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Savage: Sons Of Malice

Savage albums are like buses. Big, bold and liable to knock you flat if you don't throw yourself out from under them! Although, if you wait for a Savage album, don't wait for two, it is a long enough time for one to arrive! Although well worth your patience. Take the new offering Sons Of Malice for example. Eleven years in the gestation, but brash and brutish enough to knock you right out of your stride, while still considered enough to seduce you with its easy air of confidence as it does so.

The Savage story dates back to the heady days of NWOBHM and just like those Diamond Head geezers, this is a band who have found themselves currying favour with a certain Mr Ulrich of Metallica. However just like DH, Savage have never been fortunate enough to translate that fan favour into true success, although the band's music would suggest another fate would be more just.

Don't let the NWOBHM tag fool you either, as Savage are not a band willing to rest on their laurels and regurgitate thirty year old ideas, instead a more US heavy rock with a pinch of hard talkin', heavy rockin' blues in the style of say Purple or Lizzy is in evidence here and damn fine it is too. Reuniting the pairing of lead vocalist/bass player Chris Bradley and lead guitarist Andy Dawson, Sons Of Malice makes for an adrenaline rush of a record, brimming with slick riffs, cool grooves, tasty snarling vocals and, most importantly songs that keep you coming back so you can remind yourself how good they are. Right from the off the likes of the mid-paced, yet insistent "Junkyard Dog", the throbbing staccato smack of "Monkey On My Back" and the positively raucous "The Rage Within" pound home with a real sense of purpose, reeling you in, before assaulting your senses. That's not to say that this is foot to the floor stuff, Savage, going against what their name suggests, are actually quite a refined bunch, just as likely to cajole and persuade you into submission, as they are to grab and shake you from the opening second. Thankfully resulting in an album that makes a favourable first impression, but which convinces more and more with every listen.

Looking for strong points is easy. Chris is a really fine singer, with bags of lived in, yet powerful character and Andy fires out mighty solos, that pierce through the cracking bass rumble with skill and precision. However when you add the rock steady rhythm work of guitarist Kristian Bradley (son of Chris and the nephew of Andy) and the precise and pleasantly unfussy drumming of Mark Nelson, then the more in your face moments like "Sons Of Malice" and "Choose Revolution", the latter of which has a cracking Lizzy like dose of twin lead work, find their mark with a sickening thud, especially at volume!

Sons Of Malice is a bold, confident statement and one where each and every of the lucky thirteen tracks on show can easily hold their own (and how many albums can truly say that these days?). Much better than any band who routinely take half a decade or more off between discs can rightly hope to achieve, Sons Of Malice really is a cracking, hard hitting album. Just don't leave it quite so long next lads, eh?

Track Listing
01. The Rage Within
02. Black N Blue
03. Sons Of Malice
04. The Hanging Tree
05. Monkey On My Back
06. Junkyard Dogs
07. Blow
08. Waking The Dead
09. Choose Revolution
10. Now
11. Look At Yourself
12. Master Of War
13. Fallen Idols

Added: August 25th 2012
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Savage on Reverbnation
Hits: 2261
Language: english

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