SAVATAGE
US Power Metal / Traditional heavy metal / Progressive Metal • 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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SAVATAGE ~ Streets: A Rock Opera (CD, Oct-1991, Atlantic (Label)) SAVATAGE ~ Streets: A Rock Opera (CD, Oct-1991, Atlantic (Label)) USD $2.99 (0 bids)
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SAVATAGE  THE DUNGEONS ARE CALLING SAVATAGE THE DUNGEONS ARE CALLING USD $24.95 (0 bids)
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SAVATAGE  HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN KING (PROMO) SAVATAGE HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN KING (PROMO) USD $29.95 (0 bids)
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1990 METAL ~ SAVATAGE ~ GUTTER BALLET ~ CASSETTE TAPE ~ LYRICS + BONUS TRACK 1990 METAL ~ SAVATAGE ~ GUTTER BALLET ~ CASSETTE TAPE ~ LYRICS + BONUS TRACK USD $5.77 Buy It Now 1 day
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Avatar ( Savatage ) Demo City Beneath The Surface Avatar ( Savatage ) Demo City Beneath The Surface USD $61.38 (0 bids)
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Savatage - Handful Of Rain [CD New] Savatage - Handful Of Rain [CD New] USD $16.60 Buy It Now 2 days
SAVATAGE - THE WAKE OF MAGELLAN - 13tr 2LP - GER 1997 - 1st PRESSING SAVATAGE - THE WAKE OF MAGELLAN - 13tr 2LP - GER 1997 - 1st PRESSING USD $129.99 Buy It Now 2 days
SAVATAGE - SIRENS - RARE 9tr PIC.LP - ARGENTINA 1995 - ONLY 500 COPIES MADE SAVATAGE - SIRENS - RARE 9tr PIC.LP - ARGENTINA 1995 - ONLY 500 COPIES MADE USD $189.99 Buy It Now 2 days
CD SAVATAGE Power of the night - Release 1985 - Excellent condition !!! CD SAVATAGE Power of the night - Release 1985 - Excellent condition !!! USD $13.00 Buy It Now 2 days
CD SAVATAGE Edge Of Thorns - Release 1993 - Excellent condition !!! CD SAVATAGE Edge Of Thorns - Release 1993 - Excellent condition !!! USD $13.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Savatage Still the Orchestra Plays Greatest Hits, Vols. 1-2 +Live in Japan dvd Savatage Still the Orchestra Plays Greatest Hits, Vols. 1-2 +Live in Japan dvd USD $36.75 Buy It Now 2 days
Ghost in the Ruins/Handful of Rain Savatage CD Ghost in the Ruins/Handful of Rain Savatage CD USD $44.22 Buy It Now 2 days
The Dungeons Are Calling [PA] by Savatage (CD, Nov-1994, Metal Blade) The Dungeons Are Calling [PA] by Savatage (CD, Nov-1994, Metal Blade) USD $2.50 (0 bids)
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Sirens [Limited] by Savatage (CD, Apr-2002, Metal Blade) Sirens [Limited] by Savatage (CD, Apr-2002, Metal Blade) USD $1.50 (0 bids)
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TWISTED SISTER ~ WE'RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT EP ~ VG++ VINYL ~ IRON MAIDEN, SAVATAGE TWISTED SISTER ~ WE'RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT EP ~ VG++ VINYL ~ IRON MAIDEN, SAVATAGE USD $10.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Savatage Gutter Ballet 1989 CD Hard Rock Bonus Track Original Atlantic A2 82008 Savatage Gutter Ballet 1989 CD Hard Rock Bonus Track Original Atlantic A2 82008 USD $27.90 Buy It Now 2 days
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2 days
EDGE OF THORNS by SAVATAGE (CD, 1997, Japanese Victor) EDGE OF THORNS by SAVATAGE (CD, 1997, Japanese Victor) USD $12.95 Buy It Now 2 days
Savatage - Sirens & The Dungeons Are Calling: The Complete Session [Digipak]  CD Savatage - Sirens & The Dungeons Are Calling: The Complete Session [Digipak] CD USD $8.69 Buy It Now 2 days
Savatage - fight for the rock  [Digipak] CD 2011 + 2 BONUS TRACKS Savatage - fight for the rock [Digipak] CD 2011 + 2 BONUS TRACKS USD $8.69 Buy It Now 2 days
Savatage - Power of the Night (CD, Jun-1990, Atlantic (Label) Savatage - Power of the Night (CD, Jun-1990, Atlantic (Label) USD $7.82 Buy It Now 2 days
APOCRYPHA THE FORGOTTEN SCROLL LP 1987 RARE SHRAPNEL LABEL SAVATAGE APOCRYPHA THE FORGOTTEN SCROLL LP 1987 RARE SHRAPNEL LABEL SAVATAGE USD $19.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Savatage : Dead Winter Dead CD (1995) Savatage : Dead Winter Dead CD (1995) USD $6.98 Buy It Now 2 days
POWER CHORDS CASSETTE 1987 OVERKILL RAVEN SAVATAGE TESTAMENT MALICE MANOWAR POWER CHORDS CASSETTE 1987 OVERKILL RAVEN SAVATAGE TESTAMENT MALICE MANOWAR USD $12.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Savatage-Fight for the Rock CD NEW Savatage-Fight for the Rock CD NEW USD $18.61 Buy It Now 2 days
Power Chords Vol 1 LP Atlantic/Megaforce Compilation Anthrax Overkill Savatage Power Chords Vol 1 LP Atlantic/Megaforce Compilation Anthrax Overkill Savatage USD $16.99 Buy It Now 2 days
KALEDON - Chapter IV: Twilight Of The Gods CD Omen Savatage Fates Warning KALEDON - Chapter IV: Twilight Of The Gods CD Omen Savatage Fates Warning USD $10.99 Buy It Now 2 days
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TIERRA SANTA -Mi Nombre Sera Leyenda CD Omen Savatage Fates Warning Running Wild TIERRA SANTA -Mi Nombre Sera Leyenda CD Omen Savatage Fates Warning Running Wild USD $11.99 Buy It Now 2 days
TIERRA SANTA - Caminos de Fuego CD Omen Savatage Fates Warning Running Wild TIERRA SANTA - Caminos de Fuego CD Omen Savatage Fates Warning Running Wild USD $11.99 Buy It Now 2 days
ANNIHILATOR Suicide Society JAPAN CD Vital Remains Nexus Savatage metalist ANNIHILATOR Suicide Society JAPAN CD Vital Remains Nexus Savatage metalist USD $25.90 Buy It Now 2 days
@ CD SAVATAGE - POETS AND MADMEN / STEAMHAMMER RECORDS 2001 @ CD SAVATAGE - POETS AND MADMEN / STEAMHAMMER RECORDS 2001 USD $7.99 Buy It Now 2 days
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Savatage: Gutter ballet cassette tape 8d Savatage: Gutter ballet cassette tape 8d USD $2.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Vintage Cassette Savatage The Dungeons are Calling  Check Out Our Other Tapes Vintage Cassette Savatage The Dungeons are Calling Check Out Our Other Tapes USD $7.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Vintage Cassette Savatage Power of the Night LotB  Check Out Our Other Tapes Vintage Cassette Savatage Power of the Night LotB Check Out Our Other Tapes USD $3.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Vintage Cassette Savatage Gutter Ballet  Check Out Our Many Other Tapes Vintage Cassette Savatage Gutter Ballet Check Out Our Many Other Tapes USD $3.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Vintage Cassette Savatage Edge of Thorns  Check Out Our Many Other Tapes Vintage Cassette Savatage Edge of Thorns Check Out Our Many Other Tapes USD $4.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Vintage Cassette Savatage Handful of Rain   Check Out Our Other Tapes Vintage Cassette Savatage Handful of Rain Check Out Our Other Tapes USD $4.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Vintage Cassette Savatage Hall of the Mountain King Check Out Our Other Tapes Vintage Cassette Savatage Hall of the Mountain King Check Out Our Other Tapes USD $4.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Vintage Cassette Savatage Power of the Night LotA  Check Out Our Other Tapes Vintage Cassette Savatage Power of the Night LotA Check Out Our Other Tapes USD $3.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Vintage Cassette Savatage Fight For the Rock Check Out Our Other Tapes Vintage Cassette Savatage Fight For the Rock Check Out Our Other Tapes USD $5.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Vintage Cassette Savatage Streets  Check Out Our Many Other Tapes Vintage Cassette Savatage Streets Check Out Our Many Other Tapes USD $3.99 Buy It Now 2 days
SAVATAGE Edge Of Thorns DOUBLE LP 15 Track Double Inc Pic Inner Sleeves (0209936 SAVATAGE Edge Of Thorns DOUBLE LP 15 Track Double Inc Pic Inner Sleeves (0209936 USD $37.55 Buy It Now 3 days
PLACE CALLED RAGE 95 JAPAN CD w/OBI Al Pitrelli SAVATAGE MEGADETH DRIVE SHE SAID PLACE CALLED RAGE 95 JAPAN CD w/OBI Al Pitrelli SAVATAGE MEGADETH DRIVE SHE SAID USD $24.99 Buy It Now 3 days
MOJO BROS 1995 JAPAN CD w/OBI Al Pitrelli SAVATAGE MEGADETH ASIA Derek Sherinian MOJO BROS 1995 JAPAN CD w/OBI Al Pitrelli SAVATAGE MEGADETH ASIA Derek Sherinian USD $24.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Savatage / Sirens JAPAN+2 PHCR-16151 1ST PRESS!!!!!!!!!! B2 Savatage / Sirens JAPAN+2 PHCR-16151 1ST PRESS!!!!!!!!!! B2 USD $79.99 Buy It Now 3 days
SAVATAGE Ghost In The Ruins CD 13 Track (cd08512142) GERMAN Spv 1995 SAVATAGE Ghost In The Ruins CD 13 Track (cd08512142) GERMAN Spv 1995 USD $9.92 Buy It Now 3 days
SAVATAGE - Edge Of Thorns / ATLANTIC Records SAVATAGE - Edge Of Thorns / ATLANTIC Records USD $12.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Trans-Siberian Orchestra In Store Play Sampler promo CD Savatage Trans-Siberian Orchestra In Store Play Sampler promo CD Savatage USD $13.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Savatage - From the Gutter to the Stage..2 CD..ltd. edition with Patch..RARE Savatage - From the Gutter to the Stage..2 CD..ltd. edition with Patch..RARE USD $54.99 Buy It Now 3 days
 Chris Caffery (Savatage) ‎– Faces 2004 Only Greek 2xCD NEW Chris Caffery (Savatage) ‎– Faces 2004 Only Greek 2xCD NEW USD $14.90 Buy It Now 3 days
Streets: A Rock Opera by Savatage (Cassette, Oct-1991, Atlantic (Label)) Streets: A Rock Opera by Savatage (Cassette, Oct-1991, Atlantic (Label)) USD $5.25 Buy It Now 3 days
SAVATAGE LOT OF 6 DIFFERENT CD'S (P82) SAVATAGE LOT OF 6 DIFFERENT CD'S (P82) USD $14.99 (0 bids)
3 days
Savatage The wake of Magellan - 1997 Edel / In box Savatage The wake of Magellan - 1997 Edel / In box USD $5.99 Buy It Now 3 days
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SAVATAGE Discography

SAVATAGE albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.34 | 21 ratings
Sirens
US Power Metal 1983
.. Album Cover 3.17 | 24 ratings
Power Of The Night
Traditional heavy metal 1985
.. Album Cover 2.51 | 15 ratings
Fight For The Rock
Traditional heavy metal 1986
.. Album Cover 4.01 | 41 ratings
Hall Of The Mountain King
US Power Metal 1987
.. Album Cover 3.85 | 38 ratings
Gutter Ballet
US Power Metal 1989
.. Album Cover 3.82 | 31 ratings
Streets: A Rock Opera
Traditional heavy metal 1991
.. Album Cover 3.96 | 36 ratings
Edge Of Thorns
Traditional heavy metal 1993
.. Album Cover 3.54 | 22 ratings
Handful Of Rain
US Power Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 3.97 | 33 ratings
Dead Winter Dead
Traditional heavy metal 1995
.. Album Cover 3.98 | 35 ratings
The Wake Of Magellan
Progressive Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 3.64 | 19 ratings
Poets And Madmen
Progressive Metal 2001

SAVATAGE EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 3.09 | 12 ratings
The Dungeons Are Calling
US Power 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 Streets: A Rock Opera

Album · 1991 · Traditional heavy metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Streets: A Rock Opera" is the 6th full-length studio album by US, Florida based heavy/power metal act Savatage. The album was released through Atlantic Records in October 1991. There´s been one lineup change since the release of "Gutter Ballet (1989)" as second guitarist Chris Caffery has left, making Savatage a four-piece again. "Streets: A Rock Opera" is a concept album telling the story of troubled rock star DT Jesus. The story is based on a play (titled "Gutter Ballet") that producer Paul O'Neill had written in 1979 and which he had originally intended for a Broadway musical. It remained in a drawer in his house until Criss Oliva found it, and the band picked it up and turned it into "Streets: A Rock Opera".

"Streets: A Rock Opera" sees Savatage developing their style once again. "Gutter Ballet (1989)" saw them incorporating elements from musicals, orchestration, and just a generally more sophisticated and detailed songwriting approach than before. That musical direction is continued and further developed on "Streets: A Rock Opera". The basis in the music is still heavy/power metal with the rare nod towards progressive metal. The progressive tendencies are more due to the overall concept of the release, than due to the compositions themselves, which are predominantly vers/chorus structured. Savatage challenge conventional songwriting here more than ever though and at times the tracks are relatively adventurous, although you won´t be exposed to long instrumental parts or other progressive metal traits. Keyboards/piano play a more dominant role on this album than on any Savatage release before it, but they rarely function as a lead instrument. They are rather used for atmosphere, orchestration, and harmonization.

Musically "Streets: A Rock Opera" was the most diverse Savatage release up until then. It´s a highly dynamic release featuring both heavy/power metal tunes like "Jesus Saves" and "Agony And Ecstasy", heavy mid-paced epic tracks like "Streets" and "Ghost In The Ruins", up-tempo energetic rockers like "Sammy And Tex" (that swing rhythm is infectiously catchy) and "Strange Reality", epic power ballads like "Tonight He Grins Again" and "If I Go Away", and shorter ballad type tracks like "You're Alive" and "Heal My Soul". All musical styles and songs are placed strategically on the tracklist to make most impact along with the concept story.

"Streets: A Rock Opera" is a well produced album, featuring a powerful, detailed, and clear sound production, which suits the music perfectly. The musicianship is as always on a high level. The rhythm section of drummer Steve Wacholz and bassist Johnny Lee Middleton are a hard pounding machine, who drives the music forward with great energy and passion, while guitarist Criss Oliva plays one great catchy riff after another and also delivers blistering solo work. Lead vocalist Jon Oliva sings with both his commanding rusty voice and in a more sensitive fashion, but always with a great melodic sensibility. His performance here is both varied and very well executed.

So upon conclusion it´s safe to say that "Streets: A Rock Opera" is a very impressive high quality release. The concept isn´t the most original as artists like The Who and Pink Floyd (just to mention a few) have done similar things in the past, but it still works reasonably well, as Savatage skillfully combine music and lyrics into a great whole. Even with 16 tracks and a full playing time of 68:33 minutes, the album never feels long and there´s nothing on the album which feels unnecessary or doesn´t live up to the high quality of the rest of the material. This is through and through a well thought out, well executed, and well produced album. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is fully deserved.

SAVATAGE Gutter Ballet

Album · 1989 · US Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Gutter Ballet" is the 5th full-length studio album by US, Florida based heavy/power metal act Savatage. The album was released through Atlantic Records in December 1989. There´s been one lineup change since the release of "Hall Of The Mountain King (1987)" as Chris Caffery has been added as a second guitarist (he is also credited for performing keyboards), making Savatage a five-piece on this release (although in reality Caffery didn´t perform on the album). Caffery had previously toured with Savatage. "Gutter Ballet" spawned two promotional videos for the title track and "When The Crowds Are Gone". Both videos were given repeated plays on the then prolific MTV Headbangers Ball show, which helped promote the album and heighten Savatage profile even more.

Stylistically "Gutter Ballet" marks a change in musical direction for Savatage. Main composer Jon Oliva (producer Paul O'Neill and guitarist Criss Oliva are also credited as main composers) got inspired by musicals and grander song arrangements after watching a performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical "The Phantom of the Opera", and although the core sound of the album is still heavy/power metal, some of the compositions featured on the album are quite ambitious in nature, as a result of the new influences. It´s not that Savatage hadn´t entered more sophisticated compositional territories before (their use of parts of pieces by the classical composers Edward Grieg and Gustav Holst on "Prelude To Madness" from "Hall Of The Mountain King (1987)" is an example of that), but now those elements are more fully incorporated in the band´s music. Occasionally even to a point where you could label the music progressive. However as on past releases the progressive metal elements are still only a secondary influence in the band´s music. This is still first and foremost heavy/power metal delivered with great energy and bite.

"Gutter Ballet" opens with the hard edged and heavy "Of Rage And War", which features the classic heavy/power metal Savatage sound, but we´re taken on quite a diverse journey during the next four tracks. The title track is a relatively progressive track featuring piano, orchestral arrangements, and a musical style build up. The arrangement is clever, sophisticated, and powerful. "Temptation Revelation" is an instrumental which is obviously written to showcase Criss Oliva´s considerable guitar skills (and succeeds in doing that while still being an interesting composition), before the power ballad type "When The Crowds Are Gone" kicks in. It´s yet another incredibly well composed track with a strong chorus hookline. The acoustic guitar instrumental "Silk And Steel" finishes the adventurous run of tracks, before the album settles in with more familiar sounding heavy/power metal tracks like "She's In Love", "Hounds", "The Unholy", and "Mentally Yours". The original vinyl version of "Gutter Ballet" closed with the power ballad "Summer's Rain", while the CD version featured the bonus track "Thorazine Shuffle" after "Summer's Rain". So looking at the tracklist it´s mostly during the first part of the album that you´ll find surprises in the musical direction, compared to the previous releases by the band.

The musicianship is on a high level on all posts. The rhythm section of drummer Steve Wacholz and bassist Johnny Lee Middleton are a tightly nit unit, delivering pounding organic beats, driving the music forward in a great energetic fashion. Lead vocalist Jon Oliva takes his performance up a notch here compared to his vocals on the previous releases by the band (and that says a lot since his performances on those past releases were very strong). His raw rusty voice is commanding and powerful, yet always melodic and sensitive. Criss Oliva delivers one jaw-dropping moment after another throughout the album. His riffs are delivered with a rare bite and conviction, and his solos and licks are not only incredibly well played, but there is something special about his tone too, that not many guitarists are able to rival nor duplicate. You get the feeling that he bleeds notes. That´s the kind of intimacy he sounds like he has with his guitar. It´s nothing less than a perfect symbiosis.

"Gutter Ballet" also features a very well sounding production. It´s heavy and powerful, yet detailed and clear. A perfect and tasteful sound for the material on the album. Upon conclusion "Gutter Ballet" is an album which shows Savatage developing their sound, but there is still a good balance between the epic and sophisticated moments and the hard edged rocking parts, and therefore the more adventurous elements never take away from the power of the music, which in some cases can be the downfall of similar releases. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

SAVATAGE Hall Of The Mountain King

Album · 1987 · US Power Metal
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"Hall of the Mountain King" is the 4th full-length studio album by US, Florida based heavy/power metal act Savatage. The album was released through Atlantic Records in September 1987. It features the same lineup who recorded "Fight for the Rock (1986)". Both "Sirens (1983)" and "Power of the Night (1985)" were well received by fans and critics alike, but failed to give Savatage a commercial breakthrough, and Atlantic Records therefore put pressure on the band to write and release a more mainstream oriented album, which they did with "Fight for the Rock (1986)". "Fight for the Rock (1986)" didn´t provide the band with the expected commercial success though, and in addition to that failure, the fans and the critics turned on the band. Lead vocalist Jon Oliva has since pointed at those issues as the beginning of his problems with depression, and drug and alcohol abuse.

It´s therefore no surprise that the music on "Hall Of The Mountain King" is harder edged heavy/power metal more in the vein of the first two albums than in the vein of the more mainstream oriented heavy rock/metal style of "Fight for the Rock (1986)". But while they´ve "gone back to the roots" on "Hall Of The Mountain King", they´ve also developed their sound and the sophistication of the track arrangements is quite high compared to the early releases.

The musicianship is on a high level on all posts. A pounding organic rhythm section, Jon Oliva´s distinct sounding raw vocal delivery, and a lead guitarist extraordinaire in Criss Oliva. Especially the latter´s playing is brilliant on this album. Hard edged riffs and blistering solos and melody work. The band also use piano/keyboards as atmosphere enhancement. Savatage obviously felt they had something to prove to the fans and the critics, and prove it they did. There´s a burning passion and great conviction to the performances on "Hall Of The Mountain King" that are probably born out of the hunger to prove yourself. Judging by the bite and conviction behind the delivery on the album it would seem that past failure is a strong motivation factor for future success.

The material on the 10 track, 39:26 minutes long album is hard edged and at times quite sophisticated heavy/US power metal. When most adventurous it would even be valid to call some parts of the music progressive. The best example is the instrumental "Prelude To Madness", which serves as an intro to the title track. "Prelude To Madness" includes parts of pieces by the classical composers Edward Grieg and Gustav Holst. The progressive element is only secondary on the album though. "Hall Of The Mountain King" has a dark atmosphere which runs through it and even a track like "Strange Wings", which features some mainstream leanings, is quite gloomy. It´s not a depressive or melancholic album though and you´ll still be exposed to hard rocking riffs, intense screaming vocals, and overall just great energetic power. It´s hard to pick out highligts, because the album doesn´t feature any low points or sub par material, but some of the standout tracks are "24 Hrs. Ago", "Beyond the Doors of the Dark", "Legions", and the title track. The strongly Iron Maiden influenced "Devastation" is also worth a mention.

The band brought in Paul O´Neill to produce "Hall Of The Mountain King" and it turned out to be the beginning of a long marriage, as O´Neill has often since been called the "secret" member of Savatage. The sound production is powerful, raw, and detailed, and fits perfectly with the material. So this is one of those releases where everything come together to make an almost perfect whole. High level musicianship and passionate performances, intriguing songwriting, and a well sounding production. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

SAVATAGE Fight For The Rock

Album · 1986 · Traditional heavy metal
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"Fight For The Rock" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US, Florida based heavy rock/metal act Savatage. The album was released through Atlantic Records in June 1986. There´s been one lineup change since "Power Of The Night (1985)" as bassist Keith Collins has been replaced by Johnny Lee Middleton. "Fight For The Rock" is often considered the odd one out in Savatage discography and the band have often gone on record saying that they weren´t too happy about it. It was not popular among the band´s fans or reviewers either. Lead vocalist/Keyboard player Jon Oliva had begun writing pop/rock material for other artists signed to Atlantic Records, but the label insisted that some of those songs should be recorded by Savatage and featured on "Fight For The Rock"...

...hence the shift in musical direction on this album compared to the first two. "Power Of The Night (1985)" also featured a couple of more mainstream oriented moments (most notably "Hard For Love"), but was still overall a relatively hard edged heavy/power metal album. The music on "Fight For The Rock" is a departure from the harder edged sound of the first two albums, and almost solely features mainstream oriented heavy rock/metal (with pretty generic man loves woman type lyrical themes). This is still unmistakably the sound of Savatage, but much softer and deliberately commercial in sound. The best example of that is probably "Day After Day".

The material on 10 track, 37:54 minutes long album is accessible, relatively well written, and well arranged for the style, and in some cases memorable beyond the album´s playing time. Few tracks stand out as something out of ordinay for the time and musical style, but tracks like "The Edge Of Midnight", "Hyde", "Red Light Paradise", and the title track, are small highlights on an otherwise pretty standard quality release.

One of the great assets of the album is the high level musicianship. Jon Oliva has lost none of his vocal power and rawness, although his performance here was his most varied up until then. The rhythm section is solid as a rock, and Criss Oliva also plays convincing. At times delivering blistering leads. The sound production is professional, clear, and well sounding, so it´s mostly in the songwriting department where things are different compared to the preceeding Savatage releases. I suspect that much of the criticism "Fight For The Rock" has gotten over the years, has more to do with the fact that it was released on a wrong premise (namely the label´s and not the band´s) than it has to do with the actual quality of the music. The shift in musical direction was too abrupt and for many fans probably felt a bit too calculated towards commercial success. Putting on more objective glasses "Fight For The Rock" is still a decent quality heavy rock/metal release and a 3 star (60%) rating isn´t all wrong.

SAVATAGE Power Of The Night

Album · 1985 · Traditional heavy metal
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"Power Of The Night" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US, Florida based heavy/power metal act Savatage. The album was released through Atlantic Records in May 1985. Savatage was formed in 1979 under the Avatar monicker (they also occasionally went by the Metropolis monicker). After releasing a demo and an EP under the Avatar name they changed their name to Savatage in 1983 and recorded a demo before being signed to Par Records for the release of their debut full-length studio album "Sirens (1983)". "The Dungeons Are Calling" EP followed in 1984 (also released through Par Records), before Savatage was picked up by major label Atlantic Records. At this point in time Savatage seemed destined for greatness and commercial success.

Stylistically "Power Of The Night" continues the traditional heavy metal style of "Sirens (1983)", although the tracks are generally a bit more polished and in the case of "Hard For Love" obviously aimed at a mainstream audience. In the other end of the spectrum Savatage also experiments with new features like slightly symphonic keyboards on "Unusual". So "Power Of The Night" is overall a more diverse release than "Sirens (1983)".

The sound production is sligthly thin sounding, but otherwise detailed and powerful enough. The performances are as always on a high level. Jon Oliva is blessed with a set of really strong pipes, and his delivery is commanding and passionate. Little brother Criss Oliva is a guitarist extraordinaire and puts the icing on the cake with his hard edged riffs and blistering solos. The cake here being the tight and well playing rhythm section of Keith Collins (bass, backing vocals) and Steve Wacholz (drums, percussion).

So upon conclusion "Power Of The Night" is a great sophomore album by Savatage although I wouldn´t necessarily call it a step up from "Sirens (1983)". It´s debatable if the more polished and accessible nature of some of the tracks is a plus or a minus, but it did show that Savatage wasn´t a one-trick pony and that they were capable of composing music in different musical styles. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

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