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Encyclopaedia Metallum

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Oh yes, they get this one right!! - 81%

UltraBoris, August 25th, 2002

This one is pretty much solid heavy metal from beginning to end. There's only one ballad, and none of the silly rockish moments that they seemed to enjoy during the 80s.

We start with Gothic Dreams - everyone's doing intros nowadays, why not Saxon? This leads into the title track - holy shit!!!!! Pure fucking speed metal - by far the best song Saxon has ever done. Apparently, they all sat down and listened to Painkiller and came up with this afterward. This song fucking rules, that's all I gotta say. Nice fucking leads, nice fucking riffs, and they throw in a few midpaced moments just for variety, and the whole thing fucking kicks ass.

Then, "Terminal Velocity" sounds a bit like an update of "20,000 Feet" - not quite as fast, but with some nice riffs. "Circle of Light" and "The Thin Red Line" are nice fun power-metal singalongs, and then we get to "Ministry of Fools". More speed metal. Not quite as "rip your fucking head off and shove it down your throat" as the title track, but still, very nice and aggressive. "When it comes right down to it, you're all the fucking same!!"

Then, "The Preacher" - about 7 years after it ceased to be relevant, they jump on the old Jimmy Swaggert thing. Yeah, every band's gotta do it at some point. Decent song, kinda unspectacular, though. Probably the weakest on here, aside from the ballad. "Bloodletter" is next - more speed metal, kids. Another classic.

"Cut out the Disease" is a bit different - more thrashy, midpaced, and downright menacing. You'll headbang for four minutes, and then kill your family. "Absent Friends" is the ballad, it sucks, it's obligatory, skip it. Go to "All Hell Breaking Loose" - more fucking speed metal!!!

Yes, they almost completely nailed this one. Some great speed to be had here, and none of the bullshit of the late 80s, or even on some of their earlier albums. Highly recommended.