Metal Insider contributor Anthony Maisano is listening to a different metal album that was released on that day every day this year. 34 years ago today, Saxon released their sophomore album Wheels of Steel.
This is Saxon’s second album, and the one that really established them as one of the leading NWOBHM bands. As always, expect the riffs to be fast, and hard-hitting. The album has that strong rebellious attitude that was huge in the late 80’s. It’s a strong release that really holds up the flag for where metal was at the time. “Freeway Mad” has a really cool drum intro with effects around it, followed by a bouncing riff.
The album has a very simplistic formula that I really don’t care for. It’s rare for them to do anything truly unique on this album, even for the time it came out. It really rests solely on the spirit and the message it sends. A lot of the riffs sound like unused AC/DC riffs. Sadly, I have to say that this is one that I personally don’t think has aged very well at all.
Favorite Tracks: “Freeway Mad,” “Street Fighting Gang,” “747 (Strangers in the Night.”
Overall, if you really like 80’s metal, or anything with that rebellious spirit, you’ll most likely enjoy this album quite a bit. However, as I said, I don’t think it has aged that well. The riffs, while not bad at all, aren’t anything outstanding. The song structure is basic, and incredibly simplistic, even for 1980. It’s an album with a message, and those who like the message will like the album, but there will be far better stuff for those that don’t care anymore.