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Rock n' roll! - 81%

Nightcrawler, October 23rd, 2004

"Crusader" makes a swift turn in Saxon's direction (Well, I haven't heard "Power & The Glory" so I'm not counting that one). From raw, catchy and true NWOBHM they turn to a more rock n' roll direction, blasting out easy-on-the-ears rockers like "Rock City", "Bad Boys (Like To Rock N' Roll)" and "A Little Bit Of What You Fancy". So while this doesn't exactly have the same vicious attitude as you'd find on, say, "Wheels of Steel", this does feature some very catchy and memorable songwriting, fairly simplistic but well-done riffing and just a whole lot of fun air guitaring action.

Though one song stands way above the rest - Crusader, the lord of the realm! My god, this OWNS. OWNSOWNSOWNS. Epic as fuck, insanely powerful, and the atmosphere is just out of this world. Biff's vocal performance is divine, the mid-paced melodic riffing is huge, and everything is just awesome.
And then, when the solo kicks in... that's easily the best guitar solo in Saxon and one of those where true metal enthusiasts like me just go into complete ecstasy until it's entirely over. Every note seems incredibly thought out and the solo just gets better every second. Absolutely orgasmic.
And it goes on for the remainder of the song, even for the last powerful, soaring "Fight the good fight! Believe what is right! Crusader, lord of the realm!" That is one of the most powerful endings to any song in metal ever, and owns beyond belief.

Okay, so I fellated over one song for like half the review, but that song alone makes this album worth getting even if you hate the other stuff. But fortunately for me, I dig the rest as well. "A Little Bit Of What You Fancy" is catchy as hell and a blast to sing along to, same with "Bad Boys (Like To Rock N' Roll)" and "Rock City".
"Just Let Me Rock" is a pretty cool, bluesy number with a simple but effective power chord-chorus. Oh yeah, and the cover of The Sweet's "Set Me Free" totally owns.

There are two ballads on here, "Sailing To America" and "Do It All For You". The first is just incredibly boring, to be honest, and shall not be spoken of again. The second is quite alright though, and that opening melody sounds like vintage Iron Maiden shit.

All in all, a damn fun, solid album with one of the band's top 5 songs ever for a title track. Yup, this rocks.