ALBUM: Sons Of Malice
LABEL: Minus2zebra, Sanctuary
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Chris Bradley - vocals, bass * Andy Dawson - guitar * Kristian Bradley - guitar * Mark Nelson - drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 The Rage Within * 02 Black N Blue * 03 Sons Of Malice * 04 The Hanging Tree * 05 Monkey On My Back * 06 Junkyard Dogs * 07 Blow * 08 Waking The Dead * 09 Choose Revolution * 10 Now * 11 Look At Yourself * 12 Master Of War * 13 Fallen Idols
It's been a while since anything was heard from NWOBHM veterans Savage, their last album being 2000's 'Xtreme Machine'. According to the band itself the reason for the extended hiatus was due to 'death and divorces' which sounds as good as any reason. Original members Chris Bradley and Andy Dawson still remain, joined by drummer Nelson who has been with the band since 2000 and Bradley's son Kristian, taking the mantle of second guitarist. The last I heard from Savage was 1995's 'Holy War' which was a decent effort amidst the metal wasteland that was the mid-nineties. Of course anything the band does will be compared to the famous 1983 debut 'Loose And Lethal' which the band has never topped. Sadly 'Sons Of Malice' doesn't come close either, a far cry from those long lost days, with the band sounding fairly uninspired by comparison.
This album is simply boring. It's along the same lines as latter day efforts by other similar bands like Tank
and Tygers Of Pan Tang
, mostly droning hard rock, with none of the energy that made the band somewhat notable in their distant heyday. It's easy to be lured in by opener 'The Rage Within' and the promising riff attack, but Bradley's vocals don't quite hit the mark, sounding rather labored. That description can also be leveled at the monotonous sludge of 'Back N Blue,' an attempt at commercial hard rock which could be 1989 revisited ala L.A. Guns
, Bang Tango
or other equally forgettable bands. Almost as slow is the title track, really plodding along with no purpose or melody. This is the emphasis for most of the album, making descriptions almost irrelevant. It takes until the tenth song 'NOW' that there is anything resembling speed or energy, but even this is below par on all fronts. There's no variation in the riffs or rhythms and like the other songs it's terribly repetitive. Anyone looking for anything resembling NWOBHM or early Savage will be left wanting by this set.
I listened to this album on a dull 1000 mile drive and on one occasion I had to turn it off before I nodded off and drove off the road. That might sound scathing but it is an indication of how bad this is. It's good to see the band still making a go of it; however they'll need something more crucial than this if they're to make another album before 2024.
Related ArticlesSavage - 1983 Loose And LethalSavage - 1995 Holy WarsSavage - 2012 Sons Of Malice
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