Saturday morning at heavy metal festival that has been going since Thursday is very rarely a pleasant sight, but alas it was a sight that needed to be seen if you were planning to watch young upstarts Savage Messiah perform on The Sophie Lancaster Stage.
As ‘bangovers’ were remedied with a range of bacon sandwiches, pot noodles and yet more beer the tent slowly began to fill up in anticipation of what the boys would bring – and they brought their A-Game.
As new drummer, Andrea Gorio got the crowd clapping along to the intro tape, the excitement hit fever pitch as guitarists Dave Silver and Joff Bailey and bassist Stefano Selvatico bounded onto the stage striking all manner of metal poses and ploughed into ‘The Accuser’, which sonically ripped the faces of the front three rows.
As Joff continued to prove why he is the best gurner in metal since Jason Newsted hung up his bass, the band shredded through ‘Plague of Conscience’ from their latest album of the same name, before saying a few quick thanks to those in attendance for making the effort to watch and introducing one of my personal favourite Savage Messiah songs ‘Shadowbound’.
Despite the questionable sound through the PA that one would expect of a festival performance that early in the day, the band sounded tighter than a ducks’ arse and seemed to be not just loving but BELIEVING in every note they were playing.
As ‘Carnival of Souls’ rolled around it was apparent just how strong Dave’s voice is, as he consistently hit notes so high up in the stratosphere that they haven’t been heard by a human ear since Rob Halford was still in the closet.
The all too short ended on a storming rendition of ‘Insurrection Rising’, the band having made many new fans and given a sense of pride to the existing ones who came to support “their” band. As the audience walked away and saw the sunshine it was suddenly apparent they had watched a band so low on the bill, having completely forgotten due to the fantastic songs, the great showmanship and a standard of performance that many of the “bigger” bands of the day didn’t seem to quite lock into. I sincerely hope that 2013 sees Savage Messiah both higher up festival bills and on bigger stages, but in the meantime I have just one complaint – next time play ‘Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt’.
Photos taken by Sabrina Ramdoyal