Fucking hell, this lot are a bit long in the tooth. Savage were knocking about the fringes of the NWOBHM explosion in 1979...
If the NWOBHM tag has you expecting an album of badly produced and unadventurously turgid pub rock then you had better think again. Opener 'The Magic Within' does wrongfoot you a bit by daring to confirm that initial expectation but from there things do improve. Some have pegged Savage's sound as lurking somewhere in Whitesnake and Rainbow territory but here in the whole the band reminds us more of the likes of Jackyll, Great White and Brother Cane but without the redneck fuck-you attitude and if one of those had done 'Sons Of Malice' it might well have been massive.
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'Sons Of Malice' is a solid, if rather generic hard rock album that has a certain charm with a kick that will make your shins sting and a groove that will sweep you along in its amateurish enthusiasm to please.
'Waking The Dead' is about as Metal as it gets, 'Choosing Revolution' has a great bluesy running riff and both 'Now' and 'Blow' motor along on beds of great grumbly guitar.
Yet the absolute killer track has to be the southern tinged 'Junkyard Dogs'; a mid-paced face ripper that sneaks up on you and does the damage before you know it is even there. It is the track that suggests for all the years the band have been plugging away, Savage have been barking up the wrong tree looking for that big break. Perhaps they should have tried their hand at something with a bit more of a southern groove to it.
Despite the vague Metallica connection (Lars Ulrich is a bit of a fan of their debut album 'Let It Loose' apparently), Savage will remain a second, if not third division crew that really should have been put out of their misery years ago.
'Sons Of Malice' is not going to break Savage and turn them into overnight sensations but it is not by any means a bad turn out that will likely never be seen, or heard of, again.