Savage Messiah - Insurrection Rising
Candlelight
Thrash Metal
9 songs (43:22)
Release year: 2009
Candlelight
Reviewed by Goat

Listening to Thrash Metal these days is what being a battered wife must feel like. You sit at home and wait patiently for each new release, remembering with warmth the 80s and early 90s heyday of the genre and hoping the relationship between listener and genre can return to that loving embrace, yet each time you’re disappointed, punched in the gut and kicked repeatedly by the latest band to rip Exodus off. The thoughts fly wildly during the beating; is it our fault? Have we not been doting enough, loving enough? Have we not cooked dinner without burning it? Yet ultimately, people, it is our fault; labels would not sign these bands if we the metal public didn’t lap it up like starving smackheads at a heroin buffet. Magazines cover it, kids love it; Thrash is the current fad, and the fact that the likes of Pirate Metal are now acceptable subgenres says it all.

So I’ll admit that I wasn’t exactly looking forwards to writing up newcomers Savage Messiah; however, it must have been a good day at the office because this isn’t that bad an experience! Fine, it’s about as original as most other new Thrash – the opening title track alone could have come from Testament’s last album – yet the band know what they’re doing and mix up the rip-roaring riffathon with an exploration of the genre’s more melodic side. The members can all play their instruments, at least two members having been in other bands, and there are some pretty heavy headbangers present – Corruption X sounding like recent Death Angel’s more thrashier side, with a nice little ominous interlude partway through – but there’s plenty of mid-paced pounders too, In Absence Of Liberty especially making great use of the lead guitars in a surprisingly mellow section.

It’s those more out-there songs that stay with you, really, being more memorable and proving that Savage Messiah are trying to stand out of the crowd a little. The Nihilist Machine is Iced Earth meets Testament, whilst the Power Metal-tinged Serpent Tongue Of Divinity may have a name straight out of the Trivium playbook but it’s a killer track with a great chorus and rips most other modern Thrashers to shreds, whilst the air-raid howl at the start of Vigil Of The Navigator heralds a kickass song with classic Metallica vibes (with better drumming, of course!). It’s not all good – Enemy Image has nice riffs but sounds like something left off a recent Megadeth album (He Who Laughs Last does a much better job of 'deth-aping) whilst Silent Empire nearly steps into godawful ballad territory. It’s all in the name of traditional Thrash, of course, and no doubt were it released in the 80s Insurrection Rising would be in the Classic section of this site. Unfortunately for Savage Messiah and every other Thrash band around at the moment, it’s 2009, and this kind of stuff is ten-a-penny. Still, these guys are making more effort than most, and if you listen to as little new thrash as possible then you’ll probably enjoy this as much as I ultimately did. Worthy of being lifted above the hordes, Savage Messiah look set to make a good name for themselves if future releases are of this quality.

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Killing Songs :
In Absence Of Liberty, Serpent Tongue Of Divinity, The Nihilist Machine, He Who Laughs Last
Goat quoted 80 / 100
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