“Well, I think that “Cross Of Babylon” sounds just a little rushed. Though thrashy as hell, Dave just seems to speed through it as quickly as he can in some moments and you can ever hear him running out of breath on the chorus to the piece, like he’s struggling to spit those lines into that melody as quick as he can (I’ve been there and it’s no easy feat to try to fit four lines into a melody that should really only hold two, but we vocalists manage to do it anyway). Then you’ve got “Hellblazer” which really delivers as far as the guitar acrobatics are concerned (these guys kill in that area) but Dave again sounds like he’s struggling on the disc. I have no idea why, really and it doesn’t sound like he’s giving it his all. I listened to Plague Of Conscience quite a bit and he didn’t sound like this. It sometimes sounds like Dave rushed to get all the vocal lines on the release before the deadline. This sometimes happens and I completely understand the reasoning behind it, however. Yet then there’s the ballad “Live As One Already Dead” which shows him a little calmer and able to belt out a volley of much more memorable vocal lines. Yet the same can be said with the album’s much slower title track, so I guess when the band aren’t thrashing like maniacs it’s much easier to get the vocals in.
But even if Dave gave the worst vocal performance of his life on this disc, (which he didn’t) this album absolutely soars with musicianship. I was originally going to give this disc a 3.5, but after this sophomore listen during the review, I have a feeling that people were going to tell me that I needed to have my head examined and they’d be right. There’s no doubting this band when they get all warmed up and “Hammered Down” is a good example of the fury that can be unleashed in their stronger moments. Truth is, there’s a lot of great guitar playing on this one. Not just nice melodies and clean solos, but the whole element of guitar experimentation, when you know that a band has thoroughly thought through the material and didn’t just throw shit together at the last minute. Musically, this might even be better than the new Tad Morose album. Perhaps I’m just not a fan of David Silver’s vocal approach and I need to give the disc a few more listens before it really grows on me. Yet then I get to “The Cursed Earth” and despite the chug, it sounds like he’s got a little bit of a lisp or something. I don’t remember this on the last album and I’m just curious as to what happened here. But I think I’m going to sit down with it a little more and try to further absorb it. That’s why I good conscience I can’t give it a 3.5, because the playing on this album is simply too good for the album to simply be considered decent. So I’m giving it a solid 4 because even if the vocals aren’t entirely up to standards per my ridiculously high vocal standards, (but let’s be honest, I can’t even hit high notes like that) Savage Messiah certainly gave this record their all and I’m sure that fans of power/thrash (they’re just calling it heavy metal now, really?) will embrace it…”