Costa Rica's Groove Metal outfit Savage Existence has just unleashed its sophomore self-titled album, Savage Existence on April 27, 2023, released by Rivet Records / The Orchard. Savage Existence is the follow-up to the band's 2021 debut album Animals. Groove Metal pioneer Logan Mader produced the band's sophomore effort and has produced debut albums from top-selling bands like Gojira, Five Finger Death Punch, and DevilDriver to name a few.
Savage Existence was formed in Costas Rica by Canadien entrepreneurs Daniel Cleland and Jesse Radford, and singer/songwriter Anton Darusso. Daniel Ramos and Andreas Castro round out the band. Daniel Cleland states, "Savage Existence revisits old school groove metal with elements of American metal, death metal, and southern rock, with lyrics that speak about real-life issues and relevant concerns of the modern day.”
The music in this effort can best be described as a mashup of pulverizing Groove Metal, Heavy Metal, and a dash of Nu-Metal. Compared to the debut album Animals, the band's approach is a fully collaborative effort by everyone in the band. Savage Existence has a runtime of just under 44 minutes across 10 songs with the first song "Still Life" being a one-minute prelude to the hell that is about to be unleashed upon the listener's ears.
Gary Holt contributes guitar solos on "Matricide" and "Enigma". The rhythm section of the band takes prominence over the guitars on "Cull" and Steady Blows to the Head' with pulverizing grooves and beats that have an early Korn / Slipknot / Mudvayne feel to the music. Guitarists Castro and Cleland bring intricate fretboard intros to "Still Life", "Enigma" and "It's All on You". Tracks such as "Leap of Faith" and "Independence Day" bring hard-driving guitar riffs, blast beat kick drums, and melodic elements to the music intermixed with Anton's growls delivering a unique dynamic to these songs.
The lyrics speak about real-life issues and relevant concerns of the modern day. "Cull" is dead nuts accurate in describing the state of the world in all aspects of the environment, the political landscape, and the state of geopolitical affairs throughout the world. Darusso's spoken word to intensifying growls in "Dumpster Water" is pure Anselmoesque magic delivering pissed-off rage and angst beautifully flowing with the context of the song.
Savage or Sophomore Slump?
Savage Existence's second effort is worth a spot in your collection if you are a fan of Pantera, Soufly, and anything pulverizing. The songwriting has unique elements that infuse many subgenres of metal without feeling gimmicky. Savage Existence gets better with each listen where you will find yourself discovering new elements and alleys to keep the listener engaged.
- Still Life
- Steady Blows to the Head
- Dumpster Water
- Leap of Faith
- All on You
- Independence Day
- Standing in Flames
Anton Darusso - Vocals
Daniel Cleland - Guitars
Jesse Radford - Drums
Emil Minott - Bass
Andreas Castro - Guitars
Official Website - https://savageexistence.com/
Score 7.3 out of 10
Label: Rivet Records / The Orchard (Sony)
Release date: April 27, 2023
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