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Since I started to listen to hard rock / metal back in 2003, Saxon has been one of the bands that has followed me since the beginning. Their far away from being my favorite band but I do like them and "Innocence Is No Excuse" is the album by theirs that has grown most and become my favorite. I don't really understand why it's so ignored because it's a really great album. Maybe it's a little polished and heading towards a more American sound of metal than English but it's still Saxon, and a damn great one as well.
I totally love classic 80's metal so this is of course an excellent album for me and there's a lot of great, melodic, classic and catchy tunes here. The whole birthday package starts off with a great rocker called "Rockin' Again" in which you'll immediately find yourself playing air guitar. It's followed by a radio-friendly but awesome song called "Call Of The Wild". It has a great guitar riff and the chorus is simply perfect. Next up is a 3-in-a-row group that can be identified as "screamin' heavy metal" due to the screamin' riffs and power overall. "Broken Heroes" was the big hit from this album and it's awesome, enough said. The remaining tracks are like a group too. It's four tracks that can be simply called "hard rock" or "heavy metal", it's pretty much up to you but they are a little special with their unique sound. My dad has the vinyl of this which ends here but I got the re-issue with two bonus tracks from "Crusader", "Just Let Me Rock" and "Do It All For You". These are another two great tracks although, they don't fit to 100 % with the original tracks.
The production is great. A little polished but actually that's not anything I care 'bout. I like the mix the way it is and it fits the tunes on here very well. Everything's balanced and I like the sound of every instrument on here. The guitars sounds awesome, especially the solos that's perfectly mixed. The drums (especially the snare drum) sounds awesome too, I really dig that mix they've made. Biff's vocals are sounding great too, maybe the best sounding vocals ever recorded on one of Saxon's albums?
The cast is doing simply great. They're all very experienced musicians and they are really sure on what they do. Biff Byford is probably the one who shines the most here but everyone has done a fabulous job for this album.
So finally to my last comments on "Innocence Is No Excuse"......
The best cuts here would be: Rockin' Again, Call Of The Wild, Devil Rides Out, Broken Heroes and maybe Raise Some Hell. All of the tracks are great and outstanding in anyway, the bonus tracks too.
I can strongly recommend this album for any fans of classic 80's metal, biker metal or whatever metal at all! It's an album that should be in your collection or at least you should dig it up for a listen!
Enjoy "Innocence Is No Excuse".