Savage Master - Myth, Magic & Steel
Shadow Kingdom Records
Occult Heavy Metal
9 songs (41'00")
Release year: 2019
Shadow Kingdom Records
Reviewed by Alex

Savage Master is the case when (cartoonish or not) album cover and band picture fit the content perfectly. Those two images, plus the band being on reputable Shadow Kingdom, hints at occult heavy metal and it is exactly what you are going to get. Fronted by female vocalist Stacey Savage, the band, hailing from hotbed of heavy metal Louisville, KY, does not quite walk the path of other female fronted metal acts like Warlock, A Sound of Thunder or Benedictum. Touching on Pulp Fiction soundtrack or B-horror movie Savage Master is closer to Japanese Fatima Hill or Christian Mistress, although the latter tends to thrash and grind a little more. While delivering plenty of up tempo quick punch in the gut numbers on Myth, Magic & Steel, like The Devil’s Ecstasy or Lady of Steel, Savage Master also are not averse to thinking of themselves in doomier Conan or Portuguese Ironsword territory. At first you think The Owl or High Priestess are nice change of pace moments, but as you listen to the album more and more, especially cinematic closure Warrior vs Dragon, you realize that Savage Master is working very hard at their occult doom identity.

Most importantly Myth, Magic & Steel are about immediately captivating riffs, massive hooks (just listen to choruses of the title track or Flyer in the Night) and workmanlike, punchy and very legible bottom end production. The music on the album is at the same time instantly endearing, not overworked, begging both for repeated listens and sharing with friends. Doom bands would be proud of the opening riff of The Owl and all Maiden disciples will love the gallop of Crystal Gazer. Guitar solos of the title track and The Devil’s Ecstasy are engaging, arpeggiated, but melodic, not shreds for the sake of technical showboating. The drums are booming but not artificial or slick, and bass lines are audible.

And then there is of course female lead of Stacey Savage. Not the top line screamer like Nina Osegueda or Veronica Freeman, my 15 year old son even told me she reminded him of Joan Jett. Stacey sings with that rough characteristic voice and has an interesting way of taking high notes. Without pulling an ear piercing scream (not sure if she can do it cleanly or not), she climbs the ladder and once almost at the top she bends atonally away from the peak, leaving you wanting, intrigued and seduced.

Flying by effortlessly Myth, Magic & Steel delivers on expectations of the growing fanbase, and what better compliment can you make.

Killing Songs :
Title track, The Devil's Ecstasy, The Owl, Flyer in the Night
Alex quoted 88 / 100
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