SAVAGE OATH – Divine Battle

SAVAGE OATH – Divine Battle
Postmortem Apocalypse
Released Year:
1. Knight of the Night2. Wings of Vengeance3. Blood for the King4. Smoke at Dawn5. Madness of the Crowd6. Savage Oath7. Divine Battle

I first heard the power quartet of SAVAGE OATH on their last year’s self-titled EP which had been quite promising but featured only two-songs. Their full-length debut wouldn’t come out easily; as mentioned by the band, Divine Battle” was recorded over a period of 5 years through many trials and hardships and is a tribute to all the loved ones lost along the way.

Thank God, they made it, for the album is a PURE GEM of US metal sound, with SAVAGE OATH incorporating several elements of European style while forging their own path. It is a thunderous proclamation of heavy metal infused with both power and speed but also melodic warmth. Released amidst the resurgence of traditional epic/heavy metal sound, this record stands out for its unrelenting energy, memorable hooks, and unapologetic devotion to the roots of the genre.

Admittedly, SAVAGE OATH is kind of underground metal all-star group, featuring well-known members such as Phil Ross (IRONSWORD, SENTRY, ex-MANILLA ROAD) on bass and electronics, Brendan Raddigan (PAGAN ALTAR, SUMERLANDS) on vocals, Leeland Campana (VISIGOTH) on lead guitar and Austin Wheeler on drums; also credited are Carlos Llanas on guitars and Paris Thibault for the choirs on “Blood for the King” and “Divine Battle”. So, yes, the spotlight has been onto them since they first appeared and now, the time of truth has come!

From the moment the opening track, Knight of the Night, kicks in, it’s evident that SAVAGE OATH pays homage to the giants of the epic/power on both sides of the Atlantic but they mainly honor the American metal heritage; the song is catchy and inspiring with pounding rhythm and face-melting guitar solos. Wings of Vengeance that follows, starts calmly only for a minute, before striking with full-force galloping riffs, filled with melodic lines. Next one is “Blood for the King”, an absolute masterpiece of slow-tempo epicness, maybe the best song in the album. What comes next is Smoke at Dawn, a dungeon-synth track that surprisingly fits perfectly right there, in the middle of the tracklist. Madness of the Crowd” and “Savage Oathare fine examples of the band’s true identity, and closing track, “Divine Battle”, while being an excellent acoustic ballad, it may leave the listener anticipating for the powerful outburst that never comes – I, personally, haven’t been disappointed by that; the band offered many lengthy songs of relentless power, so if a mellow song is what they chose for their debut’s grand finale, so be it!

With inventive little add-ons, driving rhythms, blistering guitar solos and anthemic choruses, SAVAGE OATH’s “Divine Battle” captures the essence of modern epic heavy metal. It is not merely oriented towards the sound of VISIGOTH, ETERNAL CHAMPION and the like, so fans of bands like TWISTED TOWER DIRE, JAG PANZER, later-era MANOWAR and even ARMORED SAINT or VICIOUS RUMORS, will also find familiar territory in SAVAGE OATH’s style.

So, what makes this album special is its fusion of solid, strong elements of USPM with classic heavy metal touches. SAVAGE OATH deftly incorporates all the aggressive riffing, soaring vocals and fantasy-inspired lyrics in their own power metal sound, adding layers of intensity and grandeur to their music. Tracks like Madness of the Crowd demonstrate this marriage of classic and power metal influences – à la SUMERLANDS style- while “Blood for the King” showcases the band’s technical prowess with intricate guitar work and dynamic shifts in tempo.

Beyond its musical merits, “Divine Battle” underscores the enduring significance of the US sound, being a triumphant declaration of heavy metal’s undying spirit; it stands as a testament to the power of tradition and the boundless ongoing creativity of our beloved genre!

So, are you ready to take your own Savage Oath and rush into Divine Battle?

I for one, know for sure that I am!

Divine Battle” was released on March 15th by Postmortem Apocalypse on CD.

Check the discussion about the album in our forum pages.

You can order the CD here.

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