It seems like it was yesterday that I stumbled on Savage Master whilst on one of my late-night trawls through the musical underbelly of the Internet. Around the time of the release of their sumptuous third album Myth, Magic and Steel back in 2019. It pushed every button in me I was instantly hooked. It filled the space reserved for NWOBHM which sadly was getting emptier with every passing year. The visuals, leather, and studs musicians are all in Hangman hoods, Fronted by one of the most mesmerizing singers in Stacey Savage. Unpolished in her delivery and sometimes bordering on what can only be thought of as punk, Adam Neal’s guitar tone and phrasing is just the sort of thing that made me fall in love with heavy metal all those decades ago. Add in their love of the Occult and horror movies and you get the heady mix that makes me wonder WHY? On earth are these guys not on the lips of every discerning metal head. That was until I got my sweaty palms hands on their forthcoming album and now I know that the world of heavy metal will be aware of this amazing band.
Those That Hunt At Night is one of those rare moments in music when you take a band that seems cannot get any better and that has already produced a solid gold classic, and go ahead and bloody well top it. Using Synths and atmosphere the Title track opens the album, is so drenched in the blood-red screams echoing in the depths of the night. Amplified by the naked primal fear of the shrouded blood moon you could mistake it for the soundtrack to a Dario Argento death scene. Stacey Savage’s voice on this and the entire album is the best female vocal on any album I have had the privilege to listen to in a long, long time. What a transformation from a rough-hewn metal siren to a songstress that has the depths and emotional darkness befitting an Edgar Allan Poe short story. The mix on this record is so far and above the rest of their catalog. It is not hanging around at just under 40 minutes. It’s the perfect balance of catchy driving guitar rhythms, thumping drums, and bass, so many sing-along anthems it’s almost impossible to pick the best. I am opting for that tortured one-liner, all killer no filler never has it been so apt as now with this record. I dare you to listen to Rain Of Tears with its atmospheric driving bass, and beautifully educated and mature guitar intro. In a turn of a dial sparks fly and it comes alive! Speeding powerfully towards a dark melody and a gallop will warm the freshly reanimated hearts of those that hear it. If you’re looking for an album this year that brings back those Halcion days of Priest, Maiden, and many, many others, this really is the one for you.
The wind sweeps across the blasted heath under the blank of a heavy frosted winter’s night the beast lies in wait for its next victim; its slavering jaws dripping with the blood of its last kill. The reflection of its latest quarry explodes across its wild and feverish eyes. The curse of the beast will soon be upon them, the mark of its Savage Master!
Savage Master: Facebook
Release Year: 2022
Label: Shadow Kingdom
Reviewed by Tony Evans