British Heavy Metal legends Saxon have released the second single, “Remember the Fallen,” from their upcoming album, Carpe Diem – set for release February 4 via Silver Lining Music. “I wanted to write a song about COVID, about the people that have died, and give my perception of how it seemed to happen,” offers vocalist Biff Byford. “Certain aspects of it all are quite mysterious, and of course, it hasn’t finished yet, has it? We should all remember those who have died as a group of people not really knowing why they died, because the information wasn’t there.”
The release of “Remember the Fallen” is also accompanied by a reportage-style video montaged with footage of the band’s individual recording sessions.
Produced by Andy Sneap (Judas Priest, Exodus, Accept and Priest guitarist) at Backstage Recording Studios in Derbyshire with Byford and Sneap mixing and mastering, Carpe Diem strikes the ear as one of the most essential British metal statements of the last few years and not lacking in pace or bite, an album which will ignite the joy in stalwart supporters and attract a whole new legion to the Saxon fold.
Sneap, himself a guitarist and producer of some metal repute, ensures that Carpe Diem does not lack one ounce of grit or sharpness. “Andy’s obviously a very good guitarist,” says Biff, “but he’s not a blues-based guitarist like our guys are; he’s more of a modern-style player. And that means the boys (Paul Quinn and Doug Scarratt) love working with him because, again, it’s all about the intensity. Andy’s always pushing the envelope; he doesn’t let them get away with anything. They have to play it for real, full speed. He gets great sound, and we want that Gibson/Marshall ’80s sound even if they’re not Gibsons and Marshalls. We try and retain that British metal guitar sound that we created for Saxon, and he’s definitely an ’80s child.”
Despite a career which has spanned 44 years with over 15 million albums sold, including four top 10 U.K. albums, and having played to hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide, Saxon are revving up for one of their busiest eras yet.
“We’re gonna be quite busy this year,” says Biff. “There are festivals which have been rescheduled from two years ago, we’re looking to go to America, we’re also going to tour U.K. and Europe later in the year and like everyone really, we’re just keeping our fingers crossed that everything works out and we can do it all. We’re also recording the second Inspirations album, and as we do that, you never know, we might write a few songs for the next Saxon album…”
The genesis of Carpe Diem‘s fierce intensity lies in two extremely significant life events.
“It’s been a difficult two years,” offers Biff with considerable understatement, “because I had the heart attack back in September 2019, so things went a bit pear-shaped for the band. And then COVID hit two or three months later, but luckily, we started writing and recording this album before COVID. We did the drums in Germany and we did the guitars in various places. I was doing a lot of writing while I was in the hospital bed, and we spent quite a long time writing and arranging the ideas that we all had. I do think it’s a very intense album, and maybe some of that intensity comes from the frustration of not being able to do anything in the COVID period.”
Carpe Diem track listing:
01. Carpe Diem (Seize The Day)
02. Age Of Steam
03. The Pilgrimage
05. Remember The Fallen
06. Super Nova
07. Lady In Gray
08. All For One
09. Black Is The Night
10. Living On The Limit
This post first appeared on Rock Confidential.
Watch Saxon’s “Remember The Fallen” Video, A Tribute To Victims Of COVID-19