NWOBHM stalwarts Saxon will release their 24th studio album, Hell, Fire And Damnation, on 19 January 2024 via Silver Lining Music. Brian Blessed OBE delivers The Prophecy before the band launches into the album’s title track, which you can hear below.
“I’ve had that saying in my head since I was a small boy, “Biff told us of the album title, Hell, Fire And Damnation. “My dad used to say it when he was upset. 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.”
With the first new Saxon song released, you can hear that Biff is in fine form, noticeable from the very first scream. “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,” he says of the song theme. “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.”
The new Saxon album, Hell, Fire And Damnation, features the twin guitar attack of Doug Scarratt and Brian Tatler, sounding fresh and fiery. Nigel Glockler and Nibbs Carter on drums and bass, respectively, lay down the rhythmic law with bombastic power.
Andy Sneap and Biff have produced the new album, with Sneap also covering mixing and mastering. Biff is enthusiastic about the contribution of Andy. “I think this album’s one of the best he’s done sound-wise,” Biff says, “and he’s done a lot of albums.”
As for the other songs on the album, highlights will include a furious tribute to actual Heavy Metal in the denim and leather-coated super-sprint Fire And Steel. There is a wonderful nod to the birth of NWOBHM in the electric mid-pace Pirates Of The Airwaves. Plus, there is a true treasure amidst the jewels in There’s Something In Roswell.
“It has a really raw, vibrant sound,” Biff says. “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.”
Hell, Fire And Damnation can be pre-ordered from here.