Is there ever a bad Saxon album? Okay, maybe Solid Ball of Rock, but that was not bad, just more as a result of the changing environment of rock. And that is why Thunderbolt thrives in the Saxon universe.
In a time when classic metal is burning, perhaps, it’s last white hot flame, Saxon comes out with torches in hands and guitar solos blazing. Thunderbolt is a classic metal fan’s dream.
Somewhere between fantasy-tinged metal and ‘70s-era acid rock, this album is everything a Saxon fan would want, even down to the artwork from longtime Saxon collaborator, Paul Raymond Gregory. The band does not disseminate from their foundation in the British wave of heavy metal. And compared to the 2015, Battering Ram, this is the perfect extension.
One of the great songs of this album is “Nosferatu (The Vampire Waltz),” mostly because I am a classic horror film fan. This is the best song I have heard dedicated to the vampire. I love how the band captures the fantasy and mysticism of this character through the tone of their metal. Saxon has extrapolates the mystery behind this mythical creature while making a journey out of the experience.
Saxon – Thunderbolt
And then comes the monstrosity of “Sons of Odin,” that continues the epic approach that began with “Olympus Rising,” which is just a preamble to the title track. But “Sons of Odin” has the intention of creating aftershocks. Every beat is like a stomping footprint from a giant.
It’s not all the soundtrack to a Tor paperback. Saxon cannot resist to let it all out and create a British metal anthem in “They Played Rock and Roll.” The song is a straightforward dust storm fueled by sweat and power.
Thunderbolt is exactly what you want it to be from a band who has persevered through the tumultuous ride of rock and roll.