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Nasty Savage
Nasty Savage
Type: CD
Company: Metal Blade
Release: 1985
Genre: Thrash
Reviewer: Eric Compton
Published: 1/12/2005
True power wielders of thrash and a major influence for many bands
Who can forget Nasty Ronnie, and the macabre, thrash metal masterpiece released by these metal mad geniuses in 1985? Apparently we have, considering many headbanging fanatics refuse to give these guys their fair shake. Nasty Savage completely revolutionized metal, technically creating the first real death metal release with their self-titled debut on Metal Blade Records.

Nasty Savage is the true power wielders of thrash and a major influence for many bands, whether they admit it or not. They have had a major impact on Jon Schaffer, Metallica, Deceased, and even Overkill both musically and lyrically. Their brand of power-thrash mayhem is widely considered by collectors "in the know" as the innovators of a dark and more lethal sound, with some calling this record death metal. Ronnie's voice is a far cry from the guttural screams evident on the genre's publicly debated "first death metal release", Death's "Scream Bloody Gore" in 1987.

Rivaling only Jag Panzer's '84 album "Ample Destruction" in sheer over the top madness, this chaotic firestorm gallops and crushes just about everything prior to. Sure it borrows some wicked stomps from Sabbath and Priest, but for the most part this is one dangerously powerful record that refuses to display even the smallest hint of weakness. It is balls to the wall from start to finish, with huge crunchy chops, soaring leads, a ballistic battery, and Ronnie's insane wails, a combination of King Diamond (Mercyful Fate), Rob Halford (Judas Priest), and Eric Adams (Manowar). The music is technical at times, but for the most part delivers quality, quick paced hooks that just rip and tear, allowing plenty of time for Ronnie to deliver his ominous, sadistic mid-range, or his falsetto highs. Let's look at some examples...

With an almost frightening opening that leaves you guessing, the raw power of "No Sympathy" kick in and it is a dark, blissful sound. Nasty Ronnie almost uses a spoken word delivery, declaring all the saints to enter the gates of hell, leaving absolutely no sympathy for the weak. The sound continues to pound delivering "Gladiator", allowing those signature vocals to shine again. "Dungeon of Pleasure" showcases terrific guitar work along with an array of solos, add the drums and vocals in the mix, and you have a headbanging classic the entire way through. My favorite cut is the King Diamond styled "The Morgue", with its hair raising horror story telling (perhaps influencing King Diamond on his track "To The Morgue" off of "Spider's Lullabye"). "Metal Knights" is equally destructive, along with the crunchy stop start delivery of "Fear Beyond The Vision", which obviously inspired a host of metal acts.

The record was recorded at Morrisound Studios in Tampa Florida and produced by Jim Morris with collaboration from Nasty Ronnie (vocals), David Austin (lead guitar), Ben Meyer (lead guitar), Fred Dregishcan (bass), and Curtis Beeson (drums). At the time this very well could have been the deadliest, most sonically brutal album ever created. Now, with plenty of production shazam and computer tinkering, every band can seem this heavy. But few can match the power and authority of this Florida wrecking crew.

About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his blog discussing all things action and adventure.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.

Nasty SavageNasty Savage
Eric Compton1/12/2005


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