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SAXON To Hell And Back Again SPV (2007)
Saxon at work and play... Saxon

It's very easy to warm to a band like Saxon. Whether a fan of nearly 30 years or new to the band, their attitude and songs both stand out. This is trad British metal at it's very best, and all the band lack is bullshit, notable here by its complete absence.

Disc 1 of this musical documentary follows the band between two albums and opens up with the recording of the 'Lionheart' album. Through many chapters we get studio shots, interviews (throughout the DVD, all the band, manager, crew et al) and more. The band discuss writing, choice of studio amongst a plethora of topics.

As the band finish recording, the manager talks about promotion, and there's the finalising the artwork. Launch party, tours, festivals all follow, and there's many a live clip. Even the more modern Saxon songs are like a soundtrack to being a metal head, and no set Saxon or otherwise would be complete without "747". The live performance of King Crimson's "In The Court Of The Crimson King" is good too. Other tracks including "Dogs Of War" and "Unleash The Beast" stand up next to "Crusader" fluidly. Shots and interviews on tour make for both good viewing and listening.

The set finishes with a return to the studio, bringing the band full circle.

As well as being completely sans bullshit, the band are coherent gentlemen too; yes there's a fair bit of "Fucking hell" but nothing beyond everyday life. Singer Biff Byford talks to the camera like he would his best mate in the pub.

Very British, and still very relevant.

Disc 2 is a live and video collection, including the Rocksound Festival 2006 set, 2 tracks from 'Rock For Asia 2005', a duet with Doro of Judas Priest's "You've Got Another Thing Coming" , and several video clips. These include the last single "If I Was You" and "I've Got To Rock To Stay Alive" featuring Lemmy and Angry Anderson.

Normally I'd say "For die-hards only", but I'd strongly recommend this to those not fully au fait with the band; see how it should be done.

*****

Review by Joe Geesin

GRTR! Best of 2007

 

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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