If you ever woke up and felt like you needed some Portuguese heavy metal, and you knew what you were doing, you’d turn to Dave Rotten’s Fighter Records. While Fighter signs bands from all over the world, Fighter is similar to parent label Xtreem Music in that it tends to save a little extra love for those unknown South European bands whose music would languish on obscure bandcamp pages if they didn’t get proper record deals. Lyzzärd is a rather young act – established in 2013 – and have only released one demo and one album. That album, this one, was originally self-published on CDr (that’s the damn spirit!) only to be picked up by Dave/Fighter and sent on to make it out in the wide world.
Lyzzärd play heavy metal with a rough, 80’s edge. Running Wild springs to mind, though this is somehow more upbeat and also a little thrashier. In fact, at times Lyzzärd sound like a more melodic version of Voivod or even Tankard. There are more than a few NWOBHM riffs and solos to keep it firmly on the heavy metal playing field, but the style is still a bit more garage than arena – in a good way. In short, Savage presents a breed of heavy metal that isn’t exactly fashionable at the moment, which considering what is fashionable at the moment is nothing short of amazing. Monster trucks, gun fights in shoulder padded suits, women with obnoxiously huge… hair styles. It’s all right here.
It’s not just the music and band name that has the 80’s spray painted all over it either. Song titles like “Yakuza” (incredibly cool track, btw) add some exciting flavor to the whole deal, and make me want to watch Black Rain (1989) instead of writing reviews. The vocals are high-pitched and mainly melodic, but they do at time cross over into 80’s thrash shouts/speaking territory, to elaborate one aspect of that that melodic Voivod comparison somewhat. The edge here is somewhat similar to previous Fighter Recs offering Candle (review – interview), even though the actual style of heavy metal is more outspokenly retro and really quite different in other ways too.
If you need to rock out in a way unheard of since 1987, you need Lyzzärd. If you need to remember what a heavy metal album feels like when it lacks any notion of “being ecclectic” or “including many elements of metal, core and” fucking RnB, you need Savage. It’s heavy metal. Deal with it.