F U L L . R E V I E W S



Saxon
Into The Labyrinth

Company: SPV
Release: 2008
Genre: Power, NWOBHM
Reviewer: EC

  • Praise for Saxon and their solid balls of rock



  • Any metal fan worth his salt knows the Saxon classics front to back. From legendary releases like "Wheels Of Steel" and "Power & The Glory" to the real stinkers ala "Innocence Is No Excuse". In some metal shades the band can do no wrong while others simply dismiss the group as a B grade metal act that saw their finest days limited to the early 80s. I for one have always appreciated Biff and the boys and really can delve deep enough on each release to find nuggets of greatness. Readers will find that I have been very supportive of the band's last decade of recording, finding triumph in the trenches with greats like "Killing Ground" (2001), "Lionheart" (2004), and "Inner Sanctum" (2007). New album "Into The Labyrinth" finds no difference in opinion and personal taste.

    Saxon decided to go with the big European power metal sound for this record. Biff employed legendary producer Charlie Bauerfeind to turn the knobs and provide that medieval majesty that he does so well. This newer sound finds the old gang inventing themselves with a monumental epic vibe complete with big choirs and medieval keys. Before you go thanking Bauerfeind completely, give a nod to German power metal kings Blind Guardian as they allowed Saxon to record in their studio aptly titled The Twilight Hall.

    "Into The Labyrinth" hits on all of the same styled tracks that worked so well on "Lionheart" and "Inner Sanctum". The big beefy guitar tone is firmly intact as well as Biff's clean upper range that seems to never age. While the songs still potray the edge that has worked over the last decade, the songs themselves are more dynamic with today's power metal overtones. Cuts like "Valley Of The Kings" and layered opener "Battalions Of Steel" are enhanced with orchestra choir bits and keyboard passages. Think one part newer Iced Earth and one part old age Blind Guardian. That isn't to say that the power metal is prevailant. Songs like "Demon Sweeney Todd" and "Protect Yourselves" are the fast hard hitting punches that are always evident on Saxon records. Of course the boys always throws in a few AC/DC nods, this time "Live To Rock" and "Slow Lane Blues", both throw-away clunkers in my opinion.

    "Into The Labyrinth" is another strong release from a band that is always looking for the fountain of youth. I admire the band for continuing to craft their magic show for today's generation of metal fans. I wish Judas Priest and Motorhead could find the secret to that trick. Praise for Saxon and their solid balls of rock.




    About this Writer:
    Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: SAXON
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Call To ArmsSaxon
    2011
    Eric Compton7/2/2011
    Dogs Of War (Reissue)Saxon
    2006
    Eric Compton3/31/2006
    Into The LabyrinthSaxon
    2008
    Eric Compton11/29/2008
    LionheartSaxon
    2004
    Eric Compton3/7/2006
    LionheartSaxon
    2004
    Eric Compton9/15/2004
    SacrificeSaxon
    2013
    Eric Compton4/26/2013
    The Inner SanctumSaxon
    2007
    Eric Compton8/17/2007
    ThunderboltSaxon
    2018
    Eric Compton1/25/2018


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: SAXON

    No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: SAXON
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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