With the onset of several bands stepping aboard the NWOBHM bandwagon, the order of the day was to drift slightly away from the traditional metal territory though still being a part of it. This is precisely what Savage
have done on their debut. The album “Loose N Lethal
” has got to be one of the first ever speed/thrash attempts by a U.K band without a shadow of a doubt. Though all the essential ingredients formulated for being dubbed NWOBHM are intact, the tone and presence of staccato riffs make this practically one of the grittiest releases much ahead of its time when it came out. The influence of this little gem on many a genre, which spawned a few years after, is downright unquestionable.
As mentioned earlier, the guitar tone works like a buzzsaw and must have undeniably given Metallica
a couple of ideas during the release of their debuts, considering that the bay area thrash veterans used to cover these guys among the elite list of some of the greats of British heavy metal. The production is raw and works for the band, so as to keep the intensity and harshness of their sound. As for the solos, they are done remarkably well making good use of the traditional harmonies that have been a staple of the NWOBHM. The vocals are pretty much standard with just a sprinkle of over the top freshness.
All the tracks in here blend along really well with speedier ones as well as mid paced levelers keeping the balance just about perfect. “Let It Loose” is the fastest one on this and one can never demand for anything more ideal than this steamroller to kick off an album with. Holy hell, these guys must’ve had some of the craziest headbanging on this one during their live performances. Next
up is “Cry Wolf
” and the double guitar licks on this breathe of pure excellence while the main riff smokes. Razor
sharp riffs are what “Berlin” is made off. Just listen to that guitar tone and tell me if it isn’t capable of making your neighbors go stark mad, if played at high volume. And
what better way to follow up than “Dirty Money
” with a main riff that speaks of “Pure
unadulterated heavy metal” and with a tempo ideal for moshing while banging your head at the same time.
The second half of the album starts off with “Ain’t No Fit Place”, a mid paced rocker with a clean guitar intro very reminiscent of early Def Leppard
and Praying Mantis
. “On The Rocks” sounds total 70s and wouldn’t have sounded out of place on an early Scorpions
catalog while “China
Run” is another meaty track with galloping riffs very much suited for sheer listening pleasure while going on a highway drive. The closer “White Hot” as the title suggests does not cool down the iron by any means.
Pitifully, the quartet didn’t raise too many heads over the years but are slowly starting to gain steady cult status in recent times all courtesy of Metallica
, who borrowed heavily from the scene when they were just a fledgling band. But keeping their debatably miniscule fame aside, a better management and timing could have made these guys frontrunners of the scene if not superstars. I’d highly recommend this record to enthusiasts of Traditional metal and NWOBHM whereas Venom
completists would find another reason to rejoice all over again.