SAXON - Strong Arm Of The Lore Page 2
by Martin Popoff
The result, as Biff has somewhat alluded to, is a slightly grittier and... well, more morose and British and despondent record, definitely vibed toward the NWOBHM. And then there's the odd Hybrid Theory movie tie-in, late in the sequence, which actually results in two of the record's most passion-played tracks, a late and paired highlight to add richness.
"Yeah, we had one riff," reveals Biff. "Nigel had a riff he played on keyboards, which is the one that sounds like Zeppelin, or Purple-ish, just hanging about, really. And we had just been to Mexico and the Mayan temples and all of this 2012 thing, end of days (laughs). And so I had this idea of doing this song called Doomsday, what will the future bring, basically, and I pitch that idea to the producer of the film, and he went for it. So we finished that song for the film, and then he wanted another song that could be played on a soldier's iPod as he was going into this labyrinth, and so that became No Rest For The Wicked - a modern, dark, metal riff, really."
Velocities intensify for Afterburner. "Yeah, that's our British thrash metal," says Biff. Priest homage? No truck yielded on this front. After all, Biff reminds me that the English are competitive. "Well, it's Motorcycle Man, Princess Of The Night. Don't forget, Paul Quinn is probably one of the guys who launched thrash metal playing, which... I think a lot of it's based around punk aggression, and a lot of it's just down to me and Paul being a bit crazy, really, playing these fast things. We had two guitarists. We had Graham Oliver who was great at things like Strong Arm Of The Law, Wheels Of Steel-type riffs, and we had Paul who is like super technical who loved to play Princess Of The Night, which is all down strokes, and Motorcycle Man and To Hell And Back Again. There are all these riffs, you see... all these fast things are Paul's riffs. So yeah, I mean, we were always writing fast songs. It's one of our trademarks, I suppose."
Elsewhere there's Back In 79, which lays down the strong arm of the lore as it were, reminding us with grinding metal pride of a time when metal was starting to break and break for ten years solid.
SAXON - Strong Arm Of The Lore Page 3