Just when one thought the musical coast was clear for the bubblegum likes of Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen, along comes the ear-splitting power-chord twin-guitar attack that reminds everyone with functioning tympanic membrane that heavy metal will never die.
And who else to better reinstate metal supremacy across the Kootenays but Nelson’s homegrown headbangers in Savage Blade? With their 2009 début album “We Are The Hammer” continuing to gather rave reviews, and their sophomore release “Angel Museum” slated for tentative release later this year, Savage Blade are rising Canadian stars in a vibrant national scene which has produced such notable acts as Strapping Young Lad, 3 Inches of Blood, Bison BC, and Black Wizard…not to mention classic heroes like Rush, Razor, Anvil and Sacrifice. And they’re coming to town Friday night.
“We learned a lot during and after the recording of our first album,” bassist Chris Rand explains. “We produced the record independently in our home studio, so we didn’t have the luxury of high-end gear and a ‘real’ studio environment. There are definitely things that could’ve been better, but you have to get to a point where you’re happy with what you’ve got, and step back.
“At the end of the day, we’re proud of what we created. With the new album, there’s been significant growth in our collaborative songwriting, arrangement and production efforts. We all had an equal part in this album as a whole, creatively and otherwise. The songs are stronger and the mix is bigger and better…can’t wait to release it!”
Rand is the prime songwriting force in Savage Blade, along with lead guitarist Eric Hoodicoff. The band takes old-school inspiration from 1980s acts like Judas Priest, Manowar, Saxon, Dio, Accept, Raven, Diamond Head, and Mercyful Fate. Rand explains the creative connection between them: “It’s a love/hate relationship. We love each others songs, but hate to admit it. At the end of the day, it takes more than me and Eric’s ideas to write a song. We’re at a point where we present a riff or a melody, and the band creates the rest.”
As seasoned road warriors who have crisscrossed North America and beyond, Rand still states that Savage Blade’s best show of the past year happened in Kimberley at the (sadly-soon-to-be-defunct) Edge Pub. “Hands down,” Rand confirms. “It’s the one of the smallest-yet-coolest little towns in this country. We’ve all played in a lot of bands, and played in a lot of different places, and none of us have felt a connection with a crowd like the one that comes from the combination of Kimberley and Cranbrook. They’re more a part of our band then some of our past members!”
A former Cranbrooker, Rand is excited to be returning his music to the old hometown. “I was born and raised in Cranbrook, but moved to Vancouver in 1988. I’ve played with my other band BC/DC in Cranbrook a few times over the past decade, but this will be the first Savage Blade show there, so I’m excited to bring our show to town, and hope to see some old faces and connect with some old friends!”
Although long decried as low-brow and low-rent by dubious critics, the numerous sub-genres which encompass heavy metal as a whole (literally, tens of thousands of bands worldwide) continue to withstand fickle changes in mainstream musical fads, weaving in and out of the media eye while entrancing millions of die-hard fans of all ages. “It’s unexplainable,” Rand muses on heavy metal’s staying power. “I guess it’s the fact that good songs never die.”
Savage Blade scorch the stage at the Byng Roadhouse (21 Cranbrook St. North) with guests Immune to Cobras, Friday March 1; showtime 8 p.m. Bring earplugs.