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SAVAGE GRACE- Master of Disguise LP (Black Dragon Records, France, 1985)

IMG_0436IMG_0437I promised TOTAL METAL and here it is, right from the boulevards of Beverly Hills: SAVAGE GRACE for many were one of the heaviest bands of the 83 Metal explosion. The band’s debut, the awesome and totally, criminally underrated “Dominatress” 12″EP was one of these pearls I couldn’t get off my turntable for weeks and weeks. For a 1983 record, it was as new and fresh as releases from bands that would get bigger and bigger, like Slayer or Metallica. Back then, I didn’t see a reason why SAVAGE GRACE’s legacy once in the future shouldn’t be acknowledged as enthusiastically as that of those of other bands. But history is cold and merciless, so today, SAVAGE GRACE are another one in the legion of groups who’re tagged with the not very flattering “cult band”-label.

This is the band’s first full length LP, released two years after the EP. When this came out, I wasn’t so deeply into Metal anymore, but I remember very well how blown away everybody was. From start to finish “Master of Disguise” hits you like a freight train, despite the rather dull production. The overall speed and overwroughtness of this LP is breathtaking. Whenever I play this through, I feel exhausted when it’s over, so tense, tight, fast and full of hooks and melodies it is. What a crazy, crazy record! It’s often labeled a Speed Metal album, but I don’t find this appropriate. It’s sped up Power Metal, that’s what it is (and now don’t ask me what the difference ‘tween sped up Power Metal and Speed Metal is, cause I really don’t know).

All rips of this album I heard so far sounded like shit. This should replace them all. In Germany, this LP was put on the index because of the cover, by the way. The rare and graphically more explicit picture disc version got confiscated by the customs when my record shop ordered a bunch from Important Records.

Download “Master of Disguise” here (.zip file). To my knowledge, it’s never been officially re-released since the euro license pressing on Black Dragon Records which came out shortly after the original version.