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Old Metal Thursday, A to Z (Apologetic Sunday Edition): NASTY SAVAGE

brazilian corpse paint prototype!I may be three days late, though hopefully not a penny short today with Florida’s premier purveyors of OTT 80s power/speed metal NASTY SAVAGE and their eponymous 1985 debut.

NASTY SAVAGE belong to a unique and characteristically American camp of mid-paced, riff-centric power metal madness.  The songwriting is melodic and circuitous, though never overly busy and always engaging.  Excellent dueling leads that directly compliment the prime thrust of each song are an added textural pleasure rather than banal exercise in excess. The album’s firm bedrock is a well-rounded rhythmic attack given heft by a spotless production courtesy of the later-infamous Tom Morris and his Morrisound Studios.  In short, everything on Nasty Savage is well-studied with a distinct heaviness and strong sense of identity, something that can’t be readily said about the hordes of IRON MAIDEN/JUDAS PRIEST/NWOBHM followers of the age.  At the very least it should be admired on those merits. Have a listen and enjoy:

(Great sounding upload by the way.)

One possible stumbling block to perfection on Nasty Savage are Nasty Ronnie’s vocals.  Rather than singing, he mainly spits verses of amplified tough-talk punctured by the occasional falsetto wail or sustained and simple chorus. If they seem grating or outright goofy at first, I guarantee a few listens will cure your apprehensions if you’re at all inclined to 80s metal theatrics.  Besides, great lyrics like this, cheesy as they may seem, should force a smile to the lips of even the most jaded of metalheads:

Turn up the mayhem, turn up the night
Feeling so crazy, I love to fight
Time to put on your studs and leather
Time to go out into some heavy weather

Metal knights – live on
Metal knights – rock is gone
Metal knights – stand proud
Metal knights – posers will die

I prowl the streets, looking for sin
Found my steel, so I’ll go to length
Too many rockers, posers, and fools
Must have fun, to break all their bones

Given the general tone of the vocals and lyrics (and the band’s look — see above), it’s fair to ask just how far NASTY SAVAGE’s tongues were planted in their cheeks.  With member history later including GARDY LOO (featuring El Duce of MENTORS fame) it’s safe to say there was some intent behind NASTY SAVAGE’s bemused excesses.  In any case, it’s almost guaranteed nothing quite like Nasty Savage has graced your ears even if you’re a seasoned power/thrash acolyte.  The quirky vocals and fleshy, headstrong riffing remind me heavily of Chicago’s excellent WRATH (or perhaps the other way around), whom I promise to feature in due time.  For now this stuff is still available thanks to Metal Blade’s deep catalog, so come get some!

See you again tomorrow.  Cheers!


One comment on “Old Metal Thursday, A to Z (Apologetic Sunday Edition): NASTY SAVAGE

  1. Passenger
    March 3, 2015

    One of my favorite albums of all time. They were extremely catchy.

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