(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Lead Journalist/Writer, RiffRelevant.com)
British heavy metal legends and pioneers of the NWOBHM sound, Saxon, will release their 22nd studio album in early 2018. “Thunderbolt” will strike on February 2nd via Militia Guard (Silver Lining Music). The follow-up to 2015’s “Battering Ram” was once again helmed by producer Andy Sneap (Testament, Judas Priest, Accept). It will once again feature original artwork by longtime Saxon collaborator Paul Raymond Gregory.
Also like Battering Ram, “Thunderbolt” features the line up of vocalist Biff Byford alongside Paul Quinn and Doug Scarratt on guitar, Nibbs Carter on bass and Nigel Glockler on drums.
Byford comments: “[‘Thunderbolt’ is] a storming, smashing, thundering collection of tracks we’ve been crafting with producer Andy Sneap and it’s finished ready to be unleashed. Stand clear and fasten your seat belts!“
Three weeks after its release, Saxon will embark on the first leg of the “Thunderbolt” 2018 European tour. The band will be joined by fellow English rockers Diamond Head and metal trio Rock Goddess will perform on the scheduled U.K. dates, with very special guests Magnum on the U.K. Hull date only. However, Saxon doesn’t stop there — dates for the “Thunderbolt” tour part two will be announced in early 2018.
Byford adds: “This is part one of the colossal ‘Thunderbolt’ world tour. We’re going to be touring the whole of 2018 so get your tickets and join the ride.
“It’s gonna be fast and furious, dark and brooding. Monumental riffing and screaming vocals loud and proud. It’s going to be a SAXON tour, unique in every way.“
Pre-sale for all shows begins on November 8 at 10 a.m., with general sale on November 10 at 10 a.m.
“Thunderbolt“ track listing:
01. Olympus Rising
03. The Secret Of Flight
04. Nosferatu (The Vampires Waltz)
05. They Played Rock And Roll
07. Sons Of Odin
09. A Wizard’s Tale
10. Speed Merchants
11. Roadie’s Song
12. Nosferatu (Raw Version) (not available on vinyl)
Feb. 23 – UK, Cardiff – University
Feb. 24 – UK, Cambridge – Corn Exchange
Feb. 25 – UK, Hull – City Hall
Feb. 27 – The Netherlands, Tilburg – 013
Feb. 28 – Germany, Saarbruecken – Garage
Mar. 01 – Germany, Hannover – Capitol
Mar. 02 – Germany, Frankfurt – Batschkapp
Mar. 03 – Germany, Dresden – Schlachthof