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(Live Review) SAVAGE MASTER + BLOOD STAR + SUPPORT - Chicago, 4/3/24


The Beard & Little Johnny


Tonight, once again The Beard (reviewer extraordinaire), and Little Johnny (IPA drinker par excellence) are covering another metal show. Event #15 & Bands #55-58 are on the agenda at Reggie’s Music Joint (in Chicago) as we review metal B&D band Savage Master, Sweden’s Screamer, Utah’s occult rock act Blood Star, and Chicago Spanish band Oscuridad Eterna.

Arriving about an hour early, we sat at the bar and had a pre-show beer. Johnny spotted a beer called Foggy Geezer by Warpigs Brewing and said, “Hey Beard, that beer is named after you AND the brewery sounds metal. Order us a couple of those.” “Johnny, remind me again why I put up with you?” “Well, cause everybody loves me. Only some of the people love you. Chop chop on those beers huh? I am going to go check out the merch. Loan me your card will ya?” (Ed: Grab me one too while you're at it Johnny!)


Fortunately, the Beard happened to get a seat at the bar directly next to Scott “Wino” Weinrich, (whose band The Obsessed was playing across the hall at the Rock House). Wino was not feeling chatty, so a quick greeting had to suffice, and the Beard left him to his meal in peace. Afterwards he told me, “Hope you enjoy the show.” I did not feel compelled to explain I was here for the other room’s show. Sorry Wino, I love Saint Vitus & Spirit Caravan, but The Obsessed? Lukewarm.

By then Johhny had returned with an empty beer, a Blood Star CD, and one of their jacket patches. “Give me back my card little dude.”




First up from Chicago was Oscuridad Eterna, a four-piece act who performed their lyrics in both Spanish and English.

The singer looked good in her full leather outfit. Since neither Little Johnny nor I speak much Spanish, we had to kind of just enjoy the music and the vibe. On the other hand, I never understand death metal lyrics either though, so what the hell. The band name means Eternal Darkness, and the music was straight ahead metal. Decent sound, and the singer was enjoyable to watch jump around, plus vocally she could really hold onto a note. Most songs were in Spanish, but “Eye of the Tigress” was in English. I am fairly sure Jim Peterik cannot claim trademark infringement on it despite the similar name. The rest of the band was solid to good but nothing spectacular. Still, for a throw-on opener, I will give Oscuridad Eterna a 78/100.



During the first band changeover the Beard was afforded an opportunity to chat a bit with Legions of Metal festival promoter Bob Byrne. We talked a little metal and movies including discussing “When is a band NOT THAT band any longer?” When he is not being distracted by handling band/show issues Bob is a quietly intelligent guy with a lot of interesting opinions. Perhaps one day the Beard will do a Bob Byrne/ Randy Kastner “How to create a great metal fest.” type interview and really learn something. Plus, once you put those two in the same room it is like setting off fireworks in a room full of cats.



In the meantime, Next up from Salt Lake City, (a place not exactly known for producing occult rock music), comes Blood Star.This four-piece female fronted act produced a fine set on stage two at Houston’s Hell's Heroes event last week and The Beard was happy to take a second and closer look at what they were doing.

Again, Bloodstar had that Ruby the Hatchet meets Lucifer kind of occult rock thing. Good energetic guitar with lots of hair flying around from both Jamison Palmer & Noah Hadnutt, (which added to the positive stage show look) and Madeline Smith is both a nice-looking singer and quite a talented one within this sub-genre. The songs were high energy, and you could see Blood Star win over the crowd with their enthusiasm. That is often the biggest proponent to success at the lower and mid-levels. In order to elevate your band to main event status, make the crowds love you.

Blood Star had the best crowd support of the evening and for the Beard the only thing that kept this band under my “crack a cold one” 90 rating was lyrical clarity. I dug their sound, look and passion. I just wanted to understand better what they were singing about. In death or black metal, lyrical clarity can be, (and usually is), overlooked, but for thrash, speed, occult etc. understanding the words is a bigger issue. Still, the Beard is calling Blood Star a very solid 86/100 tonight.



Third up were Kronoberg Sweden’s Screamer who have produced five full length releases in their 12-year career.

Screamer is an established act. They are touring behind 2023’s Kingmaker. A five-piece band bearing resemblance to acts like Enforcer, Night Demon, or Haunt, they have that European vocal sound and feel, but are a little bit slower than your standard speed metal, while also being faster than traditional metal. After a few numbers, however, I began to realize while yes, they have a sound, other than liking the guitar tone and leads, they still seemed like they were lacking something. One aspect that bugged me was their look. Usually, European bands have a look that screams metal! In Screamer's case, one guy looked like he just left “A Flock of Seagulls,” and another looked like he should be in a Marvel movie fighting against Jason Momoa’s Aquaman. I had trouble getting past the visual.

What do YOU think Johnny? “I don’t know Beard. It’s like a Swedish REO Speedwagon teamed up with Trixster then dumped all their dumb love songs and added speed metal. I like em but I don’t love them. That Blood Star band was great though.” Sometimes Johnny has a weird way of seeing things.


In the end, even though Screamer had aspects I enjoyed, and I really liked their closer “Out of the Dark” I cannot give them more than an 80/100.



Headlining the evening were a band the Beard had seen several times before, Kentucky’s bondage and domination rockers Savage Master touring behind their fourth release (2022’s) Those who Hunt at Night.

The Beard owns Savage Masters first two releases (Mask of the Devil 2014 and With Whips and Chains 2016) and was a fan of the stage show (featuring band members clad in Spanish Inquisition type purple hoods and capes right out of a 1970’s Hammer Horror Film, while vocalist Stacy Savage in her leather Dominatrix outfit sang 80’s era NWOBHM songs with black metal style lyrics.)


"Ready to Sin", "With Whips & Chains", "Tale of the Witch,” "Queen Satan", with each song Savage was an expressive and animated front woman. The music was 80’s era metal with some new variants. For this set anyway, Savage came across as more black witch than dominatrix, which worked with the lyrics.

Little Johnny noticed she threw the horns a lot and was a fan of that, plus this was the only band that truly got any pits going. I am not sure how many points I am awarding purely for the schtick, including swords, candles, blood drinking etc., but at its heart this is still really just guitar driven rock and metal, so I am giving Stacy Savage and her slaves an 85/100 for a good show, even though at the end they did exit without any encore and seemed a bit unhappy with the whole set and audience reaction.



This wraps up another show. I gathered up Little Johnny (who had gotten someone to buy him another beer after I cut him off), and we headed for home where he will enjoy a day off tomorrow and I will draft this article. Starting Friday, we will be back out there for another three nights of shows. In the meantime, keep reading The Mighty Decibel, (for great articles, reviews, and podcasts), keep viewing TikTok at thebeard0728, (for concert video footage), and keep following Mark McQueen on Facebook (for the non-metal reviews.)

Until next time this is the Beard and Little Johnny saying...

Stay Heavy & Horns Up!!!!


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