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Someone got to the Inner Sanctum a long time ago - 45%

Daru_Jericho, October 13th, 2008

Saxon have been around for quite some time and when any band has a lengthy discography, it can get tricky to retain fan’s interests and create something completely fresh. After four years, the band have finally put out some new material in the shape of The Inner Sanctum.

The album covers a fair amount of land, musically. The tempos differ, the drums can be over simplistic to highly creative and the heaviness varies from track to track. The opening song ‘State Of Grace’ is rather melodic compared the heavy metal that Saxon are accustomed to making. Needless to say, this track is not a sign of things to come.

This release serves as a reminder as to why Saxon were at the forefront of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement. While songs such as ‘I Have To Rock (To Stay Alive)’ clearly pay homage to the band’s earlier days, ‘Ashes To Ashes’ deals with a modernized sound. ‘Atila The Hun’ is the stand out track on the album. The instrumental ‘Empire Rising’ emanates an epic feel, working as a fine introduction to ‘Atila The Hun’. The drumming is explosive, the use of keyboards translates well into the track and a war like feel is conjured up successfully.

This album is wrestling between pure predictability and an effort to do what modern bands are doing to stay fresh. It leaves the band horrendously mixed up and exposes their lack of ideas. It is a typical Saxon album.

Originally written for www.rockbeast.co.uk