Monday, November 10, 2014

Savage Master-Mask Of The Devil

Skol Records

Last week I was thrilled to introduce our readers to Kentucky N.W.O.T.H.M act Savage Master (link provided below). Now it is my extreme pleasure to report back to all of you that I have heard the band's full-length debut album in it's entirety and yes, it is EVERY bit as good as I had hoped it would be and then some! That speaks volumes about everyone involved in the creation of Savage Master's first official recording, but before we talk about the people who were tasked with magically transforming Savage Master's larger than life stage sound to studio tape let's fill in a few more facts about this female-fronted/occult-driven band. Co-founded by Adam Neal (guitars) and Stacey "Savage" Peak (lead vocals), with the band's theatrical live show inspired in part by Mario Bava's 1960 gothic horror classic "Black Sunday" (look it up kids as it's a real doozy!) and perhaps even The Mentors(!) and the rest of the band soon filled out by various musicians that Adam Neal knew and worked with in the past, Savage Master has remarkably enough only been existence for a little over a year! And yet in that small time frame this overtly satanic band has made the leap from unsigned underground favorites to securing a deal with Skol Records. And of course everyone should already know that Skol Records is responsible for several albums which I  have previously covered and have since made a part of my personal music collection such as Taist of Iron's "Ressurrection", Robespierre's "Die You Heathen, Die!" and Nitro's "Lethal Dose" so this particular signing makes a great deal of sense. That doesn't mean that the black arts were not used in one fashion or another to speed up this band's musical evolution LOL! It merely means that Savage Master shares more than a few of the same great qualities that made those previously mentioned three artists so good to begin with so this musical relationship looks like a match made in heaven...or hell if you will! Especially seeing as Savage Master's sound harkens back to the "good old days". Sonically-speaking it's bands like Exciter and Venom that initially come to mind when it comes to Savage Master. In no way is that a bad thing, but like the band members behind this project there is so much more to "Mask Of The Devil" once you take the time to really listen. As diverse as lead vocalist Stacy Peak is when it comes to her vocal inspirations*, Savage Master as a whole seems to be inspired by not just Exciter and Venom (musically and lyrically F.Y.I.!), but eighties metal (Brocas Helm, Dark Wizard, Gotham City, Lizzy Bordon, OZ, Warlord, Stormwitch and even Taist Of Iron(!), traditional heavy metal and doom (Accept, Malice, Halloween, Black Sabbath, etc.) and the N.W.O.B.H.M. scene (Blood Money, Avenger, Grim Reaper, Cloven Hoof, Pagan Altar, Witchfinder General, Witchfynde, Desolation Angels and Hell). Incidentally that is a hell of a lot of enchanting charms  for a release which ends up clocking in at under 30 minutes! But damn if it doesn't just fit all snug and tight! Which brings us all the way back around to the beginning and the crew responsible for laying all of this sinister metal to tape! Co-produced by Michael Kent O' Bryan and Savage Master members Stacey "Savage" Peak and Adam Neal, "Mask Of The Devil" was engineered and mixed by Michael Kent O' Bryan at Wax & Tape Studios before it was mastered by the Bart Gabriel at Skol Records Studio. Collectively this lot has given fans of occult metal and N.W.O.T.H.M. plenty to get excited about as "Mask Of The Devil" is as classic a debut album album as one can get! If there's a downside to be had it's the album's short-length. At not even 30 minutes a album like "Mask Of The Devil" disappears as quickly as it appears. If you walk out of the room for even a few minutes you are likely to miss a great deal of the action. There's that and then there is the lyrically content of "Mask Of The Devil". More often than not Savage Master hits things out of the ballpark thanks to some truly evil and downright spooky material. However there are times on Savage Master's debut when the possibility arises and one just has to ask the question that should NEVER be asked. And that is "You didn't happen to go to a songwriting workshop taught by Cronos did you?"! All lyrical-cheesiness aside, "Mask Of The Devil" is a fun, throwback metal kind of album with bewitching female vocals and a vibe which will remind more than a few people of the early punk-infused British metal scene (Iron Maiden's first two albums, Venom, Tank, etc.). It's also a great debut album for a band that is still young and growing and poised for bigger and better things in the years to come! You can find Savage Master online here: and for more information on Skol Records be sure to check out the labels Facebook page here:

*While waiting to receive a promo copy of "Mask Of The Devil" I took the time to do further resource on this spook-fest of a band. I can across an interview that Stacey did where she said that besides Rob Halford (vocally-speaking) it was bands such as Witchfinder General, Warlock, Candlemass, Danzig, Angel Witch, Diamond Head and Coven (to name a few!) that influenced her as an artist.! 

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