Fortunately, this almost mass production of new albums has not at all affected the quality of the craft. "Battering Ram" may not be all to original, but it is far from bad. On the contrary, it is actually one the more solid albums I have heard from them in recent years (and the same can be said about that gorgeous album cover). It is not that the band has created a couple of songs that will go in history as instant classics, instead they have created 11 songs that all hold a good, high standard that every fan should have no trouble in banging their heads to.
Just like any other Saxon album, there are no big surprises in store. They start off by pulling their most powerful (and possibly the strongest) punch with the title track. Worthy of its name, it punches through your door with loud drums, sweet riffing, and Biff Byford's stand out vocals. Certainly a start that makes an impact. The strong starts continues with the groovy "The Devil's Footprint" (that more or less steals the intro to Iron Maiden's "The Number of The Beast" and just puts other words in it) and a slow, chugging Alice In Wonderland tribute in "Queen of Hearts".
The album does sink a little after that, but it never really submerges fully below the surface. All songs are steady as a rock, succeeding with its only mission, to entertain the listener with good music. Songs like "Stand Your Ground", "Top of The World" and "Three Sheets To The Wind (The Drinking Song)" does stand out among its brethren, but are these songs that will blow you away? No. Do they have to blow you away? Absolutely not, you will still enjoy them.
For us metal fans, this is just another Saxon release among the other 20. It is not a album that will baffle and it will have a hard time to make any best of lists this year, but it does what it was intended for, it entertains. "Battering Ram" lives up to the name, even if the bang is not too big. It is a good, strong album that does not disappoint anyone. It is simply Saxon, and we would not have it any other way.
Songs worthy of recognition: Battering Ram, The Devil's Footprint, Top of The World
Rating: 7,5/10 Queen of Hearts