"Psycho Psycho"

(Metal Blade)

01. Psycho Psycho
02. Hell Unleashed
03. Anguish
04. Human Factor
05. Terminus Maximus
06. Dementia 13
07. Step Up To The Plate
08. Return Of The Savage
09. Triumphal Entry
10. Betrayal System
11. Savage Desire
12. Merciless Truths

RATING: 3.5/10

The last thing you expect to drop onto the doormat is an album bearing the name NASTY SAVAGE. For those unfamiliar with the Floridians, it's worth at least pointing out that they were/are one of the few bands on this earth to feature a one-time wrestler vocalist — one "Nasty" Ronnie Galetti.

Beyond their name being emblazoned across admiring death metal scenester t-shirts (Chuck Schuldiner, for one), it's quite possible that comparatively few people outside of those circles actually laid ears on their power-thrash throughout their initial six-year tenure from '83 to '89.

With this being their comeback album — following a one-off reunion in '99 — it would be advantageous for then for things to remain that way. You see, whichever way you slice it, "Psycho Psycho" is a minor-league album in much the same way as even the best of their earlier material didn't exactly start fireworks (assuming you've heard it).

A lot of the blame for this — on this album anyway — lies squarely across the steroid-pumped shoulders of Ronnie himself. Just as the opening title track starts up with a twiddly guitar piece and you think, "Hmm, interesting," in he lumbers with a barrage of inappropriate vocal patterns that just simply do not fit with what's underneath. It's almost like he wants it over with, like, yesterday — perhaps he's got a particularly frenetic grapple on his mind, as opposed to focusing on making the songs flow. Realistically, this is at least one opportunity missed on "Psycho Psycho" because if you attempt to mentally wipe Ronnie from the proceedings, the underlying track is actually not a bad little clipped thrasher in the vein of MEGADETH. The other totally glaring instance of this on the album, where he goes at it like the clappers, is "Triumphal Entry". However, despite the fact that this song slings out one hooky little crunch riff in the middle, overall it's on a par with the vocal performance, as the generic guitar chops bowl forward to nowhere in particular.

Sadly, this is largely the pattern for the rest of the album. Considering that one or two NASTY SAVAGE members have several bands under their belts, it's hard to fathom how the likes of "Dementia 13" can sound so tired and irrelevant. It's one thing for a band to be a below par, but to sound old and washed out ("Step Up To the Plate" and "Betrayal System", more than most) disappoints furthermore when you consider that bands like THE HAUNTED, SOILWORK et al are doing a fairly good job of making thrash shine well in to the new millennium. NASTY SAVAGE are doing anything but, and on this evidence their aforementioned cult status has now undoubtedly hit the canvas. Time to get back in the ring, Ronnie.


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