Savage Messiah – The Fateful Dark (Earache/Century Media)

Tuesday, 18th March 2014
Rating: 8/10

The fact Savage Messiah are the most melodic of the new breed of British thrash bands would suggest they have the most potential, and, escapability. Granted, we’re not talking about Johnny Manziel’s ability to evade defenders at will (watch – if he gets drafted by the Browns, he’ll find ways to run into them), but rather, the band has the option to duck out and try new things once the thrash well dries up, because, it always dries up. On their fourth album, The Fateful Dark, the Brits are still clutching to a few thrash norms, yet based on the melodic tone of the ten songs displayed, they have a legitimate out.

Naturally, the tried-and-true, typical thrash runs provide ample thrust and technicality, of which helps opener “Iconoclast” and the nimble “Cries of Babylon.” The deal with Savage Messiah and songs of this ilk is usually the mish-mash of clean, well-sung vocals, and, the polished, note-ready Brit-thrash sound. It makes the band a smidge more digestible than some of their peers, plus, it keeps some of these tunes out of retread territory, specifically “Hammered Down.”

Per the clean vocals of main dude Dave Silver, slower, melodic tunes such as “Live As One Already Dead” and the excellent title track are the primary reasons why The Fateful Dark clicks. The title track especially, where some harmonized cleans wrap their coils around a Black Album-like groove that is both undeniably heavy, and immediate. The best of both worlds, basically. And, the Testament pummel of “The Cursed Earth” is some sort of unintentional tribute if there ever was one. (Easy to picture ‘ole Chuck Billy bellowing along to this one.) So based on this, Savage Messiah aren’t quite the biggest of the Brit thrash bands, but, they could have the most productive, and lasting career.

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