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Purrfect Play Cat Toy Giveaway- ENDED September 1, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Animals, Blog Giveaways, cats, Giveaways, Pets, Product Reviews, Reviews, thoughts.
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As you know, my house has 2 kittens that are bundles of energy- constantly trying to run, scamper, playing with each other (sometimes having needed to be pulled apart because they play too rough), playing with us humans, and playing with Mommy cat. They are at that stage where they also want to play with other things like catalogs, books, and sometimes the TV remote.

Our friends at Purrfect Play sent our kitties some toys to play with. The kittens got the Dust Bunnies (which are wool wrapped into pompoms). Even Mommy cat got a couple of Wool Balls and a Brown Organic Fleece Mouse (crafted from naturally brown organic cotton fleece) for those “needing a break” times. All of Purrfect Play’s items are organic and dye-free to keep your pet healthy without all the icky chemicals that can sometimes be found in our pet toys. They not only offer toys for kitties, they also have doggie toys and gifts for people!

tbkit1So what was the verdict of the Dust Bunnies? The kittens weren’t too sure at first but when they realized they were tbkit2toys, they loved them. They even sat up with it in their mouths. Mommy cat loved the Brown Organic Fleece Mouse (maybe because it had catnip in it) and it gave her tons of energy that she was able to play with her kittens. She also loved the Wool Balls, pawing them to where they would roll off the bed. I hadn’t seen her had that much fun in a long time! I snapped pictures of kittens Brother and Sister playing but didn’t get a chance because once Mommy cat knows she’s getting her picture taken, she stops playing.

Visit their blog to lots of fun and don’t forget to sign up for their newsletter because it’s chock full of pet toys and info!

Because our fur babies loved them, we want you to try them out too! Purrfect Play is giving a Texas Banter reader the opportunity to win 6 Wooly Dust Bunnies.

Neither kitten was given any catnip.


One (1) reader of Texas Banter will win 6 Wooly Dust Bunnies.

To enter, visit Purrfect Play. Come back and tell me what other item you or your dog/cat would enjoy!

THIS IS MANDATORY! “Enter me” or “Nice giveaway” does not constitute as an entry and will be removed. YOU MUST LEAVE A VALID E-MAIL TO ENTER! OPEN TO U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY.

Extra Entries (8): Leave a separate comment for each entry and/or link.

*Follow me on Twitter (Username- texasheartland.)
*Subscribe to Texas Banter Mailing List (via E-Mail, Google Reader, etc.)
*Tweet about this giveaway (profile link or status link- Enter the Purrfect Play Cat Toy Giveaway on TB! http://tinyurl.com/kkt8kq @texasheartland)
*Follow Manders on Twitter (Username- confettidreams.)
*Add my Texas Banter Button
*Blog about this giveaway
*Leave a comment on their blog.
*Subscribe to their newsletter.

The giveaway starts on Tuesday, September 1st upon going “live” and will end on Tuesday, September 15th at 11:59PM CST. Entries submitted after that time are voided and are not counted.

Winners have 48 hours to respond to the winning notification. If the winner(s) have not responded within the 48 hours, a new winner(s) will be chosen.

All winners chosen via Random.org.


CIJ: OrnamentsWithLove.com Review July 24, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Christmas, Christmas decor, Christmas in July, Feelings, holidays, Home Decor, Product Reviews, Products, Reviews, thoughts.
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If you’re anything like me, you get tired of the generic ornaments on your tree everything Christmas rolls around. You want to add a little flair and personality to your ornaments, but you’re not exactly sure how. Did you know that you can have your own personalized set of ornaments just for $10 or more per ornament? Most places would charge you anywhere from $15 to even $90 just for a personalized ornament! But not OrnamentsWithLove.com!

OrnamentsWithLove.com offers over 700 personalized ornaments and a variety of photo frames and table decorations. Most of their ornaments are handmade from artists and companies all around the United States. Many of the ornaments are made from bread dough here in the United States. Others are made of wood, resin, polymer clay or clay dough. If you are looking for a specific ornament (i.e. a horse or a panda), then they have a lot to choose from. Unless specified, all ornaments come with personalization that you do right at ornament’s page. So let’s say you want to order the Cat – Grey Tabby Personalized Christmas Ornament. When you visit the page, all you have to do is type in the name you want for the ornament, the year, the quantity, and just press “Add to Cart!”. It’s very simple!

I love personalized items, especially at Christmas since it makes it so special for that person receiving the gift. I personally love the Twin category of the ornaments for obvious reasons!  I have no idea which one to choose! At first I thought Bronner’s had the best ornament selection but because OrnamentsWithLove.com has more handmade and personable ornaments that are just too cute for words, I think I may have to take that one back. OrnamentsWithLove.com has been in the retail gifts business for over 50 years! But in just the last 10 years, they have made it a priority to take what they know and apply it to personalized Christmas ornaments!

So if you’re looking for a few places for personalized ornaments but don’t want to spend a ton of money, I promise that you won’t have. They even have a category for items under $10 so if you’re trying to save money this Christmas but still want to show that special someone you care, you won’t want to miss it!

CIJ: Dali Decals Review & Giveaway- ENDED July 2, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Christmas, Christmas in July, Gift Ideas, Giveaways, Product Reviews, Products, Reviews, Wall Stickers.
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Thanks to our friends at Dali Decals, you have the chance to win!

dalidecalsWe couldn’t start Christmas in July without having something fun to do! So when I was able to review Dali Decals products, I was happy! I needed something to spruce up the dreaded white bedroom walls. I chose “Dare to be remarkable” simply because it fits how me and Manders are. The day it arrived, I really had nothing planned so I decided to immediately put it up. It was REALLY easy to take it off the backing. But because I didn’t get a squeegee, it was kind of difficult to put it on the wall. The letters kept sticking to what looked like masking tape. So I stood there, carefully peeling away the tape so that I wouldn’t rip a letter or only have 1/2 of the quote transferred. What looks so weird but yet cool is that the quote looks like someone wrote it with a Sharpie! Since Mom never let us write on walls, this worked out perfectly!

So why are Wall Stickers cool for Christmas? Because they do have Holiday decals for your walls/windows/mirrors this Holiday season and they make GREAT stocking stuffers! Granted they won’t fit in most stockings and wrapping might be a tad bit impossible, but you get the idea. Dali Decals is giving one (1) of my readers a $25 gift certificate to Dali Decals! How can you get in on the Christmas in July action?

Go to Dali Decals, come back and tell me what you would get with your $25 gift certificate!

THIS IS MANDATORY! “Enter me” or “Nice giveaway” does not constitute as an entry and will be removed. YOU MUST LEAVE A VALID E-MAIL TO ENTER! OPEN TO U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY.

Extra Entries (7): Leave a separate comment for each entry and/or link.

*Follow me on Twitter (Username- texasheartland.)
*Subscribe to Texas Banter Mailing List (via E-Mail, Google Reader, etc.)
*Tweet about this giveaway (profile link or status link- Enter the Christmas in July Giveaway @ Texas Banter! http://tinyurl.com/mv63wg @texasheartland)
*Follow Manders on Twitter (Username- confettidreams.)
*Add my Texas Banter Button
*Blog about this giveaway
*Add the Christmas in July button

The giveaway starts on Tuesday, July 2st upon going “live” and will end on Tuesday, July 9th at 11:59PM CST. Entries submitted after that time are voided and are not counted.

Winners have 48 hours to respond to the winning notification. If the winner(s) have not responded within the 48 hours, a new winner(s) will be chosen.

All winners chosen via Random.org.

Christmas in July July 1, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Christmas, Christmas in July, family, Feelings, Gift Ideas, gifts, holidays, Ideas, life, Product Reviews, Reviews, santa, shopping, thoughts.
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Welcome to the first day of the “Christmas in July” event!

We have a whole month stocked full of early Christmas ideas so you can maybe start getting together your Christmas wishlist, maybe some early shopping ideas, Christmas memories, and ways to decorate for Christmas!

We will also have product reviews AND giveaways! All product reviews and giveaways tied in with “Christmas in July” with have a “CIJ” before the title so you know what to look for. All posts will be listed under “CIJ” on the top just in case you missed it!

Tomorrow, Texas Banter will be holding it’s first “Christmas in July” giveaway and it will be for Dali Decals. So if you are wanting to spruce up your home with some inspirational words or even just a bird (which they have!), don’t forget to enter! It also makes a lovely gift, which you will see in upcoming posts.

Ya know, Christmas is one of my favorite Holidays. While it isn’t my favorite (that title goes to Halloween), it certainly is my next favorite. The cold air just lets know that it is Christmas. I loveseeing the Christmas lights glowing on the outside of homes and the elaborate displays they create. The wrapping paper sparking underneath the Christmas tree. The slow and relaxing sounds of Christmas songs. And spending time with the ones you love.

While we tend to have mild Winters here in Texas, there is no doubt that the cold air that enters your nose as your breath reminds you that Christmas is finally here.

And since the temperature is easily reaching 100* or more, why not cool off your mind with a little Christmas in July?

Guiltless Gourmet Review June 30, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in food, Product Reviews, Products, Reviews, sweepstakes, thoughts.
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Thanks to our friends at Guiltless Gourmet, we were able to try their Yellow Corn Tortilla Chips.

Now, Guitless Gourmet isn’t like any tortilla chip you’ve had. They are 100% baked. They don’t heavily salt the chips. They are all made with organic corn. With 18 chips as a serving, you get plenty of flavor! They all have 125 or less calories and 3 grams of fat per serving. Not only is it good, it’s good for you!

Their Yellow Corn Tortilla Chips were so delicious! They were perfectly baked. They were lightly salted but still had enough salt to take care of your salt craving. They were so flavorful! I loved the crunch they had! It’s hard to believe they were 100% organic! I couldn’t help myself! I wanted more! I could have easily eaten the whole bag! Theye were so good that I actually might have to pick up a couple of bags next time I go to the store! They are so yummy that even the pickiest of chip eaters will love them!

So where you can you find these? They’re not widely available so on their website, they have a store locator. You choose a product, type in your zip code, and they’ll give you stores within a 90-mile radius. Even if the closest store for me is 15 minutes away, these are well worth it!

Guiltless Gourmet is having a sweepstakes! You can win a trip to Vegas! You do need to buy a bag of Guiltless Gourmet Tortilla chips in order to play or send in a 3” x 5” piece of paper with all your information on it. But you could possibly instantly win a $100 gift card or a bag of Guiltless Gourmet Tortilla Chips. And each time you enter, you get an entry for a 4-days/3-nights at a 5 Diamond Resort in Las Vegas! For more information or to enter, visit Guiltless Gourmet.

ChexMix Review June 30, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in food, Product Reviews, Products, Reviews, thoughts.
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Thanks to MyBlogSpark, Texas Banter was able to review more food! We just love these food reviews.

We all know ChexMix for their cereal and party mix. They have decided to mix it all together to make Chex Mix Turtle Bars! The Chex Mix Turtle roundup_0000000000007524_image_01bar has caramel-covered Corn Chex pieces, Wheat Chex pieces, chocolate, peanuts, and pretzels. While it isn’t exactly attractive looking, they sure do taste great.

They were definitely seeet due to the caramel and chocolate, while the pretzels and peanuts gave it a salty taste. If you’re not used to that, it can be somewhat surprising. I’m not used to sweet/salty food at the same time so I was a little surprised by the taste. I couldn’t tell which one overpowered the other. It was somewhat chewey, almost like a granola bar. I’m not a fan of snacks that are chewey like granola bars if they aren’t. Don’t get me wrong, I love granola bars but this isn’t one. It was a little gooey when it arrived and I account that for the heat we’re having here in Texas. But because of the chocolate and caramel, it was melting pretty quickly. But it was pretty good and very sweet. A little salty but you get used to that. A little chewey and gooey, but on the whole, not bad. I give it a 7 out of 10.

You can buy these in ANY store where Chex Mix is sold and the good thing about these is that there is less than 150 calories per bar. So you can have one and don’t feel guilty because of it. Now that makes for a pretty good snack.

Giveaway Tomorrow June 30, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Christmas in July, food, Product Reviews, Products, Reviews.
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Even though tomorrow IS the start of Christmas in July, I will be holding a giveaway. First I have to post the review today so that I can hold the giveaway tomorrow. Usually I hold giveaways on Fridays but because of the way it worked out, that isn’t the case this time.

I will give you one hint and one hint only: it’s food. I mean, c’mon. Who doesn’t enjoy the chance to win free food?

Then on July 2nd, we will be holding another giveaway, but this time it is part of Christmas in July.

Each will go for a week and both will be on the main page for your pick. Rules will be ON each giveaway since the Christmas in July rules may encompass different entries. You can even enter both if you’d like.

Reminder: There will be a giveaway tomorrow (July 1st), but it isn’t part of Christmas in July. Then there will be a giveaway on Thursday (July 2nd) that is part of Christmas in July. Look for the “CIJ” before the title.


Nature Valley Review June 26, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Feelings, food, Product Reviews, Products, Reviews, thoughts.
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Thanks to our friends at MyBlogSpark, Texas Banter was able to review Nature Valley‘s Granola Nut Clusters. We always enjoy food reviews! We were able to try 4 different kinds of the Granola Nut Clusters.

What they are, essentially, are honey granola clusters with various nuts tucked in. One of the nuts included was the Roasted Almonds. I love almosts so I was happy to taste it. It was good! It was crunch, pretty sweet (thanks to the honey), and had plenty of almonds. It was the perfect mix of honey, granola, and almosts. The Roasted Cashews were okay. There wasn’t that much honey and very little cashews. The Roasted Peanuts were too sweet for my taste. It overpowered the peanuts and granola. The Nut Lovers was supposed to have pecans instead of almosts but there were very little pecans in the Nut Lovers. But besides not having enough pecans, it was pretty enjoyable. Though I do prefer the Roasted Almonds.

The Nut Clusters are perfect for snacking and come in a resealable pouch for later!

Nature Valley got its start in 1975 with creating the first granola bar. Now they have over 100 different items in several different countries, include India. Almost every single item is 100% Natural, creating a better eating habit for those who have a sweet tooth or just love the taste of granola or grains.


EZ Combs™ Review May 24, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Beauty, Feelings, Hair, Product Reviews, Products, Reviews, thanksgiving.
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Mom was at the store last week when she came across a 2-pack of the “As Seen on TV” Ez Combs. I’ve always wanted to try them but crazy me, I didn’t know they sold them in stores!

As someone with extremely long hair, my only options for hairdos were a ponytail or leaving my hair down. After a while, it got monotonous. I wanted something different. So when Mom showed us that she had bought  them, I was so happy because I finally had new ways to wear my hair!

My first ‘do was called the “Foutain” and it felt great because I didn’t have the worry of a small elastic band falling off or the pain of a clip. I was able to leave my head back and not feel like spikes were being driven into my scalp like you get with a lot of the plastic hair “claws”. With long hair, it did seem as if my hair was a “fountain” and it made it look very chic.

Then out of habit, I put my hair into a ponytail using the Ez Comb.  It’s not the dreaded “average ponytail”. Not only is it a cute accessory for ponytails, it also adds flair t your hair without being “just a ponytail”. You can even sleep in your ponytail without waking up to your ‘do being on one side of your head! There are also many ways to wear the pontyail just like with any elastic band. But what the bands don’t offer is another way of wearing your Ez Comb- the “Butterfly”. While the original way to wear your ponytail with Ez Comb can make your hair seem longer because it’s not pushed into an elastic band, it doesn’t have the “elastic band tightness” that some woman enjoy, especially when they are working out. With the “Butterfly” effect, it make your hair look chic without slipping and will give you that “hair is in a pontyail tightness” that I sometimes enjoy.

I only have one problem with the Ez Comb. As I have said, I have extremely long hair. Like hair slmost to my rear. See where I am going with this? Sometimes when I am ready to remove the Ez Comb, my hair will get snagged on the rough edges and it takes me a few minutes to wrestle it away.

Besides having rough corners, it’s an absolute must have, especially for us gals with long hair!

Khaya Cookie Review May 21, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in cookies, food, Product Reviews, Products, Reviews, thoughts.
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When the Khaya Cookie Company agreed to send me products to try for Mom’s birthday, I was floored! Boy, would Mom be surprised!

Khaya Cookies sent me their “Grapeseed Shortbread” and “Orange & Chocolate Krunchi” cookies to try and review.

The “Grapeseed Shortbread” (made with currants and grapeseed) was the first to be tried. I’ve never had currants before so I was curious to how they would taste. It has a unique taste. It does taste like shortbread but without tons of sugar. The finishing note just makes you want more!

Next we move onto the “Orange & Chocolate Krunchi” cookies (which are made with orange zest, Belgium chocolate, and honey-sweetened grains). It has a taste of a granola bar without being too chewy. The chocolate is sublime and there is just a hint of orange. It’s a symphony of flavors!

Did you know that Khaya Cokies are all nature? They use only the finest and freshed ingredients with not preservaties. They are also committed to empowering people so that they can earn a living with solid business and life skills. With a caring company and fresh gourmet cookies, how can you say “no”?

To see what other flavors they offer and to pick up your own box, visit www.khayacookies.com.

Romano’s Macaroni Grill Review May 21, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in food, Product Reviews, Products, Reviews, thoughts.
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Having trouble figuring out what to fix for dinner? Have somewhat picky eaters? Romano’s Macaroni Grill is your best bet! With the new line of dinner kits inspired by the chefs at Romano’s Macaroni Grill, you can now easily make four classic Italian meals at home.

The dinner kits include everything needed to create a high-quality meal in one box including premium ingredients such as such as vine-ripened tomatoes, select cooking wines, specialty herbs and 100% semolina pasta.   All you have to do is add one pound of chicken or your choice of proteins such as shrimp or Italian sausage. Varieties of Romano’s Macaroni Grill Restaurant Favorites dinner kits include Garlic & Herb Chicken Penne, Creamy Basil Parmesan Chicken & Pasta, Chicken Alfredo with Linguine and Chicken Marsala with Linguine.

Thanks to MyBlogSpark, Texas Banter was able to review Romano’s Macaroni Grill’s dinner kit.

Let’s start off with the Creamy Basil Chicken & Pasta. Luckily we had chicken in in the freezer. It was so easy to make and only took 20-30 minutes to prepare, depending on your stove.

It was so creamy and the sun-dried tomatoes and creamy sauce tasted like Heaven! Add some grated cheese (included in the dinner kit or add your own) and you’ve got the perfect meal!

While it may seem like it was made for mature tastes, kids will most likely enjoy it because the whole thing together was like an explosion of flavor!

For more information or to find a retailer near you, visit www.restaurantfavoritesathome.com.

Keep Eyes Peeled… May 9, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in blog, blogs, Friends, Giveaways, life, Product Reviews, Products, random, Reviews, thoughts.
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I wanted to let my readers know to keep your eyes peeled!

“For what?” you may ask.

As soon as I am feeling better, I will be reviewing another product. What happened the last time I reviewed a product? That’s right, I held a giveaway. I cannot tell you what the giveaway is for because I haven’t reviewed the product yet. But once I review the product and post the review, my readers (that’s you!) will be able to enter once more for the chance to win something from yours truly!

So what made me want to start holding giveaways?

Well, it all started back when Zeus was in his accident. My readers banded together and decided to keep happy thoughts through out my blog even when my family thought we would lose him. I wanted to give back in some way but couldn’t personally afford to give everyone something. So I thought again. I remembered seeing blogs holding giveaways and I thought it was a bright idea. While not everyone wins, it’s the thought that counts!

This next giveaway won’t be the last either. There will be plenty to come!

So… keep your eyes peeled for another Texas Banter Giveaway!

Say Goodbye to Allergies in Bed! April 30, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Bedding, Beds, Feelings, Product Reviews, Products, Reviews, sleep, thoughts.
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Thanks to Protect-A-Bed (who provided the product), I was able to to review their Premium Mattress Protector.

Did you know that your body can lose up to 2 pints of moisture for every 8 hours you sleep? This moisture is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and dust mites.  Many people don’t realize their mattress is one of the largest sources of allergens in their home, because over time, mattresses collect and absorb dust mites, bacteria, bodily fluids, skin cells, etc. In fact, it’s estimated that more than 2 million dust mites live in unprotected mattresses, and many people are allergic to their feces, which is left behind within mattresses and pillows. Kinda gross, I know. Now I know why my allergies got worse when I went to bed.

Protect-A-Bed mattress protectors provide an impermeable barrier between you and the dust mites and allergens within your bedding, while remaining breathable and comfortable. The ultra-thin, extra soft and super absorbent mattress protectors will not detract from the comfort of your bedding, and they are easy-to-use and machine washable. So say goodbye to a wet mattress due to accidents!

I actually tested the “wet mattress theory” with a spray bottle. I sprayed a small area twice. I was surprised when I lifted the mattress protector. It was virtually dry! While the terry cloth upper was wet, you couldn’t tell it came from the same bed!

As a sufferer of allergies, I have noticed a difference in my breathing at night. Besides a terry cloth cover, it’s relatively cool at night is is remarkably comfortable.

You can find more information about the complete range of products they offer at www.protectabed.com.

Reviews and Sleep April 28, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Feelings, life, Product Reviews, Products, random, Reviews, sleep, thoughts.
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Today, I received a package. I think it was from either FedEx or UPS. I wasn’t in the living room. I had received a product for which I can review and then maybe hold a giveaway for.

Since I have a cold, this item would be the perfect product to review and giveaway. I’m not going to tell you what the product is because where would the fun be if I just said what it was and blow the surprise of the review? I know I am not making sense. I have taken cold medicine and it usually makes me feel sleepy. When I am sleepy on cold medicine, my brain doesn’t want to work. But is that anything abnormal? Not really. But once I feel better enough to actually write an intelligent sentence that makes sense, I’ll review the product. Maybe I’ll feel better tomorrow.

I haven’t really been sleeping well. I took a nap last night and ended up staying awake until about 1:45am. Then I proceeded to awaken at 9:45am this morning. I took a 30-minute nap this afternoon but I heard the bedroom door open twice in 10 minutes without anyone walking into the room. Seeing as this isn’t normal unless I am extremely sick, I got out of bed because I figured somebody needed me to be awake. In a way, I really wasn’t needed. They were just going to inform me that Dad had left to get pizza. I like pizza more than the next person. I was hungry but I was also tired so I could’ve stayed in bed and eaten the pizza- even if it was cold. Hell, I like cold pizza. Perhaps I’ll go to bed early tonight and sleep through the next morning. I like that idea a lot.

A whole lot, in fact.

Saxon CD Review April 18, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Feelings, heavy metal, music, Product Reviews, Products, Progressive Metal, random, Reviews, thoughts.
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Once again, this CD is a win in a contest from House of Hair (hosted by Dee Snider). This review will be of their current album, “Into the Labyrinth”- which was actually recorded in Germany and released this year.

I love heavy metal and British band Saxon falls under that category with being progressive metal. From my POV, progressive metal is melodic melodies with lyrics rich in riddles and fantasiful undertones. Progressive metal bands include Kamelot, Epica, and Queensrÿche. But Saxon doesn’t stop there with songs like “Slow Lane Blues”, which are reminscient of ACDC. “Valley of the Kings”, which covers historical events, reminds you of Iron Maiden with modern guitar riffs and breaks (or solos.)

Most of their songs have that present heaviness that metal is synonomous with and the heavy metal hand raised high.

I love this CD. Saxon rocks!

Track List

01. Battalions Of Steel
02. Live To Rock
03. Demon Sweeney Todd
04. The Letter
05. Valley Of The Kings
06. Slow Lane Blues
07. Crime Of Passion
08. Premonition in D Minor
09. Voice
10. Protect Yourselves
11. Hellcat
12. Come Rock Of Ages (The Circle Is Complete)
13. Coming Home (Bottleneck Version)