Saxon - The Saxon Chronicles - 2 DVD
For some reason I have missed out of the major part of Saxons material in my early years, and have only recently opened my eyes for what Saxon has to offer in the metal scene. As the late Saxon fan as I am I find this Dvd a very good compilation of the metal treasure they possess.
When the decision was made to capture their long service in the name of metal in a Dvd package the choice fell on Wacken Open Air, Germany 2001. The choice of songmaterial is perfect. The focus is on the uptempo songs (which represent what Saxon is for me, and show them from their best side), and a few of their best midtempo and heavy cuts are thrown in to make it a perfect mix. The show starts with some fast classics and a few of their heavier cuts to get us warm and it continues in the same spirit with the catchy, fast classics throughout the show.
Saxon is co-founders of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal that arose back in the late 70' s and formed the scene of todays metal along with such bands as Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and Judas Priest to name a few. The guys are carrying along their trademark with the honours and show that "the old men still rule". When they start up one of those smashing, classic riffs and the migthy Biff puts his leg on one of the monitors and points out over the crowd with three fingers and announce Princess Of The Night - than you just have to surrender to one of the best live metalacts there are. The sound and the production is just as the band state in the booklet: "brill".
Saxon is putting on a very sharp and "alive" show here, which can be a bit hard on very big stages like Wacken where it can tend to be a bit sterile. The band members are performing well and are inspired. The bassplayer is in a constant headbanging state throughout the show, the interaction between the members are good and Biff is in good shape, smiling and joking between the songs. Even the drumsolo is actually watchable here as Fritz Randow behind the kegs show that he really can handle the sticks and also putting on a show by actually joggling with 3 sticks at once during the solo and also acting out other fancy behaviors.
I would love to have been present at the second part of this show where they perform one killer version after the other of suchs classics as Power & The Glory, Princess Of The Night, Wheels Of Steel, Strong Arm Of The Law, 20.000 Feet and Denim And Leather.
This is a very good introduction to Saxon if you are not yet a fan, and it yet also contains pretty good material for the already initiated. The bonusmaterial is of decent quality and interesting, but doesn't justify this calling itself a chronicle over their career as it only scrapes on the surface. The interviews are good, and a lot of interesting and funny facts are revealed by Biff Byford as well as videoclips and tv appearances of various quality and facts on the band and their over 20 year long journey in the name of Metal.
There are not many bands that overcome what Saxon can deliver on a very sharp night, and this is a good proof. This is well worth it's money, and it is honorable that this double dvd filled with classy material doesn't cost much more that the average dvd in general.
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