Savage Master - With Whips And Chains review

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Band: Savage Master
Album: With Whips And Chains
Release date: April 2016

01. Call Of The Master
02. Dark Light Of The Moon
03. With Whips And Chains
04. Path Of The Necromancer
05. Vengeance Is Steel
06. Looking For A Sacrifice
07. Satan's Crown
08. Burned At The Stake
09. Black Hooves
10. Ready To Sin

Kentucky's Savage Master are part of the new breed of old school metal bands who are out to celebrate the metal genre. On With Whips And Chains, the band offer up a take on the genre that is somewhat bland and lacking their own personality; it is an album that shows potential for the future rather than potential realized right now.

The band are disciples of 70s Judas Priest and Manowar, with many of the songs on the wrong side of paying homage and sounding like imitation. Most of the riffs on this album sound like Judas Priest knock offs especially, with much of the thematic inspiration coming from Manowar. Is it wrong to wear your inspirations on your sleeve? Not in itself it isn't, but when you realize the sleeve is pretty threadbare underneath those inspirations, it comes to be an issue.

The production is lightweight to the point a light breeze could knock it over; the sound is cramped and stifled, though you are able to hear everything with ease. The drums suffer the worst from all the production; sounding limp and powerless, they seem to exist only to allow the band to keep time rather than giving you anything to enjoy listening to. The vocals are the only thing on the album that sound like there is much life in them, though the guitars do briefly resurrect themselves on the solos.

The band are not the most compelling musical ensemble in the genre; much of the music sounds derivative, with little that I could point at that makes the band unique in the old school genre. Savage's vocals rarely much variation beyond shouting and building up to shouting, though on "Vengeance Is Steel" she does show she is able to switch up her approach when she wants to. The music is competently played but not nothing is particularly attention-grabbing.

All that said, there are songs to enjoy here; some of the songs manage to overcome their shortcomings, and you will find yourself nodding along to them before you know it. "Ready To Sin" and the title track are fun when you take the songs as they are. The riffs are ok and will catch your attention now and again, while the solos will normally grab your attention for their duration.

The band do show inklings of potential for a brighter future, but they need to hone their craft a bit more and find something to make themselves unique; With Whips And Chains however has little in it to stop it fading into obscurity.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 5
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 5
Production: 4

Written by omne metallum | 04.05.2020


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

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