Johannesburg progressive metal/jazz three-piece Savage Lucy’s new studio album is a melting pot of musical mastery that makes one wonder why this talented trio hasn’t been flooded with attention.
The album opens with ‘Despot,’ the album’s first single. At first, the track’s pace is misleadingly slow, yet it soon swells into a full-bodied musical experience. It lulls the listener into an almost trance-like state before pulling the rug out from under them with an epic crescendo. The band describes themselves as creating “emotional and erotic soundscapes that leave audiences pleasantly aghast,” a notion which becomes most evident on this track.
The intro to the track ‘Strawberry Milkshake’ is reminiscent of the soothing guitars on Metallica’s hit ‘Nothing Else Matters’ and the track blossoms quickly from its slow, peaceful opening into a fast-paced masterwork, abundant with instrumental craftsmanship.
‘Informal Settlement’ is an itchy, energetic track. It is a song that, in the band’s words, “[orchestrates] sonic voyages that seize and provoke even the most discerning ears.” The band aims to use the power of instrumental music to practice their right to freedom of expression, and ‘Informal Settlement’ does exactly this, building its guitar riff into a sound that is distorted in both pleasant and disconcerting ways.
‘Mid-reverie’ is darker and more sinister than its predecessors, leading the listener into an obscure forest of intense sounds which will haunt them long after the album has ended. This intensity is undercut by the slightly bouncier atmosphere on the next track, ‘Pale Factor.’ But even here there is a darker undercurrent provided by the ominous bass and slow guitars. The track lets its pent-up fury loose on the listener in its final minute with a larger-than-life guitar riff which is sure to take many listeners by surprise.
The pensive, brooding track ‘Tight in All the Right Places’ is the only one which offers vocal accompaniment (provided by Lara Gear), if only slightly. The track is meditative and almost melancholy, guiding listeners away from the fast-paced world outside and forcing them to turn their thoughts inward.
The closing track of “Reverie”, ‘Cockfight,’ is confident in its presentation. With a Santana-esque intro and methodical bass, it is sure to appeal to lovers of both metal and jazzy blues alike. Overall, this is a masterfully composed journey that will appeal to fans of a wide variety of genres.
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Listen to “Reverie” on Bandcamp.