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This self titled debut album comes from one of the most talented NWOBHM acts, an album which will be a great influence for some of the bigger metal acts in history (such as Metallica, for instance) and will open the way to new genres in the metal music. As for today this album doesn't sounds so special or outstanding of course, if you know something about metal it won't surprise you too much. But as for 1979, I ain't sure why the hell this album wasn't a huge success. I mean, this IS heavy metal with balls, and a good one, and back then in the end of the 70's it's supposed to be something groundbreaking doesn't it? Anyway, if you are looking for a great old school heavy metal, keep reading, you won't regret after knowing this album.
'Saxon' have mostly simple, catchy heavy metal tracks such as 'Backs To The Wall', 'Stallions of The Highway' and 'Big Teaser' with simple and rhythmic power chords riffing which are easy for listening and also pretty enjoyable. Sometimes bordering in the 'hard rock' genre, but doesn't gets pussy for a bit and flows pretty well. However, for me the highlight of this album is the opening track 'Rainbow Theme/Frozen Rainbow' which is by all means one of the best epic NOWBHM songs ever written. It opens with quite loud bass and then comes in a regular power chord strumming, it doesn't sounds like it's an epic song at start, it builds up pretty well and sounds like a good hard rock tune, and then the drums rolling a bit and after a minute and half it slows down. The vocals are very melodic and epic, the guitars has some great fills and adding some cool variations to this song. The chorus is quite catchy and epic as well and the lead guitar is marvelous. The solo is moderate, deep, epic and thrilling. Just well constructed and flows greatly. Then the first riffing comes in and the song becomes a bit faster and ends in kinda hard rock tune, as how the album will continue till it's end.
What can I say, this is one of the greatest heavy metal albums from the 70's. The song writing is great (and it will just improve in time), there aren't any bad tracks, it's short and valuable album which marks the first breaths of the wonderful NWOBHM genre. You can't miss this album if you are into old fashioned heavy metal, you simply can't. Great debut of a great band!