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Review: Nasty Savage - Wage of Mayhem
Nasty Savage
Wage of Mayhem

Label: Crook'd Records
Year released: 2002
Duration: 25:16
Tracks: 6
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: March 14, 2003
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers' Rating
How do you rate this release?

Rated 3.75/5 (75%) (16 Votes)

Yes, yes, Nasty Savage are still around. ;) While this is a 2CD release, it is in fact just an EP. The first CD contains 6 Nasty Savage songs: Two new ones and four from the original 1983 demo tape. The second CD is a Crook'd Records compilation of various artists which I won't cover in this review (it does, however, include one Nasty Savage song, "Welcome Wagon".)

The new songs, "Sardonic Mosaic" and "Wage of Mayhem" are not as interesting guitar-wise as their older stuff, the riffs are much less inspired, the guitars even sound a bit muffled at times. There's also a constant overuse of the double bass drums that harm the songs more than it helps - thankfully low enough in the mix that it's not too difficult to phase out. What we have is Nasty Savage with a slightly more modern sound, but still close to their roots - especially in the vocal and "atmospheric" departments. The songs are saved by some cool guitar solos and convincing vocals that have lost nothing in power compared to their "glory years". Bottom line, the new songs are pretty good, but not excellent.

The four remaining songs are all from the 1983 demo, and the sound quality is surprisingly good - no word on whether or not they were remastered, but the booklet does state that they are from the original demo tape, so I'll assume they're unaltered. "Unchained Angel" is probably the most NWOBHM-ish song here, and features the best guitar work of all songs here - it does require a more attentive listen that the other five tracks to take it all in. "Savage Desire" has a riff that suspiciously sounds like the riff in Maiden's "Two Minutes to Midnight". Considering that the Maiden song was released the next year, I wonder who came up with this first? "Witches Sabbath"'s lyrical content pales in comparison to what we hear today, but 20 years ago this was probably seen as a controversial song - the kind such organizations as the PMRC would have started a witch hunt over. It is the most memorable and I'd even say the best song on this MCD even though it sounds a bit chaotic, it has a really weird, almost surreal atmosphere that more than makes up for any shortcomings. The closer "XXX" isn't bad, but only really takes off in the second half of the song, the first half is quite forgettable.

In the end, this is not a perfect CD and I have to tell it like it is, but that doesn't take away the fact that I can play it 20 times in a row without getting tired of it, so I do recommend this to fans of Nasty Savage and fans of classic heavy metal alike.

More about Nasty Savage...
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Review: Cleveland '87 (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Indulgence (reviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Review: Nasty Savage (reviewed by Adam Kohrman)
Review: Penetration Point (reviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Review: Psycho Psycho (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Wage of Mayhem + Rarities (1983-1985) (reviewed by Mjölnir)
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