Savage Master – Myth, Magic and Steel
Reviewed: November, 2019
Released: 2019, Shadow Kingdom Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Break out the whips and chains, because Savage Master is about to get medieval on your ass.
With cover art inspired by the great Frank Frazetta and 9 new tunes mired in all things Dungeons and Dragons, you know exactly what you’re getting with Savage Master’s third full length MYTH, MAGIC AND STEEL – fist bangin’ heavy traditional metal with loads of riffs and soaring vocals.
Like stepping into Bill and Ted’s time machine, the opening title track cranks like it’s coming from the cassette deck of your Camaro while tailgating in the arena parking lot of the Judas Priest show you couldn’t afford tickets to. The riffs gallop and chug with purpose, methodically summoning you into the circle while the leather throated Stacey Savage quickly asserts herself as the dominant force. I couldn’t help but draw comparisons to Savage’s voice and a young Lita Ford – she doesn’t quite have the range you’d expect with this type of metal, but her grit and charisma help make up for it.
“The Devil’s Ecstasy” is the standout cut on MYTH, MAGIC AND STEEL and shows that the band is really at their peak when the accelerator is pushed to floor. It’s a ripper of a tune, barreling forward with Helloween-esque melody lines and pummeling rhythms, swooning vocals and an overall palpable energy. The same can be said of tunes like “Lady of Steel” and “Crystal Gazer”; they’re a little less balls out, but there’s a similar sense of urgency with the riffage that totally sucks you in. Tunes like “The Owl” and the epic closer “Warrior vs Dragon” are admirable attempts to create some dramatic repose, but these slower processions expose the chinks in Savage Master’s armor. Savage’s voice warbles off pitch occasionally throughout the record, but without the breakneck pace of the band to support her, it smacks a bit harder in these moments.
There’s a definite reverence to Cirith Ungol, Manilla Road, Warlock and others cut from the same cloth that came long, long before Savage Master – which is all well and good. But it raises the question (at least for this cynical mind) of how much of MYTH, MAGIC AND STEEL is a genuine effort to keep the spirit of this generation of metal alive and how much of it is paint by numbers shtick? If bands like Municipal Waste and Steel Panther have taught us anything, it’s that the line can be hard to define…But if you can put all that existential crap aside, it’s a fun platter of low maintenance metal. Enjoy it for what it is and check out Savage Master.