My first reaction to this band was laughter. Now before ya’ll jump my shit, let me explain. Savage Master makes no bones about who they are. In fact, they wave their freak flag proudly. Being unfamiliar with the band, I looked them up on their Facebook page and laughed – Because I had just returned to my high school days of old school, dark, occult metal. I was in my bedroom with the Boris Vallejo posters on the walls, wearing my Judas Priest t-shirt, leather miniskirt and Indian moccasin boots, cans on my ears rocking out to all those wonderful 70’s – 80’s bands. Blue Oyster Cult, Dokken, Dio, and of course Iron Maiden. So if you are wondering where that type of old school, dark and evil occult metal has gone, pick up this album. Cause it will fill that empty hole in your heart. The album is aptly named With Whips and Chains. Even their logo screams retro metal!
Stacy Savage rocks the witchy metal vibe of the 1970’s lead vocalist, reminding me of a female Ozzy Osbourne. I expect to see her bite the head off a dove soon. But her voice!! A cross between Joan Jett and Wendy O Williams, this lady kicks you in the balls and then twists. Make no mistake she can belt it out.
The first encounter to Stacey Savage is her screaming on the opening number “Call of the Master” followed by drums marching us off to the gallows and the guitar yanking us out of the pit to fight. The guitar riff has that “Breaking the Law” vibe. With Whips and Chains contains lots of high-hat and china for those who have missed those unique metal sounds. Zach Harris’ drum methods are solid and straightforward. Adam Neal’s vocals are as strong as Stacey’s; matching her note for note, balls to balls. Brandon Brown drives his bass to the base of your spine and keeps it there. “Path of the Necromancer” keeps it going strong. Here, Stacey reminds me of early Gen of Genitorturers: in your face, screaming vocals that will get your attention and tell ya to “suck it up, buttercup!” One track after another makes me want to light incense, draw the curtains and bring out the Ouija board. Be careful, Stacey is “Looking for a Sacrifice” to the Metal Gods and you, the listener, may be it. Zach Harris’ drums come to the forefront on this track. “Satan’s Crown” contains one of the best solo guitar riffs on the album. I loved “Burned At the Stake”– probably my favorite on the album. Here we have simple, solid chords from all instruments digging deep into your soul. I can see the witches and the flames rising up to curse their accusers. “Black Hooves” contains some awesome reverb on Stacey’s vocals. “Ready to Sin” completes the ritual of With Whips and Chains. It is a bit different from the other tracks, bringing in a bit of speed metal. Savage Master pours everything they have into completing this ritual to present to you. Everyone lets it all hang out, bubbling over into a cacophony of magical metal.
Savage Master does not lull you into their music. They bitch slap you upside the face with it from the start. And from the first track, they don’t let up with the pummeling. Grab on boys! Stacey and her crew are gonna take you for a wild metal ride!