Saxon provide a quality product for their fans with the latest 'Eagle'
Live albums are definitely an intriguing proposition, they could offer the excitement and more dynamic possibilities offered on the stage and bring out something new and novel in your old favourite songs. Yet I've often found that unless they are a band you are intimately familiar with, or it was a gig that you attended, live CDs often fail to hit the mark. Few bands ever really sound as good as they do on record, let alone surpass themselves and I've often found myself wondering "Why listen to this rather than the albums?". With their latest release 'The Eagle Has Landed, Part. III' Saxon have typified my feelings on the live genre to the highest degree.
The quality of all the recordings is of the quality you would expect from any band looking to impress, the calibre of the band's performance shines through with the great sound mix and the personality of all the tracks is not lost in the mix. Furthermore from this high quality of sound, there is a great variety on offer in this double CD set in more than one way. The choice of tracks on offer spans the band's entire career from the 80's up until the present day whilst the choice of recordings including the bands set at Wacken 2004 is wide-ranging and will hopefully offer something for any fan of the band to enjoy. The performances themselves sound spirited and, unlike many bands who reach this age, like a band who are still in the prime of their performing career.
Really though, in my listening of this I suffered in the fact that Saxon are simply a band I have never listened to before. This album is certainly well recorded, and the performance itself is high quality, but to be honest it never engaged my interest as there were no songs I could relate to, no comparison I could make between the studio and the live. This then is definitively one for the fans, the performance is high quality yet I doubt it will draw in any new fans the band don't already have intrigued. Followers of the band will be pleased with the variety on show, both in terms of the range of shows and the breadth of their career that is covered. Overall then, a strong release but really not one that is going to go down as one of the essential live metal albums (which is a shame, considering the well-regarded status of Saxon these days)