Minus 2 Zebra Records
Words: Craig Hartranft
Continuing a rennasiance that began about 20 years ago, England's Savage keep their New Wave of British Heavy Metal rumbling along. They return with something bound to excite their fans, a double album, 7 / Live N Lethal. As the titles suggests the first is their seventh studio album, the latter a live recording, the title a twist on their first album from 1983.
To 7, Savage continues to revisit their brand of NWoBHM heavy metal. Without diminishing any player's role in the band or songwriting, I've always found two elements more self-eivident in their tunes. First is simply the heavy bottom end of their sound. The bass and drum combination always sounds heavy, bold and thumping. It's that perfect combination of thunder and groove which defines classic heavy metal. The other characteristic is also straightforward, and that's the guitar lines. Again, the riffs are that right combination of crispness and density, merely giving energy and clarity to that bottom end. That's until the riffs give way to the leads. Firworks ensue with an abundance of fret pyrotechnics. Even some playful spirits as found with the lead in the center of Children of the Night. But that's just one. Generally, Andy Dawson and Kristian Bradley kick ass throughout. It's gonzo guitar nirvana for guitar geeks everywhere. These being the essence of the songs, you can toss in some hearty, forceful vocals and, within the sogns, a good mixture of speed (Speed Freak, Payback's A Bitch, Shake The Tree) and slight moderation (Super Spy, Head Will Roll). Savage plays the epic side classic metal with the longer Road To Avalon, which starts mild and laconic with acoustic guitar, only to turn into a blistering, guitar slinging, metal anthem.
Speaking to the live side, Live N Lethal, a few short comments can be made. First, where and when it was recorded was not supplied, but suffice to say, it's got to be one of the cleanest live recordings I've heard. Almost too polished, like nearly Nashville autotuning squeaky clean. Second, for the content, it's a collection of Savage history, both cuts old and new. Bottom line: it sounds fine and it's definitely a nice compliment to the studio album. Which is also to say, the double album, 7 / Live N Lethal should be on your shopping agenda. Recommended.
With 7 / Live N Lethal, Savage continues to revisit their brand of NWoBHM heavy metal in earnest with a double album of new studion material and a live album.
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