Call to Arms
Style: Heavy Metal
Release date: 3 June, 2011
Playing time: 43:37

Stalin watches us severely from the cover of the new album of SAXON. The portrait is from a propaganda poster dating from the World War II. The music returns us to the early battles of this classic band.


“Call to Arms” starts with a song coming as if from the first albums of SAXON: middle tempo, this Southern taste for blues which distinguished the band from the other representatives of the NWOBHM. Even the sound is not modern and “pumped up”. Behind the sincere title of the next track “Back In ‘79” is hidden a bow to BLACK SABBATH which sends the perception even further back in time. A cheerful song peculiar to Buff & company follows. The longest and the most “British” as lyrics composition sounds as classic hard rock without any surprises. The eponymous of the album song has so deep feelings in the vocals and at the same time emphasized rhythm that sounds like a powerful URIAH HEEP. You can find more rock ‘n’ roll and early speed SAXON. “When Doomsday comes…” (8th track) starts with a quote from DEEP PURPLE and obviously is influenced from them – the solos, the keyboards, and the singing carry the sign of the inheritance of the classicists.


The next title (besides its coincidence with an album of OZZY) sounds as the early BLACK SABBATH but a little bit more optimistic. In the workers’ hymn “Ballad of the Working Man” (10th track) SAXON again found themselves. The orchestrate version of “Call to Arms” sets the end of the album and does not sound so different from the original.


Intentionally or not, SAXON lead us to a retro walk through the hard rock from the times of the first steps of NWOBHM. The songs have no shared unity and idea. The album is not one of the strongest ones of the Englishmen but it will not disappoint the fans. SAXON can even widen their admirers with their new music but it sounds a little bit tired...


01. Hammer of the Gods
02. Back In ‘79
03. Surviving Against the Odds
04. Mists of Avalon

05. Call to Arms
06. Chasing the Bullet
07. Afterburning
08. When Doomsday Comes (Hybrid Theory)
09. No Rest for the Wicked
10. Ballad of the Working Man
11. Call to Arms (Orchestral version)

Label: UDR GmbH
Distribution: Playground Music
Reviewed by: Maria D. S.
Date: 4 June, 2011