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SWEET SAVAGE: “Rune”

Neat Metal Records

Unlike most bands rooted in the N.W.O.B.H.M., Sweet Savage are still genuinely relevant to these modern metal times. This fact is made immediately apparent with more than the occasional techno-metal leanings on this their latest offering, the cryptically-entitled “Rune.” A big part of the ‘new’-sounding Sweet Savage is whizz-kid guitarist Simon McBride. Although Simon debuted on the band’s last album, “Killing Time,” with the recent departure of original guitarist Trevor Flemming, McBride has free reign to riff, widdle and generally cause six-string mayhem at will! In fact, McBride’s technique is very reminiscent of another ex-Sweet Savage employee, Vivian Campbell, who now of course is firmly ensconced in Def Leppard. Standout tracks are album opener, “Ditch,” the industrial NIN- influenced “Life’s A Game” and the pounding “Why Me?” “Rune” heralds the re- establishment of a fresher, more vital-sounding band who’ve definitely shaken the dust from their boots and re-invented themselves for the late nineties.