For some reason, I was under the assumption that Saxon was a lot harder band than they turn out to be on “Dogs Of War”. “Don’t Worry” has much more to do with bands like Cinderella and Every Mother’s Nightmare than Venom or Vader or any of the other five-letter metal bands. “Big Twin Rolling” shifts the band sound a little bit to a Hagar (Can’t Drive 55) or Lizzy Borden type of sound, perhaps a little Motley Crue or David Lee Roth.
This is to say, Saxon comes out with a very pop infused type of metal that really stands up on its own. The one thing that individuals should question Saxon on in the early goings of “Dogs of War” is why exactly they were determined to put some of the longest tracks right at the opening. However, a lot of these minor issues with this album completely disappear when “Hold On” kicks on the stereo. This track uses a multiple set of vocals during the chorus to really bring listeners in and keep them in with the shrill guitar that immediately follows. What really comes forth on “The Great White Buffalo” is the arrangement of the guitars, which really tell a story in the rich fields that they create. Each of the songs on “Dogs of War” seems to have that familiar sound present that really increases the tie one can have with the disc; even if individuals were only just born when the disc came out, they can still get into this disc and pump their fists.
The next hit for Saxon comes during their “Give It All Away”. In this track, the band again looks back to mid-eighties Van Halen for inspiration but seems to also take the guitars from a very Scorpions type of style. The inclusion of live tracks on this disc really give individuals an introduction into a side of Saxon that perhaps not everyone was familiar with. The first live track, a version of “The Great White Buffalo” seems to have a little more fury present throughout the track. The added little nudge to hard rock really means that Saxon can be liked both by individuals into hair metal and those that have a harder, more rock background. Overall, a solid disc with more than its share of hits; “Dogs of War” is definitely an album to search out and get.
Top Tracks: The Great White Buffalo, Big Twin Rolling
Saxon – Dogs Of War / 2006 Steamhammer / 12 Tracks / http://www.saxon747.com / http://www.spv.de / Reviewed 22 February 2006