LIVE REVIEW! Savage Messiah - O2 Academy, Birmingham

April 22, 2018

Thrash metal, a genre flying high throughout the eighties and into the early nineties, but then nearly got laid to rest as grunge took a foot hold in the alternative market. Then a few years following the millennium and Earache records, once home to many a thrash titan started a new wave of thrash metal signing many a young band relieving the genres heyday. As part of that resurgence Savage Messiah came to the fore. Whilst many of that second wave of bands have limped on with little to show for their efforts Savage Messiah have gone from strength to strength and continue to surge forwards.


All this culminates in tonight’s show, part of a string of headline dates for the band across the UK. A great way to showcase the strongest of the new wave. Along for the ride are fresh young upstarts The Raven Age, critically acclaimed and having toured with some of the biggest names in the industry. 


As The Prodigy’s Smack My Bitch Up blasts through the venues PA a new, fresh version of The Raven Age take to the stage. A change in personnel from when The Revival last caught up with these youngsters has taken place. New front man Matt James looking just the part, a mysterious figure on stage clocked and hidden under his hooded jacket. When Matt’s voice kicks in at the opening of Darkness Will Rise you instantly realise why they band have chosen him, melodic yet raucous it’s cuts through the air like a hot knife through butter.


Being the only support act the band get a good hour of the large crowds time. Tony Maue and George Harris’ guitar battle enthralled us, riff after riff vying for attention. Through Promised Land we get a taste of the musicianship this band holds a wonderful site to see and indeed hear. Debuting new song Surrogate which goes down a storm, building on past work and expanding with Matts vocal contribution.


To round out a great set we see staples of the bands back catalogue My Revenge and Angel In Disgrace. Rapturous cheers greet the band to end the performance, which obviously went down a storm with the Savage Messiah faithful and the bands own fans alike.


Thus we move on, and the trash revival continues with Savage Messiah touring their fourth album and now signed to Century Media records. Front man Dave Silver really leads from the off, raging guitars fuelled by plenty of riffs tear through Blood Red Road and Cross of Babylon. The new generation obviously inspired by the old as an influence Dave of Mustaine oozes through the solos.


Four albums strong gives the band plenty of material to build a solid live set and the hour and a half show demonstrates just that. Not a dropped note to be found all evening, Hellblazer and the following solo shining examples of a band on the up.


The show comes to an end all too soon with an encore encompassing Iconocaust and Wing and A Prayer. Too many of the new thrash generation didn’t make the grade. Savage Messiah certainly passed with flying colours and continue to entertain on both record and in the live arena. What a show!




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