Savage Messiah - 'Hands Of Fate'

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Savage Messiah - 'Hands Of Fate'

This is a moon stride from the last album and something very special. Fate? No. Talent? Oh yes.

Metallic kudos verses commercial possibilities equals impossible... doesn't it? Not for Savage Messiah. They wanted the equation to work, the equivalent of walking a tightrope. Consider it done.

These Londoners have captured lightning in a bottle; the riffs wound but the choruses connect, the album opens with a title track which could be surprise when considering their recent Thrashy past, but it makes a superb change, 'Wing And A Prayer' is straight-ahead with Industrial leanings, and though they begin to glance at Metallica on a bobbing and weaving 'Blood Red Road', it does so with glorious hammer, while Hetfield and company also get a tickle on a martial sounding 'Lay Down Your Arms' with a lovely large solo.

'The Crucible' will push its fist in your face, but also get floaty too, 'Fearless' even has an immediate Def Leppard-like chorus amid the chunkiness and both 'Solar Corona' and 'Eat Your Heart Out' have simple and brilliant bases (the former favouring a Leppard intro), they are galloping, with solos in pieces, pleasing everyone.

It's not all great but almost, the performances here are stunning too. An album that we can love and live with at the same time; this is a moon stride from the last album and something very special. Fate? No. Talent? Oh yes.

Steve Swift

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