SAXON Announces New Album 'Hell, Fire And Damnation'
November 21, 2023
When internationally renowned actor Brian Blessed OBE delivers a proclamation for opening track "The Prophecy", expectations are automatically high for SAXON's latest album. Have no fear and make no mistake, SAXON meet and exceed them on their 24th studio album, "Hell, Fire And Damnation", set for release January 19, 2024 via Silver Lining Music.
Biff Byford, SAXON lead singer and founder member, reminisces when asked about the title of the band's brand new release.
"I've had that saying in my head since I was a small boy because my dad used to say it when he was upset," Biff smiles. "He used to say, 'Hell, fire, and damnation, what's tha' been doing now?!' when I was 'messing up his cabbage patch' or carving things into the kitchen table. It was a very 'Yorkshire' saying back in the day."
The title track unleashed today is a superlative British heavy metal classic exploring the juxtaposition between good and evil.
"There's so much music out there about hell and the devil and the occult that I just thought it's about time somebody wrote one about the battle just between good and evil!" explains Biff. "You can't sing about the devil without singing about the good guy either, and the song basically says 'make your choice'. We all have to make the choice, are we evil or are we good? The song's about that fight."
"Hell, Fire And Damnation" is an album which sees SAXON investigate all areas of history and mystery amidst ten of their most confident and thunderously powerful songs yet. Biff delivers his richest vocals in years, Nigel Glockler and Nibbs Carter on drums and bass, respectively, lay down the rhythmic law with bombastic power, and the guitars of Doug Scarratt and Brian Tatler are fresh and fiery, a perfect complement to each other, carrying an overall energy and fury which will have fans salivating. Musically, SAXON bring it all to the table. There's a furious tribute to actual heavy metal in the denim-and-leather-coated super-sprint "Fire And Steel", a wonderful nod to the NWOBHM's birth in the electric mid-pace "Pirates Of The Airwaves", but maybe the true treasure amidst the jewels is "There's Something In Roswell", with the sort of expansive groove and embrace which deserves arenas.
Produced by Andy Sneap (JUDAS PRIEST, EXODUS, ACCEPT) and Byford, with Sneap mixing and mastering, "Hell, Fire And Damnation" strides the perfect line between confident, current power, and gloriously irreverent flexing of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal muscle which SAXON co-created.
"I think this album's one of the best he's done sound-wise, and he's done a lot of albums," Biff declares. "It has a really raw, vibrant sound... if you compress the total time making this album, it was four weeks tops… you can hear everything brilliantly, nothing's overcomplicated, nothing's over compressed. The guitar sounds are fucking immense, they're just great, raw guitar sounds. And we haven't done a lot of overdubbing on there, it's just playing. I really, really like it."
2024 promises to be a great year for SAXON, with the European tour alongside JUDAS PRIEST and URIAH HEEP kicking off in the U.K. in March, plus the arrival of the heavy metal masterpiece "Hell, Fire And Damnation".
"Getting these shows in March 2024 with JUDAS PRIEST and URIAH HEEP meant it made sense to push and get the album made faster," says Biff, "so, we got on with it in haste and pulled it out of the bag. It was tricky, but I think it's safe to say we managed it well."
"Hell, Fire And Damnation" track listing:
01. The Prophecy 02. Hell, Fire And Damnation 03. Madame Guillotine 04. Fire And Steel 05. There's Something In Roswell 06. Kubla Khan And The Merchant Of Venice 07. Pirates Of The Airwaves 08. 1066 09. Witches Of Salem 10. Super Charger
The cover art was created by Péter Sallai and can be seen below.
"Hell, Fire And Damnation" 2024 tour dates:
March 11 - OVO Hydro, Glasgow (UK) March 13 - First Direct Arena, Leeds (UK) March 15 - 3Arena, Dublin (IE) March 17 - BIC, Bournemouth (UK) March 19 - Resorts World Arena, Birmingham (UK) March 21 - OVO Arena Wembley, London (UK) March 24 - Festhalle, Frankfurt (DE) March 25 - Olympiahalle, München (DE) March 26 - Volksbank Messe, Balingen (DE) March 27 - Westfalenhalle, Dortmund (DE) March 29 - O2 Arena, Prague (CZ) March 30 - Tauron Arena, Kraków (PL) April 1 - Wiener Stadhalle, Vienna (AT) April 2 - Roxy, Ulm (DE) April 3 - St. Jakobshalle, Basel (CH) April 5 - Halle Tony Garnier, Lyon (FR) April 6 - Mediolanum Forum, Milan (IT) April 8 - Zénith, Paris (FR) June 13 - Sant Jordi Club, Barcelona (ES) June 15 - Navarra Arena, Pamplona (ES) June 17 - Palacio Vistalegre, Madrid (ES) July 1 - Barclays Arena, Hamburg (DE) July 2 - Max-Schmeling-Halle, Berlin (DE) July 4 - Arena Nürnberger, Nürnberg (DE) July 8 - Sap Arena, Mannheim (DE) July 10 - Messehalle, Dresden (DE)
More dates to be announced.
Earlier in the year, SAXON guitarist Paul Quinn announced that he was stepping back from touring with the band. As a result of his decision, SAXON canceled its April 2023 South American tour as well as the appearance at the Monsters Of Rock cruise. Quinn has since been replaced on the road by DIAMOND HEAD's Brian Tatler.
Brian has already joined fellow guitarist Doug Scarratt, drummer Nigel Glockler, bassist Tim "Nibbs" Carter and Byford for several European shows but will continue to be a member of DIAMOND HEAD.
SAXON's latest release, "More Inspirations", arrived in March via Silver Lining Music. Following the release of "Inspirations" in 2021, "More Inspirations" is the second "deep dish" serving of the influences which have fed SAXON's immensely successful 40-plus-year career.
Produced by Biff, with Seb Byford helping record the music alongside mixing engineer Jacky Lehmann, "More Inspirations" includes takes on RAINBOW, ZZ TOP and CREAM, as well as "Razamanaz" by NAZARETH, THE WHO's "Substitute", and URIAH HEEP's "Gypsy".
Byford and Quinn are the sole remaining original members in SAXON's current lineup.
Originally from South Yorkshire, England, SAXON has gone on to sell about 23 million albums and has produced such classic songs as "Denim And Leather", "Princess Of The Night", "Wheels Of Steel" and "Power And Glory".
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