Savage Machine - Abandon Earth

Savage Machine Abandon Earth cover
Savage Machine
Abandon Earth
Independent Release
Aside from Witch Cross and Mercyful Fate, I’m not all that familiar with the contemporary Danish metal scene, so I’m glad to have stumbled upon Savage Machine (formerly Momentum), a strongly NWOBHM sounding quintet hailing from Aarhus, which has just independently released its debut full-length, “Abandon Earth”, following a six-track EP from 2014, “Through the Iron Forest”, and 2016 single for “Event Horizon”, a super short albeit signatory cut featured alongside nine other pavement pounding (and launchpad scorching) numbers.
On first listen, starting with the drawn-out and apocalyptic piano-laced/snagging haranguer “Exodus”, I felt neither hot or cold as the album took a while to yield its inherent catchy-ness and nostalgic appeal due to its high treble content (think Britain’s Paralex circa 1980), notably the guitar tones and backlogged drums, not the mention the vocalist’s somewhat banal upper-ranged meanderings. Otherwise, the bass playing is gratifyingly prominent as it often takes on a shape of its own, classic new wave style, much like past worthies such as Weapon, Hollow Ground, or Black Axe for example. The drums, for their part, possess that fleeting and loose feel so relevant to said movement.
The front man sounds a lot like RAM’s Oscar Carlquist, but with more of fantastical and less diabolical bent, be it on the poignant and cautionary “Age of Machines”, which midway in melodically segues into a suspenseful palm-muted and white-knuckling bridge prior to a gripping and “savage” solo section, or centrifugal “The Hunter”, with its spinning riff sequences, pummelling drums and wildly wobbling n’ wiggling bass line, not to mention a downright inflammatory lead break. One also couldn’t be blamed for comparing him to Steelwing’s Riley for that matter, as he imbues a certain fiery and sci-fi-ish surround to the proceedings.
At times, harmonious clear – and acoustic – progressions lead the way for surely incepting and hard-driven instances, like on “Behind the Veil”, where Troels Rasmussen mournfully wails his lines before and after some sweet and deadly 80s hard rock style soloing up until the winning “The Fourth Dimension” (in the words of my mentor – recovery guru! – man’s core inner being), with its incessant, freewheeling leads which soar like so many rocket ships through the atmosphere. Note how the bass here merrily grooves its way through the ether, thus acting as much more than plain backing accompaniment. Speaking of revved up humdingers, one simply needs to get by the mystically languid, again shimmering and clear intro to “Fall of Icarus” for the pace to pick up. but make sure to stick around for the aforementioned, “Event Horizon”, somewhat bouncy and proud metal/space faring anthem “Savior” and reasonably length-ed closer, the cybernetic-ally hallucinatory, heavy bass basted closer (as well as resigned epilogue) “Welcome to Hell”, where indeed I’m largely reminded of RAM’s caustically exuberant and bellicose bellower.
Fans of the whole “it’s time to find a new home planet as we duly messed things up” school of thought and like-minded rock/metal should totally check out Savage Machinations’, er, Machines’ “Abandon Earth”. Although it may not blow them away in a wholesale manner, will still prove to be a worthy and commendable listen for any NWOBHM/traditional heavy metal-ist “en herbe”.