Nima : When Savage Messiah released its first EP 'Spitting Venom' at the end of 2007, I wasn't exactly charmed with what I heard. The lack of originality and self-input and due to the fact that singer/guitar player Dave Silver and co. tried too hard approach Testament both musically and vocally, the band ended up on the "soon to be forgotten” list. And yet the EP seemed to be quite successful and it even helped the band to score a deal with Candlelight Records. And so this year the band gets a second chance for their first full-length album 'Insurrection Rising'.
As soon as the album takes off with the title track, the Testament influences are again clearly audible. But this time the band does manage to grab my attention pretty quickly. The riffs are tight and highly catchy and the whole is brought tightly and with the necessary precision. Besides that the songs are simply well composed. Chris Tsangarides' production (who was also responsible for the sound on the legendary 'Painkiller' album) leaves no place for discussion and he has given the songs the exact right sound.
But when you look at the qualities that this band has to offer, you really start to wonder why Dave and co. cheat off other band so expansively. 'Corruption X' for example strongly reminds me off 'Souls Of Black' and the middle piece of 'Silent Empire' comes straight from Ozzy's 'Shot In The Dark'! Besides Testament, Silver has used Dave Mustaine as another main source of influence. Frequently we hear riffs and vocal lines taken from 'Countdown To Extinction' and 'Rust In Peace'… only played a bit different. Where most of todays thrash acts sound as an enthusiastic tribute to the thrash-gods (think of Merciless Death, Havok or Mantic Ritual for example), Savage Messiah makes me feel more like a shameless copy and thinks to get away with it too.
Now look; I have always said and will keep saying that I don't care much for originality. As long as the songs sound good and have a strong impact, you will not hear me complain. But this is even too much for me! Sorry to say it, but this costs points and that while the band has enough to offer. 'Insurrection Rising' is definitely not a bad product, but it does sound too "clony”.