Review Summary: Yet another overlooked album from the late 80s technical thrash crowd.
Nasty Savage is an oddity in the thrash world. Starting off with their Wage Of Mayhem EP, the band quickly progressed to a more inventive height towards the end of the 80s after their initial speed/power metal phase around their first few releases. This was began by their previous release, 1986's Indulgence
, a strong but still somewhat "behind the times" affair which started to show movements towards the thrash of the time, such as Exodus and Nuclear Assault. This progressed further with the Abstract Reality
EP of 1988, closing in on the technical thrash metal of Coroner, Watchtower, Toxik, and others. This climaxed on their final album, Penetration Point
, a technical thrash assault with some small crossover influences. However, it was more or less ignored, perhaps for the same reasons as Watchtower's Control And Resistence; it's way ahead of its time.
The instrumentation on this album rips. Vocalist "Nasty" Ronnie Galetti does thrash shouts and higher Halford-style screams with impressive power and aggression, while guitarists Ben Meyer and David Austin perform technical and abstract runs, with precision and aggression. Drummer Curtis Beeson plays varying time signatures and technical double basslines frequently. The only real area which isn't up to par with everything else is the bass, which certainly doesn't perform badly but lacks the impressive prowess of the other instruments. Luckily, it is easy to hear in the mix so it isn't hard to keep track of it.
The album begins with a quick spoken section before diving quickly into technical riffs with the opening track, Welcome Wagon
, quickly demonstrating the albums fortes and also showing the more standard thrash influence in the chorus. This song pretty much sets up the rest of the album, which shows some variation in particular songs.
The album certainly has its moments, and these mostly reveal themselves in the more instantly technical tracks. In particular the title track shows some of the albums strengths with quick changes in tempo and some of the albums more impressive drumming and slower tempos. This is also rather obvious in the impressive Irrational
, which has sections reminiscent of Death's Human, among other things, as well demonstrating Nasty's huge vocal range. Other songs present a more strait thrash side to the album, such as the aforementioned Welcome Wagon
and the somewhat more technical Puzzled
, with slightly less irregular song structures.
The album, while immensely consistent in its technical thrash onslaught, does have its weaker (only slightly) sections. Tracks such as the instrumental Horizertical
are somewhat repetitive, and while impressive in sections lack the variation to keep your interest for too long. Other tracks such as Ritual Submission
also suffer from this slightly, but overall this album keeps ones interest quite easily.
Technical thrash never really got off the ground commercially in the late 80s, which is a shame, because it certainly produced some fine and some near classic releases around that time, such as Toxik's Think This, Coroner's No More Colour and Watchtower's Control and Resistance. If you're looking for some technical metal, here's one place to look.