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Review: Starborn - Savage Peace
Savage Peace

Label: Iron Shield Records
Year released: 2019
Duration: 53:00
Tracks: 8
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: August 7, 2019
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Savage Peace

Rated 4/5 (80%) (8 Votes)

Here we have the debut full-length from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne's Starborn, a band that features a couple of "graduates" of The Metal Crypt, vocalist Bruce Turnbull and guitarist Christopher Foley. After their demo and first EP, Iron Shield Records has scooped up the band for Savage Peace.

Starborn started as a progressive power metal band but the sound on Savage Peace is more direct in terms of song structure, more focused on riff work and easily the heaviest collection of songs in the band's catalog thus far. The vocal lines are less Ray Adler-inspired and Turnbull has injected a dose of aggression which gives the songs on Savage Peace a visceral punch previous works have not sported. There is still a complexity in the vein of Fates Warning or Queensrÿche in the melodies and lead guitar work of Foley and Sean Atkinson but it's not the "look how many notes we can play" progressive stylings of a Dream Theater. It means the songs take a few spins to sink in but when they do, you aren't going to shake them any time soon. The songwriting is consistently good, but a few cuts stand out. "I Am the Clay" is an epic, thundering ode to Swamp Thing, "Unwelcome" deftly mixes faster and mid-paced tempos to get the heart pounding and my favorite, "Inked in Blood" truly evokes the macabre atmosphere of The Shining. I'm not high on all the songs and, though not bad, cuts like "Existence Under Oath" don't leave me with as much of an impression as some of the other material.

Starborn is a band that is both improving as well as fine-tuning their sound. If you are looking for another round of songs from The Dreaming City, you aren't going to get it on Savage Peace. It is still Starborn, but they've thrown a middle finger at the thought of stagnation and the new sound is pretty good to these ears.

Other related information on the site
Review: Born by the Wind (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: The Dreaming City (reviewed by MetalMike)
Interview with vocalist Bruce Turnbull on June 19, 2015 (Interviewed by MetalMike)
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