Sweet Savage (1979-1984, 1984-1985, 1996-present): a NWOBHM band from Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK.
weet Savage has been inactive for several years (and presumed here as gone) but it's not like they came and went without notice. They are the first band to feature Vivian Campbell (ex-Dio/ex-Def Leppard), and they are one of several NWOBHM bands covered by Metallica in their early years, specifically covering Killing Time, a track that was originally recorded as a single by Sweet Savage back in 1981 and can be found on early Metallica demos.
The band had split but in the 90s after Metallica covered Sweet Savage's Killing Time (earlier recorded as a single) in 1991 as a B-side for The Unforgiven single, there was renewed interest for Sweet Savage. So they reformed.
Reformed, the band finally got around to releasing an album. Amazingly, three of the four original 1981 members (the entire band, except Campbell) were still in the band, now featuring Ray Haller (vocals/bass), 17 year old Simon McBride (guitars; who replaced Campbell), David Bates (drums) and Trevor Fleming (guitar) to release Killing Time (1996) sticking remarkably close to their basic NWOBHM style with a new version of the same-named track and receiving flak for it not comparing to the original. Yes, that original Killing Time track received controversy for racial lyrics that had since been removed from lyric sheets.
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Flemming then left shortly before the recording of Rune in 1998; they went silent again.
In 2008, 'Maniacal Records' from the USA was to release the band's early studio material on vinyl, but the band abruptly cancelled the project, citing lawsuit concerns from a former member. That recording was to be titled Eye of the Storm - The Early Years. It was never completed.
2009 saw the release of Warbird, on 'SPV Records'. The album featured Vivian Campbell making a guest appearance on a cover of Thin Lizzy's Whiskey in the Jar.
2010 saw Marty McCloskey take over from Jules Watson who went on to drum for Conjuring Fate.
On 2 October 2010, guitarist and songwriter Trev Fleming died after treatment for a recent illness, he had been missing from the band's line-up since February 2010 and was not present for support slots with Deep Purple and Iron Maiden or for the bands performance at the Sonisphere Festival.
Ray Haller joined Metallica onstage on 7 December 2011 at The Fillmore in San Francisco, California for Metallica's 30th Anniversary show. 2011 also saw the release of their next album, Regeneration.
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