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Part II of the Saxon Chronicles, entitled Warriors Of The Road, offers a 2 DVD/CD set. The filmed material is comprised of 5,5 hours of recorded music in total. The first DVD includes songs off Saxon's appearance at the Steelhouse Festival in 2013, filmed in rainy conditions before a crowd that seems pretty lame, mixed with clips where the guys, one by one, talk a little about how things were in the beginning of each member's career and how they started playing and additionally telling a few things about each other.
It's somewhat amusing at times and especially when the veterans, vocalist Biff Byford and guitarist Paul Quinn, takes us through some drug related stuff in the mid-seventies. Perhaps something I shouldn't glorify and the boys more or less tell us why it was impossible to combine such behavior with great performances. This movie concept is something I appreciate and I would gladly have welcomed even more talking and less music. Five video clips are also featured on this disc, as if it wasn't enough music in this package anyway.
Music is definitely what we get on the second DVD. Close to 3,5 hours split on three European festival performances at Wacken Open Air, Download Festival and Graspop Metal Meeting, respectively. I have of course watched all sets from a laid back position on my couch and even though the gigs' picture and audio quality is rather poor and has sort of a bootleg feeling all over them and although I haven't been rocking my ass off, I can easily say that Saxon undoubtedly belongs at the top of metal music with its explosive and high-powered live shows.
It's not all about thunder and lightning or bombs and pyros, but more a symbiosis of substantial energy and control which are put into the songs to complete them on stage. Nevertheless I must also mention that it's a little bit boring that quite a good bunch of the songs are featured on all three gigs and therefore some of them feels a little saturating in the end.
The included CD features the Steelhouse performance and doesn't contain the greatest audio experience known to mankind. It definitely feels very captured live and the ongoing action is transferred all the way to my speakers. This release is in total yet another great release from the British heavy metallers. Saxon shows why they are legendary and consistent and why people always enjoy their live performances. Although a few guys in the band are about to get old soon, there seems to be no way to stop them at this point. 35 years of continuous music more or less says it all, as far as I'm concerned.
Saxon will still be a force to be reckoned with for many years to come, I believe, and the obvious fact that Biff's voice isn't really on the decrease yet will certainly qualify this unit for additional time in the metal scene.
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