ANN MASSEY O’REGAN – our Ireland Editor and massive metal head – picks her top 7 horrific songs from Saxon!
Saxon was formed in 1977 in the Yorkshire town of Barnsley.
Pioneers of the British Heavy Metal scene, their longevity has seen them go from thrashing metal based on the politics or personal anguish of the day to full operatic metal horror.
Nosferatu (The Vampire’s Waltz)
‘Thunderbolt’ is the 2018 album offering from the veteran metal band and Nosferatu is the operatic masterpiece within. The video is straight from the movie with life performance intertwined. Horror brilliance.
The mighty ship lies broken on the rocks
The crew lay dead their bodies rot
A wooden coffin washed up on the shore
They drag it to the abbey steps
Buried there and laid to rest
But soon the evil curse will rise again
Bring the cross and holy water
Pray to God to stop the slaughter
Nosferatu creature of the night
Nosferatu darkness kills the light”
Taken from the 1984 album of the same name, Crusader tells of the horror and bloodshed of the medieval Crusades. Turns out the band liked the Daily Express logo and the Ford car so created lyrics to fit the title!
To battle, to battle, the Saracen hordes
We follow the warrior king
Onward, ride onward, into the fight
We carry the sign of the cross
Warlords of England, Knights of the Realm
Spilling their blood in the sand…”
1992 brought us the album ‘Forever Free’ and more in the way of story-telling. Nighthunter is quite an upbeat tempo which is in stark contrast to the darkness of the lyrics, referring to our fears when the sun goes down.
Creeping after midnight, shadows on the wall
Something in the darkness, hear the footsteps fall
Faces at the window, creatures of the night
Seeking out a victim, somewhere out of sight”
Song of Evil
1999 brought us ‘Metalhead’ and the 14th studio album from Saxon. This song does exactly what it says on the tin.
Turn the screws of torment
Drop the blade of fear
Hear the screams of anguish
There’s no mercy here
The smell of death surrounds you
Your souls will burn in hell
Can we stop this nightmare
When Satan rings the bell”
The Court of The Crimson King
Unusually for Saxon, this is an epic King Crimson cover. From 2001 album ‘Killing Ground’, this is metal opera at it’s grandest. Lyrics are of the darkest storytelling persuasion befitting The Masque of the Red Death, with a melody to match.
The keeper of the city keys
Puts shutters on the dreams
I wait outside the pilgrim’s door
With insufficient schemes
The black queen chants the funeral march
The cracked brass bell will ring
To summon back the fire witch
To the court of the Crimson King”
Speaking of Vincent Price, Witchfinder General comes from the 2004 album, ‘Lionheart’. In a direct reference to Matthew Hopkins, this is a line by line telling of the Witch Hunts of the mid seventeenth century.
Send for the General, there’s witches to burn
The day of your judgment draws nigh
In torment and torture, the bringer of pain
Disciples of Satan will die”
Demon Sweeney Todd
2008 brought us ‘Into the Labyrinth’, and the operatic sounds of Biff Byford. Apart from outstanding vocals and guitar riffs and solos, we were brought the complete retelling of the penny dreadful favourite, Sweeney Todd, Demon Barber.
…Come death and murder that was his trade
He strips your bones for the bargain he made
Below the chamber he cuts at your flesh
A pile of meat is all that is left
Feel the knife on your skin now you pay for your sin
Let the blood start to flow
Full of panic and fear whispered words in your ear…