Savage Grace were one of the original LA heavy metal bands to come out of the early 80's. They first appeared as Marquis De Sade but changed their name
to Savage Grace and appeared on "Metal Massacre II" in 1982, with the song "Scepters of Deceit".
"...hard rock was huge in Germany and England. I knew that it would soon be big in L.A. My ideas for my band were taking shape. Saxon, Priest, Schenker, Scorpions, UFO, Maiden, Accept were all influences. I always hated punk and new wave music. I liked Ted Nugent, Cheap Trick, Molly Hatchet and Euro Heavy Metal like UFO." -Christian Logue, Savage Grace
Savage Grace - The Dominatress (Metal Blade Records) 1983
1. "Fight For Your Life" (4:33)
2. "Curse the Night" (5:39)
3. "The Dominatress" (4:23)
4. "Live to Burn" (3:38)
5. "Too Young to Die" (5:11)
Savage Grace's existance basically kicked off with "Scepters of Deceit"
featured on the infamous "Metal
Massacre 2" compilation and then this EP. Savage Grace touching on the beginnings of speed metal, shunning all things LA, despite being from the City of Angels themselves. This is pure heavy metal without a hint of glam or pop. After the recording of "The Dominatress", Kenny Powell left Savage
Grace to form his own band Omen.
Savage Grace - Master of Disguise (Important Records) 1986
1. Lions Roar (1:02)
2. Bound To Be free (4:25)
3. Fear My Way (4:22)
4. Sins Of The Damned (4:18)
5. Into The Fire (3:29)
6. Master Of Disguise (4:02)
7. Betrayer (4:56)
8. Sons Of Iniquity (4:39)
9. No One Left To Blame (4:14)
Savage Grace are on of Los Angeles' most underrated bands. They are often heralded as one of the founders of speed metal, though as I recall they were often labeled American power metal back in the 80s. Their sound has become a blueprint for many other bands over the decades, even though Savage Grace are generally an underground band. "Master of Disguise" was the band's first full-length record and was the follow-up to their "The Dominatress" EP. The album opens with a short Iron Maiden-inspired instrumental that acts as an intro into one of the band's best and most well-known songs "Bound to Be Free". (The song has been covered by Powergod.) The song has that Thin Lizzy/Iron Maiden inspired dual guitar sound. In fact, the entire album is built around that dual-guitar sound with songs like "Fear My Way" and "No One Left to Blame" sounding like Maiden on speed. Some tracks, such as "Betrayer" are more straight-forward, mid-paced heavy metal while others, such as "Into the Fire" and the title track even push the boundaries of thrash metal. "Master of Disguise" is packed with galloping riffs, memorable songs, manic guitar leads from Christian Logue and soaring vocals by Mike Smith. In a word, it's a classic!
"Master of Disguise" has been released with two different cover, both featuring a perverted cop and a nude or partially nude woman. This album cover reminds me of a couple scenes in This Is Spinal Tap. In one scene, Nigel, David and band manager Ian are discussing the band's cover for "Smell the Glove". Ian informs the band that the record company refuses to print the cover because they find it offensive and that Sears and K-Mart won't carry the record with the cover because it's sexist. Nigel then asks, "Well so what? What’s wrong with being sexy?" Ian replies, "Sex-ist. Sex-ist!" David then replies, "Ist! More than sexy."
Savage Grace - After the Fall from Grace (Metal Blade) 1986
1. "Call to Arms" (1:36)
2. "We Came, We Saw, We Conquered" (5:52)
3. "After the Fall from Grace" (5:42)
4. "Trial by Fire" (4:41)
5. Palestinia" (:26)
6. "Age of Innocence" (3:54)
7. "Flesh and Blood" (4:40)
8. "Destination Unknown" (5:03)
9. "Tales of Mystery" (4:08)
"After the Fall from Grace" was Savage Grace's second full-length and was released among turmoil within the band. Drummer Dan Finch and vocalist Mike Smith left the band. Mark Marcum taking over on the drums. Mark Chase Marshall accompanies Christian Logue in the band's twin-guitar sound. Logue also takes over the mic. His voice is surprisingly ever bit as good as Smith's, hitting every high note even offering some more gutteral sounds. "Trial By Fire" is pure thrash metal with vocals going from the clean singing to almost growled thrash metal vocals. Musically the band moves slightly away from the NWOBHM/Iron Maiden-inspired sound, while not completely abandoning it. Really, the band finally found their sound, taking their influences and blending them into their very own brand of American power metal.
The album opens with a crushing mid-paced riff on "Call to Arms". The minute and a half--long song is an intro into the band's speed metal classic "We Came We Saw We Conquered." A quick solo meshes the two songs together. The song is built around a shout-along chorus, "And we came, we saw, we conquered!" The riffs and melodies are far less Maiden-esque than anything on "Master of Disguise". The title track brings the tempo back down, but keeps the aggression very much alive. Side two unleashes a few more thrash-tinged cuts such as "Age of Innocence" and "Flesh and Blood". "Tales of Mystery" is a bit more melodic with an early Queensryche influence. As with their last album, soaring, complex guitar solos are peppered throughout the album. No where is this more apparent than in "Destination Unknown" which features a progressive bridge and guitar lead break that really gives Logue a chance to shine. Unfortunately, "After the Fall..." was the L.A. band's final output, leaving the band.