live to be truly appreciated. Most of Saxon is that way - this album included. It's pretty decent, as the songwriting is there, but the intensity is not nearly as strong as on the live albums.