Savage Magic - Myth, Magic and Steel [Shadow Kingdom Records - 2019]Myth, Magic and Steel is the third full length album from Savage Master, an old school NWOBHM inspired Heavy Metal band from Louisville, Kentucky. Formed in 2013 by vocalist Stacey Savage and guitarist Adam Neal the band have developed a cult following, fuelled not only by their old school tunes, but through their larger than life image and a succession of crazy live shows. Myth, magic and Steel is the bandís first album for new label Shadow Kingdom Records.
The album opens with title track "Myth, Magic and Steel", an up-tempo slice of early 80s metal worship that reminds me of Burning the Witches era Warlock. Stacey Savageís vocals are quite reminiscent of Doro Peschís at times. "The Devilís Ecstasy" is up next and follows in a similar vein featuring more NWOBHM style riffing and some Maiden-esque lead work. "The Owl" takes things down a few steps, heavy doom metal riffs hint more at a Trouble influence this time round, whilst the vocals remind me a little of Alia OíBrien from Blood Ceremony. "Flyer in the Night" sees the band picking the pace up again, this time for a mid-paced rocker with a hook filled chorus.
We reach the albumís mid-point with "Crystal Gazer", another mid-paced metal song that follows the same blueprint as Flyer in the Night. This is followed by "Lady of Steel" with its Maiden style opening riff, that sounds like it could have belonged on the Powerslave album and their gung-ho, do or die attitude. Stacey Savageís vocal are suitably complemented by guest vocals from both Lady Beastís Deborah Lavine and Sacred Fewís Sandy Krueger. "High Priestess" is a slower number that feels a little bit pedestrian if Iím honest, this is probably the albumís weakest link, however it remains a pleasant enough listen. "Far Beyond the Grave" occupies a similar position in the albumís hierarchy to High Priestess in that itís a pleasant enough listen but itís not one of the bandís stronger moments. The album closes with the eight-minute epic, "Warrior Vs Dragon", which starts out as a mid-paced rocker before things take a step up in the second half.
Overall, Myth, Magic and Steel has a pleasant old school metal vibe to it and the band wear their influences like a badge of honour, Warlock, Maiden, Priest, and any number of other bands from the early years of the 1980s go into the formulation of Savage Masterís sound. The musicianship is solid, and the album does feature some top-drawer performances from all involved; however, the one thing you canít escape is the fact that the band do sound quite generic, coming on like any number of classic 80s bands. The album is at its best on the up-tempo numbers, the title track and "The Devilís Ecstasy" are particularly strong, however the second half of the album seems to have too many average mid-tempo numbers that donít really go anywhere. This is a real shame as I do think the band haves a great deal of potential to develop into a fine old school metal band.Darren Charles