So here it is, the album we have all been waiting for. Dare I say it, with some in trepidation? After all, how could Saxon possibly follow the success that was the Lionheart album? Well, quite easily it seems! On first listen however, I cant say that I was ecstatic about the Inner Sanctum album. It seemed OK, a good follow up to Lionheart, but certainly nothing to compare to it. However, the more I listened to the album, the more it grew on me. And lets be honest, all the good albums are like that. So what have we got? 1. State Of Grace. A fantastic haunting intro. From the back of your speakers you can hear a riff kicking in, getting louder and louder, then bam!, we are into State Of Grace. A catchy easy to remember song with a heavy riff in the chorus. A good start to the album. 2. Need For Speed. A kick in the nads, what more can be said! Similar in style to 'Man And Machine. A heavy riff, a real blow your brains out song. 3. Let Me Feel Your Power. So you want to take it easy after just hearing Need For Speed do you? Forget it! Another kick in the nads, full of double bass drumming and heavy riffing. A good song, but for me it is the weakest song on the album. 4. Red Star Fallimg. I think this song could be one of those songs that you will love or loathe. Me? I think it is brilliant! All about the fall of communism in the former Soviet Union. With its pounding catchy riffs and stirring lyrics, this song is why heavy metal was invented. It is one of the two songs that stood out for me on first listen. Will sound fabulous live. 5. Ive Got To Rock (To Stay Alive). An AC/DC song that AC/DC can't write anymore! A real bouncer of a song with big riffs and catchy lyrics. This song is going to be awesome live. It has bounce factor, sing-along factor, and even a mid-song slow down for us all to clap our hands to. Brilliant stuff! 6. If I Was You. This song we are all familiar with, of course, with it being the single. I still can't decide if I prefer the single or album version. OK, so it might be a bit of a commercial song, but a great song is a great song. Why do Planetrock continue to play 747, Wheels Of Steel, Never Surrender, and ignore classy stuff from Saxon like this song? 7. Going Nowhere Fast. Another AC/DC-ish song.. In fact, if AC/DC had written this song, no doubt Planetrock would be playing it! Very Killing Ground album feel to this one. 8. Ashes To Ashes. The other song that stood out on first listen. An anthem in the making, or cheesy? You decide! But with big double bass drums and big riffs, stand and fight lyrics, mid-song chant, how can you not like this song?! Yet another song that will sound great live. 9. Empire Rising. Short and (very) sweet. Saxon are masters at doing these haunting intro's. I think Nigel writes these, he is a very talented musician. I just love this type of intro. 10. Attila The Hun. Shall we go out on a slow one? No chance! Just like many of the songs on this album, it is big on double bass drums, and chunky kick in the nads riffs. Clever eastern style guitars lead into a big hearty chorus. Quite possibly another like it or loathe it type of song. So there you go, we neednt have worried! Although I still cant make my mind up if Inner Sanctum is better than Lionheart, one thing is for sure, it certainly gives it a good run for its money. If there is another heavy metal band out there who is putting out consistently strong albums, as Saxon are, well tell me about them, because I want to buy all their stuff!