SAXON – Hell, Fire and Damnation

SAXON - Hell, Fire and Damnation cover art
  • 9.5/10
    SAXON - Hell, Fire and Damnation - 9.5/10


Label: Silver Lining Music
Release date: January 19, 2024

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Hell, Fire and Damnation is the 24th studio album by the mighty Saxon. For their follow-up to Carpe Diem (2022), the New Wave of British Heavy Metal legends brought their A-game and sent it to the stratosphere. Even long past their ‘80s heydays, Saxon continue to reinvent themselves, choosing not to rely on their classics like “Princess of the Night,” “747 (Strangers in the Night),” and “Denim and Leather.” Depending on the individual, it could be argued that their post-2000s albums are even better than their most well-known ‘80s output, which is not a bad thing. Hell, Fire and Damnation was mixed and produced by Andy Sneap, along with vocalist Biff Byford. Sneap produced the band’s previous four studio albums, as well.

Consistently Reinventing Themselves, While Staying True to Their Roots

English actor Brian Blessed OBE delivers a grand introduction in “The Prophecy,” before Saxon kick things up a notch with the ferocious title track. Like Def Leppard’s “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak” and “Switch 625,” there’s no use in separating the two because they both go well together. The title track itself, which lyrically focuses on the battle between good and evil, is one of the best songs on the album because of the gang backing vocals, scorching guitar melodies, and anthemic chorus. Besides, all is good in the world when Byford screams his head off. Mid-tempo rocker, “Madame Guillotine,” has another memorable chorus that will surely grab listeners’ attention.

Saxon return to their roots with the working-class tribute, “Fire and Steel,” which features Nigel Glocker’s monstrous and beast-like drumming, giving it a Motörhead feel. Think “They Played Rock and Roll” from Thunderbolt (2018). “Pirates of the Airwaves” reflects on the early days of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement. The band also tackles the Salem witch trials with the frightening and groovy, “Witches of Salem,” which fittingly enough, begins with witches screaming their heads off. Thanks to the hard-hitting and straight-forward, “Super Charger,” Saxon close off Hell, Fire and Damnation on a high note.

Final Assessment

Not to sound repetitive, but there’s a familiarity to Hell, Fire and Damnation; even more so thanks to Sneap’s production. When it comes to Saxon, listeners know what to expect and know that they’ll consistently put out top-notch Heavy Metal music, as long as they’re still around. They’re basically the Heavy Metal version of AC/DC. While former guitarist Paul Quinn is dearly missed, his replacement, Brian Tatler, fits in with the band perfectly. He and Doug Scarratt make a remarkable guitar duo, and Sneap emphasized that loud and clearly. Once again, Saxon have outdone themselves and it’s hard to say how they’ll top Hell, Fire and Damnation, but let’s see what happens from here.

Album Tracklist

  1. The Prophecy
  2. Hell, Fire and Damnation
  3. Madame Guillotine
  4. Fire and Steel
  5. There’s Something in Roswell
  6. Kubla Khan and the Merchant of Venice
  7. Pirates of the Airwaves
  8. 1066
  9. Witches of Salem
  10. Super Charger

Band Lineup

Biff Byford – lead vocals
Doug Scarratt – guitars
Brian Tatler – guitars
Nigel Glockler – drums
Nibbs Carter – bass guitar


  • Lana Teramae

    Lana is a reviewer at Metal Express Radio from Honolulu, Hawaii. She's always had a passion for music, but she didn't get into Hard Rock and Heavy Metal music until she discovered Rick Allen's story in the summer of 2019. She was inspired by his determination to play drums for Def Leppard again after losing his left arm in a car accident. From there, her tastes expanded to other bands such as AC/DC, Bon Jovi, Metallica, Judas Priest, Saxon, Cinderella, and Overkill. Aside from listening to music, she loves watching YouTube and writing on her personal blog.

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