|Review: Savage Blade - We Are the Hammer|
|We Are the Hammer|
Label: Pure Steel Records
Year released: 2008
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: October 15, 2009
Reviewed by: MetalMike
for:We Are the Hammer
The 80s seem to be making quite a come back recently with plenty of bands trying their hand at the classic sounds perfected back in the day. Some simply write retro sounding songs but stick with a modern production. Then there are those, like Canada's Savage Blade, that go all out; retro songs that sound as if they'd been recorded 25 years ago. And while many bands fail to capture the essence of that magical time, Savage Blade hit the nail on the head with We Are the Hammer. Combining guitar riffs that would be at home on any early NWOBHM release from Saxon or Diamond Head with the attitude of early U.S. acts like Savatage or Metal Church, We Are the Hammer is a trip back in time.
Vocalist Nikko Forsberg has a clear, high pitched voice that, at times, takes on the raw edge of a Jon Oliva or Blackie Lawless. It suits the music perfectly. Eric Hoodicoff (guitar, bass, and drums) and Christopher Rand (bass, guitar, and keyboards) ably handle all the instruments. We Are the Hammer is loud, brash and full of 80s fire. Songs like the title track, "(In) the Eye of the Storm" and "Silver Ghost" are upbeat stompers. The anthemic "Willow Run" (get out your lighters) and "The Eagle is Stranded," which starts with an awesome, echo-drenched dirge a la Dio-era Black Sabbath, show Savage Blade aren't afraid to slow down the pace. Fast or slow, the songs are effective at delivering the 80s experience. They've even pinched a couple of song titles from those who went before, notably "Night of the Blade" (Tokyo Blade) and "(In) the Eye of the Storm" (Sweet Savage).
I will be honest and say it took several listens for We Are the Hammer to sink in. At first it seemed like the band was trying to cash in on a gimmick. The more I listened to We Are the Hammer, the more I appreciated Savage Blade's faithfulness to capturing the 80s sound and their fearlessness at emulating their heroes. Of course, picking out riffs that sounded like the Scorpions or choruses that made me think of all those early Saxon albums didn't spoil the fun either. Savage Blade has captured the sound without mimicry and that makes We Are the Hammer a winner.
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