Sound: As far as the production goes the album is very good satisfying indeed. One of the main issues I've always had with many of Saxon's 1980s albums is the cheap production which in many ways spoils what are potentially very good songs. Destiny however, does not suffer from bad production in any way. Given the year of its release, 1988, one has to remember what the style of production was like at the time. Def Leppard had released the jaw dropping "Hysteria" only a year earlier, and many accessible Metal acts such as Saxon we're emulating their "wall of sound" approach to production, pioneered by the legendary Robert "Mutt" Lange.
Producer Stephen Galfas did a wonderful job on the production of the album, you just have to remember that it has a style of production which is out of fashion nowadays.
It's obvious that Saxon spent a lot of money on "Destiny", which is very much a contrast to their previous effort, "Rock The Nations", which was put together very quickly in a cheap studio in Wales. With regards to the style of music, it is without doubt the closest Saxon have ever got to becoming a Hair-Metal band at any point in their career. Saxon fans are somewhat divided on their view of the album, for the very reason I've just mentioned. If you're expecting another "Denim and Leather" or "Wheels of Steel", then undoubtedly this album will be a huge disappointment for you. However "Destiny" offers an enjoyable 44 minutes of well structured, energetic, 80s rock songs. As long as you know what you're going in for, and you can appreciate that Saxon have done different things in their career, it's possible to enjoy what Destiny has to offer. // 7
Lyrics: Late 1980's Hair Metal has a reputation for some of the cheesiest, most cringe-worthy lyrics ever penned to paper. Fortunately though the "Destiny" lyrics did not form part of this trend. In some cases, the songs do tackle many of the issues of the day (in the late 80s), such as the critique song of the Berlin Wall, "For Whom The Bell Tolls", and "Red Alert", which is about the Chernobyl disaster. The Linear notes also reveal that the lively track "Calm Before The Storm" is actually dedicated to Biff Byford's late father. // 8
Overall Impression: First of all, there's no doubt that this is an improvement on the lacklustre "Rock The Nations". "Destiny" is in every sense, an more accomplished effort than its predecessor. The production is second to none, and some of the songs are very strong indeed, notably "Ride Like The Wind", and "When The Lightning Strikes".
The low point of the album is perhaps "We Are Strong", a synthesiser-heavy blip in what is otherwise a very listenable Hair Metal effort. Of course, this is far from Saxon's finest hour. The material they've put out in recent years is arguably some of the best in their entire 30-year music career. Furthermore, as you may have already gathered, "Destiny" sounds very out of fashion in this day and age. On the other hand, fashion isn't the be all, end all, and "Destiny" is a reasonably strong effort, as long as you know what you're going in for when you press play. Not the strongest, but not the weakest by any means either. // 7