SAVATAGE
US Power Metal / Traditional heavy metal / Progressive Metal / Hard Rock • United States

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Savatage is a heavy metal/progressive metal band founded by the brothers Jon and Criss Oliva in 1979. The band is known for recording many rock operas. Early on, Savatage was a traditional heavy metal band, who stood out from the pack due to guitarist Criss Oliva's uncommonly heavy riffing and vocalist Jon Oliva's unique vocal stylings.

Following the failure of Fight for the Rock, an attempt to commercialize their sound, Savatage began moving in a more operatic direction, releasing a number of rock opera albums in collaboration with producer Paul O'Neill.

After the tragic death of Criss Oliva, the band soldiered on to continued critical acclaim but diminishing commercial success. However, Oliva and O'Neill lucked out when a single from Dead Winter Dead, "Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)", managed to crack the singles chart. The song, a reworking of a classic Christmas hymn, acted as a launching pad for the immensely
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Return to WackenReturn to Wacken
Import
Imports 2015
Audio CD$10.19
$13.72 (used)
Hall of the Mountain KingHall of the Mountain King
Atlantic 1990
Audio CD$7.08
$4.98 (used)
Dungeons Are CallingDungeons Are Calling
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2010
Audio CD$6.20
$7.66 (used)
Dead Winter DeadDead Winter Dead
Atlantic 1995
Audio CD$4.39
$1.90 (used)
Power of the NightPower of the Night
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2010
Audio CD$3.36
$3.35 (used)
Gutter BalletGutter Ballet
Atlantic 1990
Audio CD$6.41
$5.26 (used)
Ghost in the RuinsGhost in the Ruins
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2011
Audio CD$3.74
$3.73 (used)
Collector's EditionCollector's Edition
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Audio CD$13.07
$15.46 (used)
Still The Orchestra PlaysStill The Orchestra Plays
Import
earMUSIC 2010
Audio CD$6.63
$6.62 (used)
Edge of ThornsEdge of Thorns
Atlantic 1993
Audio CD$5.37
$2.41 (used)
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SAVATAGE Discography

SAVATAGE albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.33 | 18 ratings
Sirens
US Power Metal 1983
.. Album Cover 2.96 | 22 ratings
Power Of The Night
Traditional heavy metal 1985
.. Album Cover 2.22 | 13 ratings
Fight For The Rock
Hard Rock 1986
.. Album Cover 3.86 | 37 ratings
Hall Of The Mountain King
US Power Metal 1987
.. Album Cover 3.79 | 34 ratings
Gutter Ballet
US Power Metal 1989
.. Album Cover 3.82 | 27 ratings
Streets: A Rock Opera
Progressive Metal 1991
.. Album Cover 4.01 | 34 ratings
Edge Of Thorns
Traditional heavy metal 1993
.. Album Cover 3.60 | 21 ratings
Handful Of Rain
US Power Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 31 ratings
Dead Winter Dead
Progressive Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 4.17 | 33 ratings
The Wake Of Magellan
Progressive Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 3.88 | 18 ratings
Poets And Madmen
Progressive Metal 2001

SAVATAGE EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 2.07 | 2 ratings
Avatar: City Beneath The Surface
Traditional heavy metal 1982
.. Album Cover 2.55 | 9 ratings
The Dungeons Are Calling
Traditional heavy metal 1984

SAVATAGE live albums

.. Album Cover 3.08 | 6 ratings
Japan Live '94
US Power Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 2.88 | 7 ratings
Ghost In The Ruins: A Tribute To Criss Oliva
US Power Metal 1995

SAVATAGE demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

SAVATAGE boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 4.25 | 2 ratings
From The Gutter To The Stage: The Best Of 1981 - 1995
US Power Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
The Best And The Rest
US Power Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Believe
US Power Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Still The Orchestra Plays: Greatest Hits Volume 1 & 2
US Power Metal 2010

SAVATAGE singles (2)

.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
One Child
US Power Metal 1996
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Commissar
US Power Metal 2001

SAVATAGE movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
3.11 | 3 ratings
Japan Live '94
US Power Metal 1995

SAVATAGE Reviews

SAVATAGE Edge Of Thorns

Album · 1993 · Traditional heavy metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kingcrimsonprog
1993’s Edge Of Thorns is the seventh full-length studio album by the American Progressive Metal band Savatage. The album, which followed up the Streets: A Rock Opera album, sees a sort of re-imagining of the band, with former front-man Jon Olivia taking a back seat as arranger/producer/keyboardist and the introduction of new singer Zak Stevens on lead vocals. It would also end up being the final album to feature original guitarist and co-founder Criss Oliva before his untimely passing.

The album serves as a sort of musical blue-print for all the Savatage albums which would follow and is quite different sounding to the earlier work from the band. Energetic ‘80s USPM sounds are almost all gone, in favour of 90s Groove Metal riffs (although not as much as Handful Of Rain), heavy handed piano and some occasional Queen-esque moments.

It isn’t a complete abandoning of everything Savatage had done before altogether, as there are lovely piano moments like “Exit Music” which feel a little bit like Streets and the brief “Labyrinths” which towards the end is slightly reminiscent of Gutter Ballet, but it certainly has its own identity and is clearly the beginning of a new era of Savatage. There are bright up-beat rockers that start off as power ballads like “Follow Me” and “Miles Away,” and there are groovy 90s-Metal tunes like “He Carves His Stone” and “Damien.” These two styles and the mixture therof really form the essence of Edge Of Thorns, and its all good stuff… If you are in the right mood for it, and not going in expecting it to sound like Power Of The Night, this is an absolutely superb album. My personal favourite song on here is the excellent Title Track, which is one of Savatage’s all time best songs, as well as the bouncy Load-esque “Lights Out” which is a little out-of-place on this album, but fun nonetheless.

Zak Steven’s vocal performances on this record are inspired, and you can’t help but smile at some of his deliveries in tracks like “Conversation Piece” and the fantastic album-closer “Sleep.” The guitar solos on Criss’ swansong album are melodic and enjoyable and the solid weighty drumming from Steve Wacholz and Jon Olivia (despite not being recorded on a real acoustic drumkit) perfectly suit the band’s new direction here. Overall; this is a superb record and fans of Savatage, or similar bands, should check it out. Its not their heaviest album, its not their most progressive album and its not their darkest album, but it is an absolutely rock-solid collection of well-written and fundamentally enjoyable music, and it grows on you really well with repeat listens.

SAVATAGE Hall Of The Mountain King

Album · 1987 · US Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Adding progressive metal accents to their power metal style, Hall of the Mountain King finds Savatage in a mood which is equal parts experimental and playful. Knocking off a metallised Grieg cover in the form of Prelude to Madness come across more like a bit of fun than a track to be taken more seriously, and I think it slightly suffers from its placement on the CD - remember, on the original album it was the opening track to side 2, so it's slightly less disruptive there as a quick goof-off than as the momentum-sapper in the middle of the running order it is on the CD. Still, aside from that one track the group are in good form and in general the album is highly enjoyable if you're after progressive power metal that doesn't take itself too seriously.

SAVATAGE Streets: A Rock Opera

Album · 1991 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
With vocalist Jon Oliva's Alice Cooper-inspired delivery honed to perfection and the band in good form, Savatage's Streets: A Rock Opera is an enjoyable listen which may get a little cheesy here and there (especially on concluding track Believe) but is entertaining enough to let me just about accept the cheese. From the opening skit, which manages to pitch itself perfectly between theatrical flair and realistic grit, the band manage an impressive tightrope act which ensures that no aspect of their sound from the progressive to the cheesy to the balls-out heavy goes wanting for attention, making this a well-rounded album which should have wide appeal to a broad range of listeners.

SAVATAGE Handful Of Rain

Album · 1994 · US Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kingcrimsonprog
Handful Of Rain is the eighth full-length studio album by the American Metal band Savatage. It was released in 1994, and like many of the band's albums it was produced by Paul O'Neil and Jon Olivia.

It was the band's second album with Zak Stevens on lead vocals and former lead singer Jon Olivia taking a back seat in a new slot covering the roles of composer, piano/keys and live backing vocals. Additionally, he performed bass and drums on this album as the band were in turmoil following founding member (and brother to Jon) Criss Olivia's untimely death.

The album also features Testament's Alex Scholnick on lead guitar now that Criss had passed away. His style is very different to Criss' style but nonetheless suits the album remarkably well. Savatage always managed to make all of their albums pretty different from the one before anyway, and Handful Of Rain was made in those aforementioned tragic circumstances. Here the change manifests itself in the form of the music being a lot darker and heavier than on the album that preceded it, 1993's Edge Of Thorns.

The year in which it was released also had an effect on its sound. Some of the tracks on it have a sort of groove metal sound, or at least that metalized rock sound which many Thrash, Power and Prog Metal bands who started in the 80s seemed to flirt with in the first half of the 90s. That is only a small part of the sound however, and other tracks such as `Chance,' `Visions' and `Alone You Breathe' contain progressive elements, which the band would take much further on their next three albums.

Regardless of direction, the musicianship on the album is first rate, as is the songwriting and both are complimented perfectly by Paul O'Neil's superb production job, which helps the whole thing come together and feel like a great flowing record and not just a schizophrenic collection of various styles. When the quieter tracks like `Watching You Fall' and `Staring Into The Sun' pick up the power, they have a real bite, and so can sit comfortably with ragers like `Nothing's Going On' without sounding out of place.

The absolute highlight of the album for me personally is `Castles Burning,' which is a slow dark number constantly building up and threatening to explode, then giving way to acoustic moments. Its full of great lead guitar work and boasts some of Zak's finest vocal performances on record.

Overall; Handful Of Rain is a great album that covers a lot of ground, it has touches of Prog, a bit of balladry and a bit of 90s-sounding metal in there too. The guitar work is brilliant, the tone is satisfying and the production is exemplary. Simply put, its' just a very good album and I highly recommend this album. Definitely check it out if you are a fan of the band, but then again its also even worth a listen if you just like Metal in general.

SAVATAGE Power Of The Night

Album · 1985 · Traditional heavy metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Power Of The Night is the second full-length studio album by the American Heavy/Power/Progressive Metal band Savatage, which was produced by Max Norman and released in 1985, following up their 1983 debut album Sirens and their 1984 EP The Dungeons Are Calling.

Stylistically; as opposed to the conceptual, symphonic, piano filled, Progressive Metal sound that the band would later adopt, or the commercial sound of the Fight For The Rock album which the band veered into just once; this album is more in the vein of their debut album.

The sound in question is somewhere around the point where classic metal becomes early Power Metal while sounding close to, but not quite Thrash Metal yet (although ‘Washed Out’ is kind of reminiscent of the first two Overkill albums).

As an album, Power Of The Night is good, but it isn’t perfect. In terms of songwriting, its not the most creative or memorable thing that the band have ever done, and there are a few tracks that don’t stand up all that well against the best of the band’s catalogue. The production isn’t exactly fantastic either and so the songs don’t jump out at you as energetically as they do on say, Hall Of The Mountain King.

That being said however, there is still a lot to like about the album and if you like the band its worth checking out. Standout tracks include the Title Track with its memorable lead riff; ‘Hard For Love’ which is an out of place Kiss-esque Hard Rock number with hilariously cheesy sexually suggestive lyrics and the big ballady album closer ‘In The Dream’ which has an absolutely fabulous guitar solo.

Overall; Power Of The Night is an interesting album and worth considering for your collection. There are better Savatage albums to start with admittedly, but if you enjoy the Jon’s voice or Chris’ distinctive riff and solo sounds and want to hear them play some direct, to the point, powerful classic metal then its definitely worth picking up.

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m@x wrote:
1921 days ago
GREAT BAND !!!

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