If you like heavy metal in the most traditional way possible then Savage Master will be right up your leather-clad boulevard with their latest release, Myth, Magic and Steel. Led by scream queen Stacey Peak (aka Stacey Savage) this not-so-merry band of players will fulfill all your New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal dreams.
Completing the line-up are Adam Neal and Larry Myers on guitars and John Littlejohn on drums. For live purposes, Savage Master have enlisted Zuul and sometime High Spirits bassist Bob Scott. It’s what you could call a Masterstroke.
Despite naming the musicians it’s difficult to say who is who as in all the promo pics they are wearing full hoods. This is part of the occultist imagery based on the film Black Sunday. In the film, a witch played by Barbara Steele has control over hooded henchmen. I have to say it’s an image more convincing than those other hood-wearers, Ghoul.
If you are familiar with previous Savage Master outings Mask of the Devil and With Whips and Chains, you won’t be surprised as to the lyrical themes. With titles such as “Myth Magic and Steel”, “The Devil’s Ecstacy” and “High Priestess” the nicely trodden path of the occult is woven deep into the material.
Also woven deep is the traditional metal tropes of crunching riffs, heavy beats, twin leads melodic solos. I love the solos if only because they match the songs so well. They are never a jerk-off speed fest and for me, that is a pleasure.
Another pleasure is the lack of over-production and the early 1980’s feel. This may well be down to analog and not digital recording. Whatever the reason, the atmosphere of the album hits the spot.
Very much leading from the front, Stacey Savage delivers a cracking vocal performance. Full of venom and power, you can feel that she lives every line.
This is evident none more so than on the final track of Myth Magic and Steel. The eight-minute plus epic “Warrior vs Dragon” has got it all. Savage is on top form clearly, but also the rest of the band delivers a lesson in metal. Power and pace abound throughout the track before bringing the album to a close with some atmospheric acoustics. Quality stuff.
Joint head-honcho over there at CGCM Towers, The Meister is also a fan of Savage Master. Read his reviews of Creature of the Flames EP and a live gig here.
Savage Master just cannot, and will not, be denied. Join this cult of the occult, you will not regret it.
Myth, Magic and Steel is out now on Shadow Kingdom Records.
Also, find more of my CGCM reviews and photos here: Sparky