Kentucky metalheads Savage Master are back! It’s been a couple o’ years (three to be precise – fact-loving Ed) since the band’s last foray into the land of the long player, but thankfully they haven’t changed their winning formula too much in that time.

Rather new opus Myth, Magic & Steel is a solid serving of exactly what we’ve come to expect from Stacey Savage and her band of not-so-merry men. Sure, they sound a bit more polished this time around – guitars and drums especially sound, well, bigger and brighter, especially the drums- but essentially Savage Master in 2019 is the same as Savage master half a decade ago. In tracks like The Devil’s Ecstasy the band are perhaps leaner, more hungry sounding, but they surely lose no fire for the increased focus. When they try for something a little more studied – the closing track Warrior Vs Dragon is absolutely an epic fan favourite in the making – they prove their evolution for all to see without once sacrificing the raw edge that their music always possesses.

The Owl is another slight movement away from the norm; a brave stab at a sort of Manowar circa Inter Glory Ride doom-laden ballad, it falls just short as the band seem unsure whether to go hell-for-leather into loincloth-clad insanity or to play it slightly closer to home. The end result sounds a little half-baked, a near miss that could have hit the target with just a little more… conviction? I’m not sure if that’s the word – but the song is missing something for my taste.

Flyer In The Night on the other hand, really hits the metal spot. A chuggy, radio-friendly intro kicks the song into gear before La Savage gives one of her best performances of the album. Black Lace meets Judas Priest at a Bitch show? I’ll take that!

For the most part you can approach this album knowing exactly what you are in for if you’ve heard the band before. The little nods to progress are welcome, but nobody is going away disappointed after hearing M,M &S. And if you’re new to the band, welcome – you’re in for a fun ride!

Myth, Magic & Steel is out now.