Saxon – The Eagle Has Landed Part III 2006 – 98%
Warrior came! Warrior saw! Warrior conquered!
Do these towns know how to rock? This live album was put together different from Saxon live albums of the past, from what the liner notes say. They started recording it at the world-famous Wacken festival in 2004, and didn’t stop until 2 tours later. With the previous Eagle Has Landed albums, you got one live concert album each. Here, Saxon explains you’re getting a live tour album instead. They wanted to create a live album of songs that haven’t appeared on any of the other live albums. This includes material released after those live albums, and material that just didn’t make their respective cuts at the time. What sets this live album apart is that this is for the hardcore Saxon fan. You don’t get the Denim and Leathers, or the Heavy Metal Thunders, or the Princess of the Nights or the 747s. You get the underrated, unheralded deep cuts from one of metal’s most legendary bands that you normally don’t hear them play often. Included are a few tracks from the very under appreciated Power and the Glory album (Redline, Warrior, This Town Rocks). They even play several tracks from their debut album, which I don’t believe they have hardly ever played (correct me if I’m wrong).
First and foremost, this album probably has my favorite presentation of all time. You get a wonderfully simple gatefold digi-pack (I’ve never understood the disdain digi-packs seem to get) with one CD on each side, and a fantastic picture booklet in the center sleeve that contains a whopping 95 live pictures of the guys doing what the guys do best. Playing metal live!
So how the hell are the performances? It’s Saxon, people! They’re better live than they are in the studio. Even 27 years after their first album they still manage to get everything perfect. Biff’s voice is in top shape, as always. If you’re a die-hard Saxon fan, you know what you’re getting with Biff. The same goes for Paul Quinn as well. Each note flows one after another in the exact fashion that the studio albums portrayed. The drumming was done by 3 separate guys on here (I can’t imagine having 3 different drummers in 2 years), but all of the performances are consistent with each other. Saxon’s obviously not going to hire some hack to fill such legendary shoes. While the songs from certain early albums do sound a bit more mild (Suzie Hold On) and restrained (Frozen Rainbow) than the rest of the pack, the raw live atmosphere breathes energetic life into each track.
The first disc is composed of all the lesser known classic 80s material the band, and the second focuses on everything from 1991 0nwards. Really, only a band like Saxon can pull off a double live album. The majority of bands don’t have nearly enough classic (or even good, honestly) material to take up two and a half hours. Saxon’s so fucking classic, they can fill up a two and a half hour running time, and still not even hit their most well-known classics! If only the collective NWOBHM movement had remained as strong as Saxon throughout the years…
If you’ve already got the first two Eagle Has Landed albums, you better get this one too! If you don’t have those, get those first. Like I mentioned earlier, this album is strictly for all the die-hard Saxon fans in the world. If you’re not in love with Saxon yet, you’d be better off going for the first two Eagle Has Landed albums. They’ll give you a picture of what Saxon is about, and what Saxon has accomplished. This is just the album that helps the mega fans get more of what they crave!
Oh and yeah, these towns know how to fuckin’ rock!
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