Gutter Ballet
SAVATAGE

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SAVATAGE - Gutter Ballet cover
4.02 | 31 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1989

Filed under Power Metal

Tracklist

1. Of Rage And War (4:46)
2. Gutter Ballet (6:20)
3. Temptation Revelation (2:56)
4. When The Crowds Are Gone (5:46)
5. Silk And Steel (2:58)
6. She's In Love (3:51)
7. Hounds (6:28)
8. The Unholy (4:37)
9. Mentally Yours (5:20)
10. Summer's Rain (4:33)
11. Thorazine Shuffle (4:43)

Total Time: 52:25

Line-up/Musicians

- Jon Oliva / vocals and piano
- Criss Oliva / guitars and backing vocals
- Chris Caffery / guitars and keyboards
- Johnny Lee Middleton / bass and backing vocals
- Steve Wacholz / drums and percussion

About this release

Release date: December 1, 1989
Label: Atlantic Records

1997 (Edel) edition bonus track:
12. All That I Bleed (Piano version) (4:35)

2002 (SPV) edition bonus tracks:
12. Hounds (live) (7:20)
13. When The Crowds Are Gone (live)

Thanks to J-Man, progshine for the updates

SAVATAGE MP3, Free Download/Stream

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SAVATAGE GUTTER BALLET reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

Kingcrimsonprog
Savatage are an American Progressive Metal band and 1989’s Gutter Ballet was their fifth full-length studio album. Following up the classic Hall Of The Mountain King album, Gutter Ballet continues the band’s musical evolution from straightforward Power/Heavy Metal into a more theatrical, classical music-inspired Progressive Metal style.

The core sound of the album is still based around soaring vocals, hard drums, big riffs and blazing lead guitar but equally now there is a prevalence of pianos, slower moments and a generally more symphonic approach in places. The album, on tracks like ‘Thorazine Shuffle’ and ‘Of Rage And War’ is also in-part surprisingly rhythmic and ahead of its time. It’s a great example of that classic Eighties Metal sound and it also demonstrates the beginnings of the Progressive Metal style, although their later albums would go much further down that direction.

Standout tracks include the dynamic and varied ‘Hounds’ as well as the superb Title Track, the beautiful Zeppelin-esque acoustic number ‘Silk And Steel’ and the huge ballad ‘When The Crowds Are Gone.’

The standard of production and musicianship is very high on this album, and the songs are all both catchy and interesting. They’re either grand and musical, satisfyingly heavy or both. Singer Jon Olivia has a great range and eccentric vocal personality that can vary from raspy snarls and low shouts to Halford-style shrieks, as well as of course, some great melodic clean singing for the softer piano-lead parts.

It is interesting that the album’s title, Gutter Ballet, was actually taken from the title for a play by the album’s producer Paul O’Neill that would later be adapted to form the band’s next album, 1991’s Streets: A Rock Opera, causing that album to need a title of its own since ‘Gutter Ballet’ had already been used.

Overall; if you want a well produced 1980s Metal album that touches on that sweet spot between Classic Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal, Power Metal and Prog Metal, with bundles of variety and personality, copious amounts of lead guitar and an amazing singer, then this is an album you should definitely consider checking out. If you like Savatage already but haven’t checked it out yet, you should probably give it a listen and find out what you’re missing.

Members reviews

kluseba
A long time before bands such as Therion or Apocalyptica made their groundbreaking symphonic or opera metal masterpieces, a long time before symphonic gothic metal bands such as Nightwish got into mainstream, a long time before bands such as Metallica would try to collaborate with big orchestras and a long time before epic metal all star bands such as Aina, Ayreon or Avantasia made their appearances, there was a young American band that decided to get away from their power and thrash metal roots and chose the hard path to follow instead of recreating an album in the key of their infamous "Hall Of The Mountain King" record that got amazing critics and is considered nowadays as a cult album. The mentioned bands are all something like the intellectual babies of Savatage in one way or the other. This young band decided to try the courageous attempt to fusion heavy metal music with symphonic approaches. They didn't take the radical step to create an entire symphonic metal album and also put a few more traditional American power metal tracks on the record, but the most important and longest tracks on the record went into a rather new direction. It's somewhat a transitional album as the band headed for more operatic sounds on the later records and later founded the infamous Trans-Siberian Orchestra to conquer the world with their new interpretation of classical music.

It all started here when Savatage released "Gutter Ballet" which is one of the band's strongest or even their best record but without a doubt their most important concerning their maturity and climax of creativity. The album starts with a very atmospheric and angry power metal song called "Of Rage And War" that leads us on a wrong path and let us expect another strong heavy power metal record. There are a few more songs of that kind on the record like the powerful "She's In Love" for example.

But the title track already leaves us stunning. A beautifully emotional and yet peaceful piano interlude let us guess and expect what might come after the first minute of the song. Finally, we realize in the most stunning way that piano melodies, decent violins, melodic guitars, powerful drums and pumping bass guitars got into a pumping fusion in this unique and experimental track. Over all those instruments thrones the powerful and perfectly imperfect voice of Jon Oliva. There is nothing kitsch or artificial about this track as there are no backing choirs, no female guest singers, no national state orchestra with one hundred musicians and more. This song is about true emotions and is overwhelming in emotions without being overwhelming in instruments. The ballad "When The Crowds Are Gone" goes even further and the sound is mostly reduced to a haunting piano melody and Oliva's unique voice before some melodic guitars finally get in and dominate the song. There is so much power and true emotion in this quiet track that it might honestly make cry any one that has a weakness for great rock ballads. "Summer's Rain" and the bonus track "Thorazine Shuffle" slightly go in the same direction and has very honest and interesting lyrics why the music is a little bit less memorable. The soft and touching instrumentals underline softly the symphonic direction of this album.

The band is already able to vary with its symphonic influences. "Hounds" and "The Unholy" sounds very dark and atmospheric and have something truly majestic in their sound. Another true highlight is the fairly underrated "Mentally Yours" that combines the anger and power of the band's older works with the intellectual majesty on the new horizon. The band only uses the instrumental efforts to underline the atmosphere of an epic story while the powerful vocals and sharp riffs don't lose any of their power.

This diversified and highly professional and intellectual album is more than an experiment; it's the birth of a new genre or at least a major milestone and influence for the future of metal music. With their first try, Savatage are already able to create ten or eleven mesmerizing and unforgettable anthems. There's not a single weak song on this record, not a single filler and even though every song sounds different and concentrates on a different feeling, story or musical expression, there is a clear guiding line on this epic record and the high quality of every song makes this album sound very coherent instead of just being a collection of great tracks. Back then, this record was easily the record of the year and while other metal bands disappointed towards the end of the last millennium, Savatage emerged and showed how one could be able to change and prosper without getting unfaithful towards its own past. It's a pity that this band has never truly gained further attention as this album might easily please to rock music maniacs and fans of classical music. This record is a great milestone in the still young history of metal music and it happens quite often that I listen intensively to this inspiring record from time to time that has not lost anything of its initial magic.

Ratings only

  • shadowoffadream
  • KatiLily
  • cennsor
  • yair010390
  • wintercrescent
  • Immortalis
  • IndianaJones
  • stefanbedna
  • Nergal131
  • progshine
  • Stooge
  • LaineJ
  • zappino
  • Anster
  • 13hammer
  • Mr. Krinkle
  • Bartje1979
  • luanpedi
  • RushTheater
  • Zargus
  • Fantacide
  • aecht
  • ollischr
  • Tlön
  • CCVP
  • bratus
  • irregardlessly
  • slow man
  • m@x

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