Unplugged and Strung Up
UDR Music
Street: 11.19
Saxon = Angel Witch + Accept
Over the course of a 36-year career, Saxon have proven themselves to be the undisputed masters of heavy metal songwriting. Even after all these years, the band sounds tighter than ever. Biff Byford’s voice has morphed into that of a gravelly heavy metal wizard, while Paul Quinn’s expert riffcraft has only been strengthened by modern production values. Unplugged and Strung Up is a cavalcade of re-recordings, orchestrations and acoustic takes on a selection of Saxon’s greatest material. The soaring orchestral swells of “Call to Arms” contrast beautifully against the morose and powerful live recording of “Iron Wheels.” They even revisit some of their oldest material, with a solid re-recording of “Militia Guard” and an acoustic take on “Frozen Rainbow.” This is no mere re-mastering—these songs still resonate with the passion of their original recording, adding a compelling new dimension to Saxon’s glory years. –Henry Glasheen