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Salvación - Keep Up the Fire Award winner

Salvación
Keep Up the Fire
by Chris Hawkins at 01 July 2019, 9:44 PM

It is a marked honor to have the privilege to provide coverage for this latest release from SALVACIÓN.  When I saw this on the list of available releases, I could not resist.  Admittedly, there is a personal connection I have to the band.  I met the band’s former, founding drummer, Carlos Denogean, some fifteen or so years ago.  In his teens at the time, I was beyond impressed with his abilities when we jammed a few times.  Despite playing more extreme Metal back then, we bonded over a mutual love and adoration for classic Heavy metal.  Though life set us on two different paths, we remained friends over the years and when I had the chance to catch his band, SALVACIÓN, play live some ten or so years ago for the first time, I was overjoyed to see the man finally having his dreams come to fruition.  He also had a stint as drummer for fellow Wilmington, NC band, the Stoner Doom powerhouse, WEEDEATER.  Unfortunately, March of 2018 at a WEEDEATER show was the last time I was to see Carlos.  Just a few short months later, he passed away, the victim of a one-in-a-million medical anomaly.  Thankfully for the Metal public, though, the band have decided to soldier on, committed to furthering the fight, something Carlos would have indeed wanted.  Doza Hawes has since been tapped to play drums for the band and this is the last release to feature Carlos Denogean.

Let it be known, though, that despite my connection to this release, I will be reviewing this with the same objectivity as any other.  I would want the same were the roles reversed and this was one of my own musical projects.  “Keep Up the Fire” is actually a reissue limited to 500 copies of the band’s last EP.  There is the inclusion of two songs not appearing on the original, “Take Control” and “The Ecstasy of Gold” along with revamped art work featuring Carlos in the role of Montezuma on the cover that set this release apart from the original.

Dealbreaker” opens things up with a clear exposition of the band’s sound.  Any fan of classic Metal will immediately be throwing horns up and chugging beers.  The main riff has a distinct old school IRON MAIDEN vibe and it could really be said that the NWOBHM colors all the tracks contained within.  Vic Marriott’s bass simply roars underneath the Heavy Metal riffs pounded out by the band.  The breakdown around the 2:30 mark is largely reminiscent of classic JUDAS PRIEST.  Luckily, the band have a vocalist in Elliot Madre who has his own identity without trying to sound like another Rob or Bruce.  Thus, it is with mighty riffs, unpredictable rhythms, and melodic vocals that the SALVACIÓN sound is forged.

Out for Blood” is a deeper dive into the band’s sound and the strongest track on the EP.  There is a simply irresistible crushing groove that forms the basis for the song.  One cannot help but get the impression of a more melodic, majestic take on the great ACCEPT.  Like many of the other key tracks of the band, there are plenty of monstrous guitar harmonies to sink one’s teeth into.  The third track, “Straight for the Throat,” kicks off with a riff that is closely related to classic DEF LEPPARD, particularly giving the “Photograph” vibe.  Shortly after, though, things get much heavier and much more riff-driven.  With a slamming riff accented by well-executed palm-muting, this is an undeniably catchy sound.  The breakdown led by some hard-hitting drums sets up a solo that simply screams.  One can hear elements of George Lynch and Jake E. Lee in this well-performed exercise of classic shredding.

The Metal Gods have illuminated the path ahead for SALVACIÓN.  In keeping true to their very name, the band have a goal to spread the gospel of Heavy Metal to the land.  “Keep Up the Fire” certainly lays out this battle plan clearly for all who listen.  With classic Heavy Metal perpetuated at such a high level, the fire will certainly never die out.  Carlos certainly is proud looking on to see the message continued and his memory will without question stoke the fire of his band mates and those who knew him for long to come.  Hail and kill!

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 9



4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Dealbreaker
2. Out for Blood
3. Straight for the Throat
4. Keep Up the Fire
5. Take Control
6. Ecstasy of Gold

Lineup:
Vic Marriott - Bass
Dan Todd – Guitars
Elliott Madre - Vocals
Carlos Denogean – Drums

Record Label: Heaven and Hell Records
     


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