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Nasty Savage > Nasty Savage > 1990, CD, Metal Blade Records (Reissue) > Reviews > VictimOfScience
Nasty Savage - Nasty Savage

Metal Knights Live On! - 88%

VictimOfScience, February 11th, 2024
Written based on this version: 1990, CD, Metal Blade Records (Reissue)

Here is where the story of one of Florida's greatest metal outfits begins, in the year 1985 with their self-titled debut record. While Nasty Savage's influence is undeniable among the Florida metal scene during the 80s and beyond, it is saddening to see how little this band is talked about. To break that, let's look at this album from almost 40 years later, and see where it ranks out of the sea of records that came out in that excellent year for metal music. If you ask me, it ranks pretty highly, due to the sheer admiration and fanaticism this record radiates towards the band's beloved metal, and the clever and unconventional approach the band decided to take. This is "something different", not something you'd be able to categorize right off the bat.

Right away, as soon as we hear the first two songs, it's difficult to make up what the band plays exactly. Are they playing power metal? Thrash metal? Heavy metal? The answer is somewhere between all three of those genres, as elements of all three of those genres are heavily present in these pieces, with extremely little to no speed orientation in sight. Not that it would be a problem, as the music is colorful and energetic enough to stay interesting without the need for speed here. Imagine Arizona's Flotsam and Jetsam, except on slower tempos. That might be the only band this record might remind you of (needless to say, the Arizonians came around later). Other than that, the mixture is pretty damn unique, as you don't often hear a combination of thrash, heavy, and power metal all in one album, and you hear one that's outstanding and excellent even less frequently.

There is no shortage of highlights and pleasuring moments during the record, starting with the rather hard-hearted and pitiless "No Sympathy", which presents very clever, catchy, and gripping riffs and powerful double-pedal drumming. Then, you have the greatest song of the disc, or perhaps one of the greatest metal-loving anthems of all time, "Metal Knights". The verses and the main riff are sufficient to make that memorable, but the back-and-forth shredding over that simple, yet beautifully melodic 4-chord rhythm riff is just masterful. That's the definition of top-notch 80s heavy/power metal in the form of notes. "Dungeon of Pleasure" is also magnificent, Ron's vocals might be the craziest and most over the top on that track out of all of them here. He might just be the Sean Killian of power/heavy metal, as his intentionally twisted, all-over-the-place delivery makes the music that much more captivating and unconventional, similar to how Sean Killian does the same to Vio-Lence's music.

Besides the creative and amazingly resourceful songs, one of the biggest upsides to this album is the production. In this case, I need not say "In 1985, it sounded as good as it could.". This sounds as good as anything can sound even to this day. This is produced better than 99% of most modern albums in any genre. Everything is as audible and crystal-clear as it can get. The guitars are muscular, though not overbearing, but they are as present as they need to be. Percussion-wise, the drum kit is probably the most dominant element in the mix, but every hit sounds very calculated and the tonality of the drums is very reserved and moderated. The bass, contrarily to a lot of releases in most metal genres is very present, and you constantly hear those clever and adventurous bass lines that slightly deviate from the drums and the guitars, such as the one at about 0:23 in "Dungeon of Pleasure". This is without a doubt one of the greatest albums of all time when it comes to production.

While this might be a somewhat forgotten disc from 1985, don't let that fool you. This is a massively well-written, creative, unique, and wonderfully produced album that stands the test of time as a classic 80s metal recording. Whether it's the high-pitched, over-the-top vocals of Ron Galletti, the clever riffs over the double-pedaled drum patterns, or the memorable guitar solos scattered among the songs, there has to be something that will be worth your time as a fan of 80s metal.