Saxon Debut Roaring Title Track Off 23rd Album ‘Carpe Diem’
Immensely prolific heavy metal icons Saxon have just announced Carpe Diem, their 23rd studio album, and along with it comes the music video for the opening track, "Carpe Diem (Seize the Day)."
"It all starts with the riff. If the riff speaks to me, then we’re on our way," said singer Biff Byford of the studio successor to 2018's Lightning Bolt, with last year's Inspirations covers record bridging the gap. "It’s a very intense album and that’s all down to the fact that the essence of a great metal song is the riff that starts it and this album has loads of them," he continued.
Before those riffs start flying, Saxon serve up a sense of epic grandiosity with an atmospheric, tribal opening set the visual clips of lush, rolling green hills in the countryside. With a high-pitch wail from the 70-year-old Byford, the metal overtakes this cinematic passage and one of the U.K.'s longest active crew of headbangers prove themselves to be as vital now as they were over four decades ago.
Watch the music video below.
"In Latin it means 'seize the day' and I think it's a great thing to say," said Byford of the album's title. He explained, "It’s what the Romans used to say to each other on a regular basis, apparently, never having met one, I wouldn’t know! But we’re gonna do the Seize the Day world tour, the album’s Carpe Diem, this song’s called “Carpe Diem (Seize the Day)” and it’s such a powerful thing to say.”
“We want every album we make to go platinum,” the singer added in reflection of the band's drive. "We never make an album that we don’t expect to be fantastic because there are no laurels around here, and as a band, we’re always trying to do something a little bit new, a little bit daring. I love fast metal like 'Princess of the Night' and '20,000 Feet', and I try and bring that style of Saxon into the music now, but in a more modern style. We don’t sound like an old band on records because we’re not sitting back on our past success, we’re always trying to make a great album.”
Getting to the finish line on Carpe Diem wasn't easy, however, as medical setbacks and the pandemic presented their own set of hurdles to overcome.
Byford went on, “It’s been a difficult two years 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 was produced by Andy Sneap at Backstage Recording Studios in Derbyshire, England while both Byford and Sneap teamed up on mixing and mastering duties. The album will be out Feb. 4 on Silver Lining Music and pre-orders can be placed here. To view the artwork and track listing, scroll to the bottom of the page.
Saxon, "Carpe Diem" Music Video
Saxon, Carpe Diem Album Art + 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"