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Review: Savage Union - Exiled from Salvation
Savage Union
Exiled from Salvation

Label: Independent
Year released: 2009
Duration: 19:46
Tracks: 4
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 3/5

Review online: August 17, 2010
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Exiled from Salvation

Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (2 Votes)

Exiled from Salvation is the debut 3 song EP (plus an instrumental intro) from Scotland's Savage Union. Traditional Metal is what's on offer here, with mid-paced tempos, galloping riffs and tasty, old-school lead work from guitarists James Murray and Steven Weeks. Keyboards are used solely as background support.

Being self-produced generally implies some limitations and Exiled from Salvation has a somewhat muddy sound, but as long as you accept that going in, it doesn't take too much away from the listening experience. Reviews on the band's MySpace page compare Savage Union to Iron Maiden, and that's not too far off, musically, anyway. Quality-wise, the band has a ways to go before they are in the class of the NWOBHM pioneers. "Hammer of Fate" features a speedy riff and a slower, chunky chorus. "Exiled from Salvation's" guitars are not unlike Maiden's "Remember Tomorrow" in their simplicity. Overall are the aforementioned leads of Murray and Weeks. These guys have really dialed in to that classic sound, not only in tone, but in the actual structure of the solos. They sound "old," which is a good thing in my book.

My first issue with Exiled from Salvation is the similarity between "Staring into the Sky" and "Exiled from Salvation." The chugging guitar riffs are strikingly close to one another and I kept checking to make sure I hadn't queued up the wrong song. I also had some trouble with singer Mark MacMillan's vocals. Not a bad singer, I found his voice somewhat under-powered for the material. Definitely not Bruce Dickinson (to be fair, who is?), he sounds a bit flat in spots and he could use more depth and low end.

Despite my concerns, I look forward to Savage Union's full-length album, due in 2011. The guitar work alone will have me spinning it as soon as it's available. In the meantime, check out Exiled from Salvation, it's free from the band's MySpace page, so what have you got to lose?

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