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Old 03-27-2007, 09:06 AM
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XRWoody XRWoody is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Suffolk
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I (and Lemmyswart) are a member of another web group and I was privelidged enough to hear a Pre-release copy of The Inner Sanctum so I Had the oportunity to review the album before release in the UK, here then, are some of my reviews, in chronological order, starting with, literally, a 5 minute listen in my car, whilst skiving off work;

1st Post: The Inner Sanctum - Saxon
Just had a quick skip through and it is, err, a bit thrashy in places.
Overall there seem to be some great and slightly unusual riffs.
"I've got to rock" sounds like the best track to me, however, a proper listen might change that.

2nd Post: I am pleased to report that The Inner Sanctum is a real grower. I am liking it more and more.
The drums are particularly good, some of the riffing is terrific as well.
Even the thrashier tracks are winning me over.
Great stuff, equal to Lionheart, easily.
Many great albums take some getting into, this is one

3rd Post: I have now listened to the Inner Sanctum about five times and, after a bit if a dodgy first impression(s), I have to say its rather good actually. Closer to Metalhead and Lionheart than Wheels of Steel or Strong Arm of The Law.

1) State Of Grace - Fast with unusual riff, it seems to have a slowish lead tune over a fast rythm section. Could easily fit on the Lionheart album.
2) Need For Speed - Crashing drums lead this standard Saxon thrasher.
I like this now, but I didn't to start with. Now I have got into it its a real good track. It wont help you drive slowly though
Could be off Metalhead or Unleash The Beast.
3) Let Me Feel Your Power - Another fast track, I couldn't listen to this all day but its a great track. About apreciating the crowd and fans which is a strong theme for many Saxon tracks. Be good live I reckon. Bit too thrashy for me but Biff and the boys manage to keep the quality.
Could be off Metalhead, Unleash The Beast, Dogs Of War, maybe Lionheart.
4) Red Star Falling - The slowish track of the album. Its Ok, with good vocals at the start and some real churning guitar riffs to keep your foot stomping. No mistaking its Saxon but I think it looses its way a bit. The more I hear it the more it grows on me but it's never going to be my favourite track on the album. It would make a great
replacement for one of the weaker tracks on the Lionheart album.
5) Ive Got To Rock - Now I said yesterday that this was the best track based on a 10 minute album assessment. No changes now, I was spot on, this is great stuff. It has the pace and interesting guitar riff that the Woodster loves.
This could easily be on the Strong Arm album, the story/lyrics are a bit similar to why Rock music is so good for me.
"I can't live, I can't breathe, you gotta give me what I need, I can't go on, can't survive, I gotta rock to stay alive" YEAH !
6) If I Was You - I reckon this is straight from the Lionheart recording sessions. Its OK, the chorus is why its the single, better than average but its not going to set this CR google group alight.
7) Going Nowhere Fast - Nice to see an AC/DC style riff making a welcome appearance
From the Dogs Of War era Saxon. Makes a different pace/sound to the album, its good really but again, its an album track rather than a highlight.
8) Ashes To Ashes - Slower chordy type guitaring, straight from the Forever Free era. Listenable but maybe an album filler. Might be good live.
9) Empire Rising - Slow, typically Saxon introduction to:
10) Attilla The Hun - which is back to the fast, almost thrash. I didn't like this when I first heard it but I have now really got to appreciate the pace changes and the power of the fast sections. Not my favourite Saxon style but a great track non the less. Nice and long as well.

Overall then I think this is a great album which is worthy of a few spins to get to know it. There are parts that I feel could be improved, but thats just me I guess.
As good as Lionheart ?, yeah, I reckon so, why not.
Its better than Metalhead, and if its comparable with Lionheart then thats a good thing, in my view.
I've Got To Rock remains the highlight for me, hope thay play this one live.

4th Post: I have played this album loads now and it has continued to grow on me. It will be a mighty fine album that betters this in 2007. Like all good albums the more you listen the better it gets. I now feel that there is not a duff track on the album, its absolutely superb, best
album, let alone Saxon album, for many a year. Might even be my favourite Saxon album !, well almost, "Power and Glory" and "Heavy Metal Thunder" take some beating of course

5th Post: The official english release of the Inner Sanctum popped through my door yesterday complete with high quality packaging, booklet with all the lyrics, DVD, great art work, what more can you ask for from a great rock band ?

Today: I have now listened to this album almost continually since it first popped through my door. I love it, absolutely stunning album. Great guitaring and the type of drumming that really makes you notice a drummer.
So I like it then. Oh yes indeed.
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