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CD REVIEW: SAVAGE – 7/Live & Lethal

| 26 October 2015 | Reply

CD REVIEW: SAVAGE – 7/Live & Lethal
9 October, 2015
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
8 1/2 /10

Savage - 7 CD cover

When Savage, riding high on the tail end of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal movement, released their debut album Loose n’ Lethal, they were globally acclaimed as one of the foremost cutting edge metal bands. That album fast became the best-selling metal import album into America, and the band toured to rave reviews before releasing the equally treasured Hyperactive album in 1985. Bands like Metallica took immediate notice, with the Bay Area architects of thrash recording early Savage single Let It Loose and singing their praises.

It was all over too fast for the band though, and they folded in 1986, before a reunion in the mid-‘90s saw a couple more albums released.

By then, everything had changed: the NWOBHM had begat speed metal and black metal, which in turn spawned thrash and by the ‘90s grunge, funk-metal, indie rock and Britpop had all swamped the charts and the discerning music fan’s head was awash with possibilities. Savage remained unbowed and uncompromised though, remaining staunch defenders of a classic metal groove, and some viewed them as unwilling or unable to move with the times and evolve. They were, to many, one trick ponies: dinosaurs whose moment had come and gone in a flash.

It’s only fair, then, that in these days when old is the new ‘new’, that Savage are finally getting recognised as one of the best bands to emerge from the British metal scene.

2012’s fine Sons Of Malice spearheaded another reformation, this time with founding vocalist/bassist Chris Bradley’s son Kristian on guitar, and the band have been gigging solidly ever since.

Their appropriately titled seventh release, 7 is another serve of no bullshit metal bolstered by an enormous and clean production which sounds fantastic. A mixture of new and old songs from the unheard Savage vaults, the likes of I Am The Law, Empire Of Hate and Circus Of Hate pulsate with speaker-crushing force, while Crazy Horse equals anything Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society has released of late.

The Road To Avalon (Sins Of The Father) is a slow burning power ballad, Children Of The Night harkens to Dio’s glory days, Shake The Tree and Heads Will Roll are practically groove metal. They’re all testament to the band’s sound having drawn in new influences, but rest assured 7 still sounds like classic Savage from go to woe.

Not content to simply release a great addition to their catalogue, Savage have made this a double album, with a hometown-recorded live album, Live & Lethal, the second part of the package.

The production here is similarly clean – remarkably so for a live album – and epic, and the band are on fire as they throw themselves through a set which features their entire debut album, plus a few tracks from throughout their other five albums.

It certainly sounds like this was a gig to be at, with the likes of The China Run, Ain’t No Fit Place, Cry Wolf, Let It Loose, Smiling Assassin and We Got The Edge all tearing through the audience like shrapnel.

Category: CD Reviews

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