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Has there ever been a Metal band on this kind of a roll?

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Has there ever been a Metal band on this kind of a roll?

Old 05-26-07, 12:34 PM
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Has there ever been a Metal band on this kind of a roll?

The new Saxon album, The Inner Sanctum, is out, and it once again got me to thinking -

Has there ever been a Metal band on the kind of a roll Saxon's been on since 1990?

I'm talking about the quality of their albums from Solid Ball of Rock (1990) on. Not a bad album in the bunch - and we're talking about 8 albums over a 17 year span! In fact, I'd argue that almost all of them are great - just fantastic Metal albums with great riffs and strong vocal melodies.

Now, I'd say the peak came from 1997-2001 with the releases of Unleash the Beast (1997), Metalhead (1999), and Killing Ground (2001). Each one of those albums is a great straightforward, no nonsense Heavy Metal album. But the rest of the albums they've release since 1990 (Solid Ball of Rock, Forever Free (1992), Dogs of War (1995), Lionheart (2004), and now The Inner Sanctum) are all really, really good as well.

The Inner Sanctum, while not quite up to the standards of the three from the "peak" of the last 17 years, is a really good album filled with the kind of riffs & vocal melodies that you'd expect from Saxon. I'd describe it as an album of really solid album cuts and just a couple standout tracks. No filler. It may be missing the absolute killer cuts like the title track of Killing Ground, for example, but nothing is below average.

I'd go so far as to say that Saxon has been much more consistent that Iron Maiden over the same stretch of time. Maiden may arguably be the greatest Heavy Metal band ever, but Saxon has been more than holding their own against their fellow New Wave of British Heavy Metallers over the last 17 years.

I'd love to see these guys live!

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Old 05-26-07, 02:34 PM
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Opeth has really never made a bad album.
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Old 05-26-07, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Hiro11
Opeth has really never made a good album.

Fixed it for you.
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Old 05-26-07, 04:06 PM
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I'm a huge metal fan (proper metal, not that "nu" crap) and I'm ashamed to admit I know hardly anything about Saxon beyond the song "Wheels of Steel". I suck
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Old 05-26-07, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by turborobb
I'm a huge metal fan (proper metal, not that "nu" crap) and I'm ashamed to admit I know hardly anything about Saxon beyond the song "Wheels of Steel". I suck
Well, if you want to suck less then pick up Killing Ground, Metalhead, and Unleash the Beast.

After that you'll want to pick up the rest of the albums I mentioned on my first post. Good stuff, Maynard!

(Then get Power and the Glory, Srong Arm of the Law, Crusader, etc...)

Saxon was actually really successful in Europe - and they still have a fairly large following on the other side of the Atlantic!
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Old 05-26-07, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Arpeggi
Fixed it for you.
I'd say, among metal fans, you'd probably be out on your own with that assessment...

/hates "fixing" posts.
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Old 05-26-07, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Hiro11
I'd say, among metal fans, you'd probably be out on your own with that assessment...
Well, to be fair there are more people who really HATE the "Cookie Monster" Death Metal vocals than people who like them. Opeth could be a GREAT band with a real singer who didn't try to sound like Sasquatch or some other angry creature. Musically they are quite good, but the vocals are garbage.

I tend to prefer bands like Iron Maiden, DIO, KISS, Armored Saint, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Judas Priest, etc, because they actually have SINGERS who can sing. Saxon is another great example of a straightforward Heavy Metal band with a solid SINGER.
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Old 05-26-07, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Hiro11
I'd say, among metal fans, you'd probably be out on your own with that assessment...
I'm with him. Opeth are not what I'm looking for in metal.

As for Saxon, they're one of those forgotten bands who just keep cranking out really good stuff. Shame they have no real following.
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Old 05-26-07, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by B5Erik
Well, to be fair there are more people who really HATE the "Cookie Monster" Death Metal vocals than people who like them. Opeth could be a GREAT band with a real singer who didn't try to sound like Sasquatch or some other angry creature. Musically they are quite good, but the vocals are garbage.
This suggests that you have not listened to an Opeth album all the way through.
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Old 05-26-07, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by B5Erik
Has there ever been a Metal band on this kind of a roll?
What, sesame seed?


Honestly, though, I saw them open for Cheap Trick back in the mid-80's (somewhere in Michigan at an outdoor venue; I remember them distinctly because the bassist and vocalist both ran through the aisles during the sets, showing off their snappy new wireless units).

If, like most bands from the 80's, they were at their peak then, I'll pass on any new stuff, thanks.
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Old 05-26-07, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by SFranke
This suggests that you have not listened to an Opeth album all the way through.
No, I have not - but are you telling me that they have even ONE album where they have NO "Death Metal/Cookie Monster/Wannabe Sasquatch" vocals? I HATE that stuff - it is NOT musical in the least.

Give me Ronnie James Dio, Rob Halford, Bruce Dickinson, or Biff Byford any day.
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Old 05-26-07, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by zombiezilla
Honestly, though, I saw them open for Cheap Trick back in the mid-80's (somewhere in Michigan at an outdoor venue; I remember them distinctly because the bassist and vocalist both ran through the aisles during the sets, showing off their snappy new wireless units).

If, like most bands from the 80's, they were at their peak then, I'll pass on any new stuff, thanks.
Actually, I prefer the stuff from 1990 on. They really peaked in the late 90's, but are still close to that peak now.

Really - check out Unleash the Beast, Metalhead, and Killing Ground - IF you like Metal. They are all great.
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Old 05-26-07, 07:37 PM
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I picked up the Saxon album where they redid their best early songs live in the studio. Incredible stuff. Like the new versions better than the old. Haven't heard any "real" Saxon albums since "Power And The Glory" though.
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Old 05-26-07, 08:02 PM
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One of my favorite songs - from anyone, at any time.


...And this one ain't half bad, either!



Look what else I found....

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Old 05-26-07, 08:22 PM
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Here's another one (sound quality lacks a bit - no bottom end in this clip, but it's a great song so....)



Here's a classic that was just too cool not to post...

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Old 05-26-07, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by B5Erik
No, I have not - but are you telling me that they have even ONE album where they have NO "Death Metal/Cookie Monster/Wannabe Sasquatch" vocals? I HATE that stuff - it is NOT musical in the least.
Damnation. But it's probably not what you're looking for if you're a hardcore eighties metal fan. Metal has kind of moved on since then, IMO.

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Old 05-26-07, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Hiro11
Damnation. But it's probably not what you're looking for if you're a hardcore eighties metal fan. Metal has kind of moved on since then, IMO.
Sure, I'm a hardcore 80's Metal fan - but I'd love to hear Opeth's stuff (for example) with decent vocals. I just don't like the growling, screaming, blood curdling, vocal chord thrashing, Cookie Monster vocals that seem to have been in vogue with most new Metal bands over the last 8-10 years.

I'm a Heavy Metal fan, a Hard Rock fan, a "real" Jazz fan - I love good music. If there's a good new Metal band with a "real" singer that writes good songs then I'm interested. (Firewind is a good example, even if they're a bit "old school" in style - they are a class act musically.) Hell, I like Godsmack, and even some of Disturbed's songs. If it's well written and performed (and doesn't have "Cookie Monster" vocals) then I'm interested.

But you've got to check out the videos I linked above (especially the first one) - Saxon is a GREAT band! For ANY era.
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Old 05-26-07, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by B5Erik
Well, to be fair there are more people who really HATE the "Cookie Monster" Death Metal vocals than people who like them. Opeth could be a GREAT band with a real singer who didn't try to sound like Sasquatch or some other angry creature. Musically they are quite good, but the vocals are garbage.
I wouldn't say the vocals are garbage but after listening to and loving Damnation, it is obvious the lead singer is wasting his talents on their regular stuff.
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Old 05-26-07, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael Corvin
I wouldn't say the vocals are garbage but after listening to and loving Damnation, it is obvious the lead singer is wasting his talents on their regular stuff.
Well, I can't stand the way he sings their regular stuff - but when I sampled Damnation I came to the same assessment you did. He is TOTALLY wasting his vocal talent on their regular material - when he doesn't even have to! Their music is melodic enough that he could just sing aggressively like Ronnie James Dio or John Bush and it would be MUCH more effective and also give him a chance to push himself as a singer.

Again, just another reason I love Saxon - no pretentions of using Cookie Monster vocals to sound "tough." Listen to the song for the first video I posted. Freaking AMAZING, and it doesn't sound "wimpy" at all.
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Old 05-27-07, 12:40 AM
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Killing Ground, Unleash The Beast, Metalhead - sample all of them and pick one (or all of them - they're all great). I've been a Saxon fan since '83 and I've got to say that those are probably my 3 favorite Saxon albums.

It's nice to see a band put out some of their best material late in their career like this.


(Edit - Since posting this topic I've been playing all the recent Saxon albums, and, DAMN - but I love these albums! Playing now - "Rock Is Our Life," from Killing Ground. Saxon is just a classy Heavy Metal band!)

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Old 05-27-07, 01:28 AM
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Originally Posted by B5Erik

I'd go so far as to say that Saxon has been much more consistent that Iron Maiden over the same stretch of time. Maiden may arguably be the greatest Heavy Metal band ever, but Saxon has been more than holding their own against their fellow New Wave of British Heavy Metallers over the last 17 years.
That's funny, Iron Maiden was the first band I thought of when you said did any band have that kind of a roll. I may have to check Saxon out.
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Old 05-27-07, 06:52 AM
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I saw Saxon open for Motley Crue back in the 80's. I liked them but never bought their stuff. I remember when i told people I had tix for that show, I would always get the same story about a Legendary Iron Maiden/Saxon show where one of the bands blew the other off the stage. But I can't remember who opened for whom and who blew who away. I think it was Maiden's "Piece of Mind" tour and Saxon blew them away...

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Old 05-27-07, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Suprmallet
That's funny, Iron Maiden was the first band I thought of when you said did any band have that kind of a roll. I may have to check Saxon out.
I saw Saxon (and Fastway) open up for Maiden in '83. Great line up!

If I were you though, I'd check out the CD of rerecorded classics they did first. That should cover the first 3-4 albums for you. That's one "greatest hits" type of package where the band actually did pick the best songs!
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Old 05-27-07, 09:25 PM
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I'll take Maiden's first 7 albums in 9 years as the best roll (8 if you want to count Live After Death).

I've never heard Saxon, so I'll have to check them out. I've been looking for a new band to get in.
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Old 05-29-07, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by B5Erik
Well, I can't stand the way he sings their regular stuff - but when I sampled Damnation I came to the same assessment you did. He is TOTALLY wasting his vocal talent on their regular material - when he doesn't even have to! Their music is melodic enough that he could just sing aggressively like Ronnie James Dio or John Bush and it would be MUCH more effective and also give him a chance to push himself as a singer.

Again, just another reason I love Saxon - no pretentions of using Cookie Monster vocals to sound "tough." Listen to the song for the first video I posted. Freaking AMAZING, and it doesn't sound "wimpy" at all.
Well, it's one thing to just say you don't like death metal vocals, but to say that a well loved death metal band hasn't made a good album simply because it isn't the genre you like is kind of moronic.

That's like me saying BB King hasn't made a good album simply because I don't like the blues. He's wasting all that guitar talent when he should be playing metal!

Anyway, what's this Saxon band? I've never heard of them. They do some kind of power metal stuff or something?
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