Gone Savage – ‘Past Life’ Album Review

Massive improvement since Gone Savage released their EP ‘Resurrection’ a couple of years back. ‘Past Life’ has a great set of songs with not a duffer or filler in sight

Review by Paul. Chesworth

Gone Savage have been diligently releasing quality songs for a number of years now. Two years ago GS sent me their EP ‘Resurrection’, and single ‘Bulletproof’ which was a whetter of an appetite for what was to come. And that ‘for what was to come’ is now actually here in 2022 with the release of ‘Past Life’.

They are down to a main 2 piece of Ian Salpekar (bass) and Will Glover (Vocals), and have added the likes of Sam Millar and Grant Mallison (Guitars, but not at the same time), with Don Genovese (backing vocals) but we are promised a full on band when live with 4 part harmonies. Thats good enough for me as I’m a sucker for harmonies.

They self describe themselves as ‘Rock with a modern melodic feel, together with a hard edge and tight under belly!’ Compared to ‘Resurrection’ (which had a different vocalist to Will) back in 2020, Gone Savage showed a marked improvement with ‘Bulletproof’ (included on ‘Past Life’), and have definitely upped their game even further with this new release. Gone Savage have bands like Leppard, and Dokken running through their music and veins like a stick of Blackpool rock.

So what do we get? ‘Regression’ is an intro with not a lot of substance, but it gives way for the very 80s sounding ‘Icon Of Today’ with Will sounding a little like Blood Red Saints Pete Godfrey. It makes for a very decent opener. It only gets better with the very aptly named ‘Irresistable’ which is built on the foundations of a cracking riff and chorus. (Stryper anyone?). ‘Life In Black And White’ has one of those ear-worm choruses that once heard, are immediately embedded in your skull. I mentioned earlier about the Def Leppard and Dokken influences and both are definitely in play for ‘Permanent State Of Change’, with vocals and delivery Lep-esque, and the riff coming from a ‘Dysfunctional’ era Dokken. ‘Bulletproof’ has a much heavier sound and it stands out from the rest of the album. I don’t mean in a better ‘stand out’ moment, its the heaviness that stands out. Bear in mind this song is a couple years older than the rest and possibly this was a sign of things to come, but everything before this on Past Life have been pared back a little for a more melodic approach. It (Bulletproof) still fits in though as bands need to show that are not all a bit ‘same-y’ or predictable, and this is proof positive with ‘Life Incendiary’. It offers up a slower paced sound and deliberate menacing tone and underlying riff that evokes George Lynch and Adam Jones. Its a definite highlight.

‘Louder Than The Sun’ sounds as if its a seamless transition from ‘Life Incendiary’, and it hammers home with Will doing his very best ’Stars In Their Eyes’ Joe Elliot moment with the phrasing and delivery. The harmonies are also in full force. Again, its quality stuff. ‘Love Caught Me Out’ sounds like a Night Ranger title if ever I hear one. Only this song is like ‘Night Of The Crime’ era Icon (Check ‘em out kids, Icon are fantastic). GS are on a roll now folks! ‘Redemption Song’ dials it back a little but it still packs a punch. The harmonies are in force and Salpekar’s bass pulls this song along for most of the way. ‘Powerless’ has all the hallmarks of a very early Leppard (Rock Brigade) and has a pulsating riff that drives the song from start to finish. ‘Touch Your God’ has a more atmospheric sound to it than the rest, and is the type of song that played live could easily become a lengthier, epic number.

The addition of Will Glover has seen Gone Savage grown into a force to be reckoned with. I also have to give credit to Grant Mallison and Sam Millar as the guitars on this album take me back to my late teens when bands like Dokken, Ratt, QR etc ruled the World for me. The songs on ‘Past Life’ are better (much better), the vocals have more range and feeling than previously. The band have come on leaps and bounds since our paths crossed with ‘Resurrection’. ‘Past Life’ is a mix of ‘the great and the good’. There’s at least three great songs, probably more once I really have a few more listens under my belt, and the rest are good, with not a filler or duffer in sight. For that I have to give it very credible and enjoyable….



Icon Of Today
Life In Black And White
Permanent State Of Change
Life Incendiary
Louder Than The Sun
Love Caught Me Out
Redemption Song
Touch Your God

The Spectre Beneath – The New Identity Of Sidney Stone

Sophomore album from The Spectre Beneath is a mix of metal and storytelling of the highest order.

Hello dear reader. How are you? It’s been a while, hasn’t it? It’s been a pretty shite and fucked up year by all accounts. If another rock giant bites the dust this side of Christmas, that’s me done. Enough of the pleasantries…..

Today is the day that I go outside of my little bubble (not the Covid type, but my musical bubble) and listen to metal. Proper metal. The metal that my little melodic rock ears are not tuned to. Well its a request you see, from a mate, and a bloody clever one at that. He’s an author with many books under his name, plays guitar, and everything else, sings, does IT and is nice to animals. And he’s a top bloke, which lets face it, does not conform to the typical Ozzy, Chris Holmes, Lemmy, (insert name here) badass metal stereotype. Theres always an exception to the rule. That exception is PAZ.

Anywho, last year, PAZ asked me to review their debut album ‘The Downfall of Judith King’. It was most excellent – review of that can be read here –https://needle-in-the-groove.com/2019/09/26/the-spectre-beneath-the-downfall-of-judith-king-album-review-2/

Twelve months on comes the sophomore album, ‘The New Identity Of Sidney Stone’. In these mental times Paz has brought back L Locker (v) and Consta Taylor (d). Lets face it, if you can’t write and record an album in 2020 , when what looks like 70% of the planet is working from home, you’ve got no chance. The time has been spent well.

‘Clockwork Great’ sees Paz and Taylor bringing all the fire and fury with fast and frenetic riffing and thunderous drumming, whilst Lockser cuts through the mayhem for great contrast. It’s how I want my metal served up, tasty, not grunty. ‘Voice In The Static’ still has its bludgeoning riff foundation, but it’s very melodic considering the aural assault of ‘Clockwork’ and has nice harmonies from Lockser. ‘Broken’ has its foot firmly on the gas. Paz’s guitar work is fast, heavy and oh so good. Again the contrast with Lockser works well and the layering of vocals on ‘Broken’ are great. ‘Have You Waited For The World To Change’ entrance is subdued for The Spectre Beneath, and is a distant cousin to Queensryche’s ‘Anybody Listening’. But, sure enough, like a Dio song, if something starts off quiet, you know there’s a bit of welly and menacing guitar just around the corner, and that’s what we have here. It’s part grunge/part Delain and ALL The Spectre Beneath.

’20 Shillings a Town’ song title sounds like it belongs on Lionel Bart’s Oliver! But its more akin to Powerslave than slaving in Mr Bumbles work house. (I surprise myself sometimes). Theres quite a lot to take in such is the n&dbmp (notes and drum beats per minute – or should that be second). Consta’s drumming is right at the fore and he is an absolute beast. It even includes clips from ‘Witchfinder General’ courtesy of one Vincent Price. ‘The Last Light In The House’ is a departure from anything preceding this. There’s a bit more breathing room and it is quite a contrast, with more of a sombre and plodding tone like 70s rock used to do when going off on tangents. It proves to be a welcome break from the barrage of metal, in a good way of course. ‘The Criminal’ is a raucousness of riffage, a bombardment of beats and desolation of Dean (guitar). ‘The Funeral’ takes me back to my early days of listening to Dream Theater and I’ll just leave it at that.

‘The Premature Burial’ is the monster of the album, epic in length (Stargazer length) and in quality (Scene Nine:Finally Free quality). The guitar playing is more to what I’m used to, in a classic rock shredding style kind of way, than most of the rest on the album, and its probably why it ticks all of the boxes for me. I like a bit of brutality like the next guy, but my safe house is bands like DT, Queensryche etc. Finally we get to ‘The Exhumation’ and the Ronseal style of playing comes to fore. Consta is playing the drums as if he has bionic limbs, Paz goes for the jugular with some mental guitar work, even I was exhausted at the end just listening to it, and in L Lockser, Paz has unearthed a gem.

In conclusion, I haven’t enjoyed this as much as the debut, but in comparison, its like me preferring ‘Heaven and Hell’ to ‘Mob Rules’. Both are cracking albums, and that is exactly the same here, but the debut edges it for me. Whilst on a similar subject……

I have one gripe with Paz and its not this album. The ‘best’ is ‘Holy Diver’. There. I said it.


The Spectre Beneath
L Lockser – vocals
Pete Worrall – guitar/bass
Consta Taylor – drums

Vini Assis – additional lead guitar
Martin Worrall – Piano/Keyboards
Katy Lennon – Additional Vocals

Martha Hall – Kate Walsh
Sidney Stone – Pete Worrall
Voice on the phone – Ray Moreton

Track Listing:
Clockwork Heart
Voice in the Static
Have you waited for the world to change?
20 Shillings a Town
The Last Light in the House

The New Identity of Sidney Stone:
The Criminal
The Funeral
The Premature Burial
The Phone Call
The Exhumation