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We came, We saw, We conquered! - 87%

Xeogred, February 22nd, 2007

Agent Steel goes Power, somewhat. Thats pretty much exactly what this band sounds like. A slightly, and I mean slightly more epic Agent Steel. But, this should be no surprise to anyone seeing that band member Mark Marshall was also working with Agent Steel at the time as well. This was truly a rare find for me, and I was completely blown away the first time I listened to this whole disc. Everything is extremely top notch here, and the power the band members give off is explosive. This is truly a speed metal gem.

Sound and style wise, this album could probably be best compared to Agent Steel's Skeptics Apochalypse, with a slightly more epic touch. Its not as aggressive or in your face as Untstoppable Force. But this is still some of the finest speed metal I've ever heard. Its blazing fast, with crazy leads and solo's left and right. Powerful backing bass, and intense drums. The vocalist Christian Logue (I believe he was the vocalist here, as well as one of the guitarist) is extremely top notch here. He even sounds a bit like a less shrieking John Cyriis. He doesn't go beyond Cyriis (who can?), but he really makes this entire album incredible with his performance. Expect some razor sharp vocals, soaring and hitting high notes at all times. Perfect for the speed metal sounds here.

This whole album is a blast. The production is up there with most higher produced 80's albums, and sounds great. Every instrument is clear, and nothing really overpowers anything. Musically this stuff is very melodic and mesmerizing. After hearing "We came, We saw, We conquered" for the first time, you'll probably have that chorus stuck in your head long after. The whole album is consistent, keeping its head-banging course going from the start and to the finish. The final track, "Tales of Mystery" definitely sounds like something Queensryche would've put out in their earlier Warning days. Slightly different and slower than the rest of the album, that epic song brings this great album to a close.

The downfall here is that this album, suffers from the issue a lot of underground 80's releases did. Length. It clocks in at only 36 minutes. Kind of leaving you a little empty, and wanting more. Either way, you can loop the entire album again another time, or a few more times, and still have a blast with it. If you're a fan of Agent Steel, Attacker, Abbatoir, Metal Church, and similar bands and just all around early speed metal, definitely give this band a shot and check this album out. Highly recommended!

80's Power Metal Gem - 93%

SlayedNecros, May 2nd, 2006

Savage Grace were an American power metal band. They released a very solid album prior to this called "Master of Disguise". Both albums are hard to find (but were released as a two-on-one some years back), however, well worth it if you are lucky enough to find them.

On this album Christian Logue took over vocal duties. His voice is high (falsetto) but appears to fit the music quite well. The music is fast, with catchy hooks and leads. Not too much crunch, more an emphasis on speed. The songs are memorable and stick to you which merits the album repeated listens. Stand out songs include 'We came, We Saw, We Conquered', 'After the Fall From Grace' and 'Trial by Fire'. There are no clunkers on this album. It's a short album (about 36 minutes), so it's the kind that hits you, gets your head banging, then ends with you wanting more. I've always felt that this is the (more) underground doppelganger to the Lizzy Borden classic-"Love You to Pieces". Both albums are similar in structure.

If you love all things 80's and enjoy what was considered power metal at the time then this album would make a fine (albeit expensive) addition to your collection. Fast, catchy, and with a classy, yet decidedly underground vibe, an interesting mix of somewhat S&M album cover(s), and a classic metal sound. You can hear the Priest and Maiden influence, yet the band do their own thing with it. Highly recommended.

Finding their niche just in time to retire - 85%

Gutterscream, May 9th, 2005
Written based on this version: 1986, 12" vinyl, Metal Blade Records

“…confess thy sins, purge thy soul, verdict is given, cry no more, but bear
the sentence of a trial by fire…”

Much like the great Cusack flick Identity, five different personalities squabbled on The Dominatress. Some died as members left, but unlike the movie a new invigorating persona moved in, and with charm and clarity banded those left into the ultra-NWOBHM sound of Master of Disguise. That master of disguise was some step-brother of Eddie, breathing more Maiden inspiration into Savage Grace’s first full-lengther than most. With After the Fall From Grace, even the replica-Eddie persona has splintered into something out of Maiden’s far-reaching range. They’ve finally found their niche.

The music isn’t the only change. Vocalist Mike Smith and drummer Dan Finch have flown the coop with Mark Marcum taking over the pigskins and new guitarist Mark Chase Marshall accompanying Logue in the rhythmic density. Logue mans the mike as well, and with raised brow one has to wonder why he just didn’t take that mantle in the first place. Not only are his tones every bit as high-pitched and sharp as the previous owners of the job, he successfully takes a stab at the brusque end of the spectrum as heard in the roiling “Trial By Fire”.

Wild solos scream the birth of “A Call To Arms”, a slow, mighty build-up to the swift, chorus-heavy “We Came, We Saw, We Conquered”. Rhythms and melodies are much less derivative of Maiden and is nowhere near as prevalent as the finger-dancing Master of Disguise, keeping the ‘clone-ism’ to a minimum. The title cut reenters the more measured “A Call to Arms” appeal while militarily marching to life is “Trial by Fire”, a top track on the edge of peril, relentlessly on the move, roughed up by unexpected malicious vox coiling with the customary spotless shrilling.

Another martial gait leads side two and the 25-second, deep-voiced narrative of “Palestinia”. With “Age of Innocence” and “Flesh and Blood” we hear a thrash din that isn’t the usual head-down and charge type stuff, but something more harmonious and less lethal without losing its compelling air. Complex solos are the backbone of the expeditious “Destination Unknown”, meanwhile wrapping up the lp is “Tales of Mystery”, a saga of widespread early Queensryche influence especially conspicuous in the provocative vocal style that imbues the chorus.

As stated earlier, it would seem the gracefully savage ones have found their style with ATFFG only to perform what their final, nearly unheard ep says and ride into the night. In the end and as good as they were, I believe the band had probably run its course.