Savage Messiah – The Fateful Dark
Reviewed by Christopher Foley
Here we have the fourth full-length from British power thrashers Savage Messiah, a band I’m partially familiar with – although this is my first true full-length plunge. Its style is predominantly thrash metal a là modern Testament or even Exodus, with sprinklings of power metal which recall harder-edged German acts such as Mystic Prophecy or the current works from US acts like Helstar or even Agent Steel.
The Fateful Dark is a reasonably solid effort which is at its strongest in the riff and vocal department, although I can’t help feeling Savage Messiah would benefit from an injection of manic venom, as for the most part the thrash elements feel a little too clean, calculated, and precise. Still, I’d be doing a disservice to the band if I failed to mention that there is a fair share of energy and muscled musical sections.
Dave Silver’s vocals are one of the strongest aspects here, particularly so when he sticks to the mid/aggressive register, and his work really awards the music its attitude. Silver’s style isn’t too far away from those of acts like Brainstorm or even We Are Legend, with that proud, powerful approach. There are some high register vocals which sound a little silly – as evident in the opening salvo of “Inconocaust” – and is certainly an element I could have done without, although hardly a deal breaker.
Despite having my odd personal niggles, I feel the songwriting is spot on throughout the album, even in the semi-ballad “Live As One Already Dead” which is surprisingly decent (I’m sure we all know thrash + ballad = snore). The production is as expected for an Earache album, pristine and applying to the standards of the style. Savage Messiah really has the full package together, something I’m sure could earn them a fan-base much wider than that of those frequenting the dingy venues they cut their teeth in nowadays.
Maybe it’s not anything truly amazing, but Savage Messiah totally outclasses a good portion of its competition (especially here in Britain) with tight, proficient performances, and some standout numbers like the melodically charged title track or the fiery “Hellblazer” (which pretty much does as it says). If you get your thrills from the sounds of modern thrash metal or the heavier power metal acts, then this is a band you’re going to want to check out, and I’d say The Fateful Dark is the perfect place.
3.5 // 5