By Pagan Tordengrav
Formed in 1979 and from the Mansfield area of Nottingham, Savage is without a doubt a NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) band – so we are talking a good thirty years plus musical career for this band, who sadly have produced just six albums in that time; the first being Loose n Lethal in 83, Hyperactive in 85, Holy Wars 95, Babylon 96, Xtreme Machine in 2001 and now in 2012 Sons of Malice. They have also to my knowledge disbanded twice, but now they’re back with an unholy bang!
It has been a roller coaster of a ride for Savage with the record company’s lack of support and lack of effective management which in turn led to the band’s frustration and that served only to force the band to go dormant for ten years.
Savage were plucked from the compilation album ‘Scene of the Crime’ by Lars Ulrich whilst he was in London, going off back to America to share his find with fellow band mates. Soon after that Metallica recorded a demo of Let it Loose which helped them to create their thrash metal genre and secured them a deal; and the rest is as they say, history.
Savage comprises of Chris Bradley (vocals) and Andy Dawson on (lead guitar) who started the band back in 79 with Mark Nelson on drums and Chris’ son and Andy’s nephew, Kristian Bradley on rhythm guitar and there you have it. Bring on Savage 2012!
Just where did the time go? One minute you are there in your Iron Maiden T Shirt throwing out the two fingered salute and then everything changes. I can’t say that all changes are bad – hell no, but NWOBHM has indeed suffered over the years and made way for more extreme genres so it has had its nose pushed out of joint somewhat; but good to rewind time and re-live those classic moments with a 21 century twist and this is what Savage have done with their new offering.
It still has the same, bluesy riffs and 80’s clout, but jumped a stage higher plus they have all that experience behind them now which will guide them on their pause/play career and let’s hope the play carries on longer than their pause.
If you love Tank, Saxon, Tygers of Pan Tang, Fist, Witchfynde, Holocaust, Diamond Head, Samson, Maiden, Quartz and Angel Witch, then I am sure you will love Savage just as much – third time lucky!
The Rage Within
This is an energetic start to what sounds like a good album! Offering great meaty riffs, full on bass hooks and slamming beats, with ballsy vocals. It chugs and fires on all cylinders! The breakdowns are just kick ass and it holds a superb melodic content that is in your face and will get the head moving!
Black n Blue
A good solid arrangement of strings and a slow swaggering drum beat along with some moody vocals. Bluesy riffs manifest themselves and give out a good sleazy vibe!
Sons of Malice
Great riffage on this ‘ere track really 80’s style – that chug of guitars is really chunky, unpretentious and screams at you; “Hey listen to me!” Good lyrics too, that comes across as punchy and kick ass and my favourite track so far!
The Hanging Tree
A beautiful intriguing little start on this track that builds and has an American flavour attached to it. It bursts into a rapturous chug and turns into a solid rhythmic track with bags of swagger and invigorates and at the same time excites the listener – it builds further to a high frenzy with great chorus trailing off with some tingly guitar strings.
Monkey on my Back
No lack of rhythm or melodic content here with catchy lyrics which isn’t half bad! Sounds a little like a Bon Jovi track, at least it wouldn’t sound out of place on an early Bon Jovi album, however, still a note-worthy track!
Laid back vocals and chunky rhythm gives this track a nice bite with hefty breakdowns and substantial drumming that carries the weight. But tends to repeat itself a bit too much!
Strong and punchy this leaps into action with some great vocals and very catchy lyrics and a chug and a half of rhythm to back it up. A great array of lead and rhythm guitar and stomping bass hooks – this is a superb track that has lots of emotion and fire within it.
Waking the Dead
Solid drum beat and inspiring guitars that squeal in appreciation of what they are being made to do with great lyrical quality too. The echo effect injection on the vocals is pleasing to the ears and altogether it is just brimming with feeling and passion! The vocals are just tingly and shrill when Chris screams wowwwwwwwww!! Listen out for it!
Chunky beats and rhythmic guitars leave a pleasant tang on the tongue not to mention the feeling your ears have listening to this. Again vocally the little “breaths” that Chris does add flavour to the track.
Awesome, just awesome this is a fiery little track with nice choppy beats and sleazy vocals. Nnnnnnnowwwwwwwwwwwwww!! If your head isn’t banging to this then you should hang up your leather jacket and stop throwing the horns!! It’s so catchy and worthy of the repeat button. I got myself another favourite track! Nailed to perfection!
Look At it yourself
Slow pace guitar with great effects that intrigue the listener and pull them into its deftly played rhythms but not as memorable as the previous track and lacks a bit of oomph but it does however contain some sweeping guitar riffs that adds a certain something.
Master of War
Musically rhythmic and plodding with chunky beats it captures and appeals and has great lyrics contained within it. Through-out the track that rhythm will be burned into your skull long after the track finishes.
Another head banging well produced track that has a kick like a mule in a bad mood! A good distinguished beat with up tempo groove and style and offers superb riffs to boot! Vocals are just tremendous!
Now for all the mature metal heads - close your eyes and wallow in the 80’s once more and if you are too young to do that then experience this in the here and now and thank your lucky stars you can. The memorable tracks for me on this album are Sons of Malice, the Hanging Tree, Monkey on my Back, Blow, Waking the Dead and Master of War they really stand out but Now is my utmost favourite. If you are one of the many who love NWOBHM then Savage is a safe bet! So sit back and prepare yourself to be well
and truly; savaged in true NWOBHM style.
Devil Horn Rating (Out of Five): \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/