Album review: SAXON – Unplugged And Strung Up

Saxon - Unplugged And Strung Up

UDR Music [Release date 18.11.13]

Saxon are one of the enduring British rock bands who have consistently delivered the metal clad goods. This new album though offers something a little different in that the band have taken some of their well known classics and have reworked them to produce something fresh and new.

The album kicks off with a remixed version of ‘Stallions Of The Highway’ which rocks like a demon with the new polish applied. ‘Crusader’ is up next and it is the first of many tracks that have been re-recorded with full orchestration.

This new version is as majestic as you could hope, there is an almost prog rock feel to it thanks to the additional keyboard work. Other tracks that have been given the orchestral treatment to good effect are ‘Broken Heroes’, ‘Call To Arms’ and ‘Forever Free. The stand out of the re-recordings though is the epic version of ‘The Eagle Has Landed’ which lends itself perfectly to the string makeover, stunning stuff.

As well as the orchestral versions are several acoustic tracks, the highlights for me being an emotionally charged ‘Requiem’ and a fantastic run through of ‘Frozen Rainbow’ featuring a great vocal from Biff.

There will be two versions of the album available, one with just the single ‘Unplugged’ album and another with ‘Unplugged’ along with 2002’s re-recorded greatest hits package ‘Heavy Metal Thunder’. Whether you need the ‘greatest hits’ package is down to the individual but the addition of ‘Unplugged And Strung Up’ is highly recommended.

****

Review by David Wilson


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