SAVATAGE

Heavy Metal / Progressive Metal / US Power 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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Hall of the Mountain KingHall of the Mountain King
Ais 2011
$6.97
$9.22 (used)
Streets: Rock OperaStreets: Rock Opera
Ais 2011
$7.86
The Wake of MagellanThe Wake of Magellan
101 DISTRIBUTION 2010
$6.96
$5.96 (used)
Gutter BalletGutter Ballet
Ais 2011
$6.96
$7.23 (used)
Sirens and the Dungeons Are CallingSirens and the Dungeons Are Calling
101 DISTRIBUTION 2010
$7.15
$10.67 (used)
Savatage, Edge of ThornsSavatage, Edge of Thorns
101 DISTRIBUTION 2010
$6.63
Poets & MadmenPoets & Madmen
Ais 2011
$6.91
$7.06 (used)
Dead Winter DeadDead Winter Dead
Atlantic Off Roster 1995
$11.86
$2.23 (used)
Ghost in the RuinsGhost in the Ruins
101 DISTRIBUTION 2011
$6.90
$9.24 (used)
Live in JapanLive in Japan
Intercord 2004
$39.19
$5.00 (used)
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SAVATAGE (Return To Wacken) CD Brand New + Sealed SAVATAGE (Return To Wacken) CD Brand New + Sealed USD $6.32 Buy It Now 3h
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Circle II Circle - Reign of Darkness ultra rare metal promo (Savatage) Circle II Circle - Reign of Darkness ultra rare metal promo (Savatage) USD $7.91 (0 bids)
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Savatage : Edge of Thorns CD Savatage : Edge of Thorns CD USD $11.78 Buy It Now 7h
Savatage-Fight for the Rock  CD NEW Savatage-Fight for the Rock CD NEW USD $16.69 Buy It Now 7h
Savatage - Poets And Madmen (Promo CD, 2001) Jon Oliva - SPV Steamhammer Savatage - Poets And Madmen (Promo CD, 2001) Jon Oliva - SPV Steamhammer USD $5.27 Buy It Now 8h
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Savatage Dungeons Are Calling Cassette Tape Combat Records MXT6016 1985 Metal Savatage Dungeons Are Calling Cassette Tape Combat Records MXT6016 1985 Metal USD $19.99 Buy It Now 10h
Savatage - The Dungeons Are Calling (cassette) Savatage - The Dungeons Are Calling (cassette) USD $14.99 Buy It Now 11h
Morning Wood - S/T (Japan CD w/OBI) TNT - Tony Harnell - Al Pitrelli - Savatage Morning Wood - S/T (Japan CD w/OBI) TNT - Tony Harnell - Al Pitrelli - Savatage USD $29.95 Buy It Now 15h
Flesh & Blood / Blues for Daze - '97, Now & Then ** Tyketto , Savatage , Touch Flesh & Blood / Blues for Daze - '97, Now & Then ** Tyketto , Savatage , Touch USD $8.51 (4 bids)
16h
SAVATAGE - Fight For Rock - CD - **Excellent Condition** SAVATAGE - Fight For Rock - CD - **Excellent Condition** USD $23.95 Buy It Now 19h
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SAVATAGE The Wake Of Magellan Tour Rare Original Official German Tour POSTER SAVATAGE The Wake Of Magellan Tour Rare Original Official German Tour POSTER USD $13.19 Buy It Now 1 day
Savatage - Ghost in the Ruins (NEW CD) Savatage - Ghost in the Ruins (NEW CD) USD $11.87 Buy It Now 1 day
CHRIS CAFFERY:FACES DBL CD SAVATAGE CHRIS CAFFERY:FACES DBL CD SAVATAGE USD $9.23 Buy It Now 1 day
SAVATAGE STREETS A ROCK OPERA CD  FROM 1991 ATLANTIC RECORDS SAVATAGE STREETS A ROCK OPERA CD FROM 1991 ATLANTIC RECORDS USD $23.99 Buy It Now 1 day
SAVATAGE album discography magnet (4.5 SAVATAGE album discography magnet (4.5" x 3.5") USD $4.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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SAVATAGE Dead Winter Dead 1995 CD One Child, Doesn't Matter Anyway SAVATAGE Dead Winter Dead 1995 CD One Child, Doesn't Matter Anyway USD $2.49 (0 bids)
USD $3.99 Buy It Now
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Handful of Rain by Savatage (CD, 1994 Atlantic) Handful of Rain by Savatage (CD, 1994 Atlantic) USD $3.39 (0 bids)
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Savatage - Handful Of Rain (CD, 1994, Atlantic Records) Savatage - Handful Of Rain (CD, 1994, Atlantic Records) USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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Savatage Power Of The Night Cassette Savatage Power Of The Night Cassette USD $6.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Savatage - Poets And Madmen(2 Bonus Tracks) Savatage - Poets And Madmen(2 Bonus Tracks) USD $14.81 Buy It Now 1 day
Streets: A Rock Opera by Savatage (CD, Apr-2011, Ear) Streets: A Rock Opera by Savatage (CD, Apr-2011, Ear) USD $14.81 Buy It Now 1 day
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DOCTOR BUTCHER ST ( JAPANESE VERSION) JON OLIVA , SAVATAGE RARE OPP DOCTOR BUTCHER ST ( JAPANESE VERSION) JON OLIVA , SAVATAGE RARE OPP USD $22.78 Buy It Now 1 day
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TESTAMENT Brotherhood Of The Snake + 2 JAPAN CD Dark Angel Savatage Dragonlord TESTAMENT Brotherhood Of The Snake + 2 JAPAN CD Dark Angel Savatage Dragonlord USD $27.50 Buy It Now 1 day
REVERENCE - FOREVERENCE EP - SAVATAGE, TOKYO BLADE, WIND WRAITH, METAL CHURCH REVERENCE - FOREVERENCE EP - SAVATAGE, TOKYO BLADE, WIND WRAITH, METAL CHURCH USD $4.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Savatage - Gutter Ballet (Cassette) Russia SEALED Savatage - Gutter Ballet (Cassette) Russia SEALED USD $29.50 Buy It Now 2 days
Savatage - Handful Of Rain (NEW CD) Savatage - Handful Of Rain (NEW CD) USD $11.87 Buy It Now 2 days
RARE LP,Record:WARLORD-Deliver Us(WHITE VINYL-350 COPIES)Leather nunn,savatage RARE LP,Record:WARLORD-Deliver Us(WHITE VINYL-350 COPIES)Leather nunn,savatage USD $29.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Savatage 'Power Of The Night' 1st Press USA 85 Original LP Gold Stamp Promo Rare Savatage 'Power Of The Night' 1st Press USA 85 Original LP Gold Stamp Promo Rare USD $139.95 Buy It Now 2 days
Savatage - Ghost in the Ruins (A Tribute to Chris Oliva, 2011) Savatage - Ghost in the Ruins (A Tribute to Chris Oliva, 2011) USD $6.60 (0 bids)
2 days
Reverence-When Darkness Calls DIGI Ex-Savatage-Tokyo Blade,Devil Childe Reverence-When Darkness Calls DIGI Ex-Savatage-Tokyo Blade,Devil Childe USD $15.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Chris Caffery - Music Man CD 2004 BLACK LOTUS SAVATAGE NEW/SS FREE S Chris Caffery - Music Man CD 2004 BLACK LOTUS SAVATAGE NEW/SS FREE S USD $19.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Savatage - Wake Of Magellan [IMPORT] (Sep-1997, Inter) Savatage - Wake Of Magellan [IMPORT] (Sep-1997, Inter) USD $8.79 Buy It Now 2 days
Handful of Rain by Savatage (CD, Aug-1994, Atlantic (Label)) Handful of Rain by Savatage (CD, Aug-1994, Atlantic (Label)) USD $3.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Handful of Rain by Savatage (CD, Dec-2011, Ear Music) Handful of Rain by Savatage (CD, Dec-2011, Ear Music) USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Ghost in the Ruins by Savatage CD 2010 German Import Criss Oliva Tribute Live Ghost in the Ruins by Savatage CD 2010 German Import Criss Oliva Tribute Live USD $11.65 Buy It Now 2 days
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Savatage The Wake of Magellan JAPAN W/Obi 1997 Press VICP-60079 Savatage The Wake of Magellan JAPAN W/Obi 1997 Press VICP-60079 USD $8.35 (0 bids)
2 days
Savatage Japan Live ’94 JAPAN W/Obi 1995 Press XRCN-1210 Savatage Japan Live ’94 JAPAN W/Obi 1995 Press XRCN-1210 USD $8.35 (0 bids)
2 days
CPR – Pitrelli Coven O.Reilly CD Randy Coven Al Pitrelli Megadeth Savatage CPR – Pitrelli Coven O.Reilly CD Randy Coven Al Pitrelli Megadeth Savatage USD $3.99 (0 bids)
2 days
Savatage Hall Of The Mountain King SEALED ORIGINAL USA Atlantic LP Heavy Metal Savatage Hall Of The Mountain King SEALED ORIGINAL USA Atlantic LP Heavy Metal USD $65.00 Buy It Now 2 days
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SAVATAGE - Poets And Madmen - CD - **BRAND NEW/STILL SEALED** - RARE SAVATAGE - Poets And Madmen - CD - **BRAND NEW/STILL SEALED** - RARE USD $74.95 Buy It Now 3 days
SAVATAGE - FIGHT FOR THE ROCK LP PICTURE DISC (VMLP014) SAVATAGE - FIGHT FOR THE ROCK LP PICTURE DISC (VMLP014) USD $29.99 Buy It Now 3 days
SAVATAGE DEAD WINTER DEAD EXCELLENT 15 TRACK REMASTERED CD 2002 SAVATAGE DEAD WINTER DEAD EXCELLENT 15 TRACK REMASTERED CD 2002 USD $3.95 (0 bids)
3 days
SAVATAGE - Gh In Ruins - A Tribute To Criss Oliva - CD - **NEW/STILL SEALED** SAVATAGE - Gh In Ruins - A Tribute To Criss Oliva - CD - **NEW/STILL SEALED** USD $35.49 Buy It Now 3 days
Savatage - Sirens/Dungeons Are Calling: Complete Sessions (CD Used Like New) Savatage - Sirens/Dungeons Are Calling: Complete Sessions (CD Used Like New) USD $8.51 Buy It Now 3 days
WARLORD DELIVER US  PICTURE LP LIMITED EDITION  SAVATAGE WARLORD DELIVER US PICTURE LP LIMITED EDITION SAVATAGE USD $45.00 Buy It Now 3 days
Savatage - Streets: A Rock Opera (CD, Oct-1991, Atlantic (Label)) Savatage - Streets: A Rock Opera (CD, Oct-1991, Atlantic (Label)) USD $7.03 Buy It Now 3 days
Savatage Sirens LP PAR 1050 Z OG Pressing EX Vinyl Savatage Sirens LP PAR 1050 Z OG Pressing EX Vinyl USD $34.00 (6 bids)
3 days
Savatage - Still The Orchestra Plays [CD New] Savatage - Still The Orchestra Plays [CD New] USD $10.95 Buy It Now 3 days
SAVATAGE - EDGE OF THORNS CD 1993 ATLANTIC GERMANY SAVATAGE - EDGE OF THORNS CD 1993 ATLANTIC GERMANY USD $11.43 Buy It Now 3 days
SAVATAGE - EDGE OF THORNS CD 1993 ATLANTIC 82488-2 SAVATAGE - EDGE OF THORNS CD 1993 ATLANTIC 82488-2 USD $13.19 Buy It Now 3 days
SAVATAGE - EDGE OF THORNS CD 1993 ATLANTIC 82488-2 BMG SAVATAGE - EDGE OF THORNS CD 1993 ATLANTIC 82488-2 BMG USD $8.79 Buy It Now 3 days
SAVATAGE - EDGE OF THORNS CD 1993 ATLANTIC 82488-2 BMG SAVATAGE - EDGE OF THORNS CD 1993 ATLANTIC 82488-2 BMG USD $11.43 Buy It Now 3 days
SAVATAGE - HANDFUL OF RAIN CD 1994 ENGLAND IMPORT RARE SAVATAGE - HANDFUL OF RAIN CD 1994 ENGLAND IMPORT RARE USD $9.67 Buy It Now 3 days
Savatage  - Handful of Rain (CD, Aug-1994, Atlantic (Label)) Savatage - Handful of Rain (CD, Aug-1994, Atlantic (Label)) USD $7.91 Buy It Now 3 days
Savatage  - Handful of Rain (CD, Aug-1994, Atlantic (Label)) Savatage - Handful of Rain (CD, Aug-1994, Atlantic (Label)) USD $7.03 Buy It Now 3 days
SAVATAGE - Fight For The Rock 1986 cassette ATLANTIC 81634-4 HEAVY METAL SAVATAGE - Fight For The Rock 1986 cassette ATLANTIC 81634-4 HEAVY METAL USD $9.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Savatage - Still the Orchestra Plays [New CD] Germany - Import Savatage - Still the Orchestra Plays [New CD] Germany - Import USD $9.40 Buy It Now 3 days
GLENMORE Materialized / 1992 / MC CASSETTE DREAM THEATER, SAVATAGE GLENMORE Materialized / 1992 / MC CASSETTE DREAM THEATER, SAVATAGE USD $18.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Hall of the Mountain King (re-issue) - Savatage CD-JEWEL CASE Free Shipping! Hall of the Mountain King (re-issue) - Savatage CD-JEWEL CASE Free Shipping! USD $17.07 Buy It Now 3 days
SAVATAGE Sirens vinyl LP 1985 Music For Nations Records VG+ METAL SAVATAGE Sirens vinyl LP 1985 Music For Nations Records VG+ METAL USD $85.00 Buy It Now 3 days
Savatage: The Wake Of Magellan CD 1998 Bonus Tracks Atlantic / Lava USA 83100-2 Savatage: The Wake Of Magellan CD 1998 Bonus Tracks Atlantic / Lava USA 83100-2 USD $8.95 Buy It Now 3 days
Savatage Savatage "Fight For The Rock" LP. Limited edition Picture Disc. Import. RARE ! USD $26.99 Buy It Now 3 days
SAVATAGE Japan 10 tracks CD, HANDFUL OF RAIN SAVATAGE Japan 10 tracks CD, HANDFUL OF RAIN USD $29.99 Buy It Now 4 days
SAVATAGE GUTTER BALLET LIMITED PICTURE LP    SAVATAGE GUTTER BALLET LIMITED PICTURE LP USD $60.00 Buy It Now 4 days
Savatage 'Fight For The Rock' LTD Ed 1000cop Pic LP Picture Disc Vinyl Record EX Savatage 'Fight For The Rock' LTD Ed 1000cop Pic LP Picture Disc Vinyl Record EX USD $39.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Savatage 'Power Of The Night' LTD Ed 1000cop Pic LP Picture Disc Vinyl Record EX Savatage 'Power Of The Night' LTD Ed 1000cop Pic LP Picture Disc Vinyl Record EX USD $39.99 Buy It Now 4 days
DARK AGE-s/t CD Omen,Griffin,Savatage,Warlord,Heathens Rage,Witch Cross,Private DARK AGE-s/t CD Omen,Griffin,Savatage,Warlord,Heathens Rage,Witch Cross,Private USD $15.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Savatage - Poets and Madmen CD NEW Savatage - Poets and Madmen CD NEW USD $18.22 Buy It Now 4 days
LOT 12 CASSETTE TAPES DEF LEPPARD AC/DC OZZY SCORPIONS SAVATAGE KILLER DWARFS ++ LOT 12 CASSETTE TAPES DEF LEPPARD AC/DC OZZY SCORPIONS SAVATAGE KILLER DWARFS ++ USD $24.99 Buy It Now 4 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 $18.98 Buy It Now 4 days
Savatage - Hall Of The Mountain King (2002) Savatage - Hall Of The Mountain King (2002) USD $9.23 Buy It Now 4 days
SAVATAGE STREETS A ROCK OPERA GERMAN CASSETTE TAPE SAVATAGE STREETS A ROCK OPERA GERMAN CASSETTE TAPE USD $8.89 Buy It Now 4 days
SAVATAGE GUTTER BALLET GERMAN CASSETTE TAPE SAVATAGE GUTTER BALLET GERMAN CASSETTE TAPE USD $8.89 Buy It Now 4 days
Savatage - Edge Of Thorns 1993/97 Victor Japan W/OBI Rare OOP HTF Savatage - Edge Of Thorns 1993/97 Victor Japan W/OBI Rare OOP HTF USD $29.24 Buy It Now 4 days
Doctor Butcher - S/T 1995 Zero Japan Edition W/OBI Rare OOP HTF Savatage Doctor Butcher - S/T 1995 Zero Japan Edition W/OBI Rare OOP HTF Savatage USD $21.74 Buy It Now 4 days
SAVATAGE - Edge Of Thorns Near Mint CD  | Free Shipping SAVATAGE - Edge Of Thorns Near Mint CD | Free Shipping USD $12.00 Buy It Now 4 days
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Savatage cd-11 tracks.good. Savatage cd-11 tracks.good. USD $10.55 (0 bids)
4 days
SAVATAGE Streets A Rock Opera -  Cassette SAVATAGE Streets A Rock Opera - Cassette USD $7.59 Buy It Now 4 days
Savatage - The Wake Of Magellan Japanese CD / VICP-60079 Savatage - The Wake Of Magellan Japanese CD / VICP-60079 USD $12.00 Buy It Now 4 days
Savatage-The Wake of Magellan  CD NEW Savatage-The Wake of Magellan CD NEW USD $16.69 Buy It Now 4 days
SAVATAGE-FIGHT FOR THE ROCK NEW CD SAVATAGE-FIGHT FOR THE ROCK NEW CD USD $28.99 Buy It Now 4 days
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SAVATAGE Discography

SAVATAGE albums / top albums

SAVATAGE Sirens album cover 3.52 | 26 ratings
Sirens
US Power Metal 1983
SAVATAGE Power Of The Night album cover 3.29 | 28 ratings
Power Of The Night
Heavy Metal 1985
SAVATAGE Fight For The Rock album cover 2.41 | 18 ratings
Fight For The Rock
Heavy Metal 1986
SAVATAGE Hall Of The Mountain King album cover 4.02 | 44 ratings
Hall Of The Mountain King
Heavy Metal 1987
SAVATAGE Gutter Ballet album cover 3.83 | 42 ratings
Gutter Ballet
Heavy Metal 1989
SAVATAGE Streets: A Rock Opera album cover 3.95 | 32 ratings
Streets: A Rock Opera
Heavy Metal 1991
SAVATAGE Edge Of Thorns album cover 4.02 | 43 ratings
Edge Of Thorns
Heavy Metal 1993
SAVATAGE Handful Of Rain album cover 3.62 | 27 ratings
Handful Of Rain
Heavy Metal 1994
SAVATAGE Dead Winter Dead album cover 3.80 | 37 ratings
Dead Winter Dead
Heavy Metal 1995
SAVATAGE The Wake Of Magellan album cover 4.02 | 40 ratings
The Wake Of Magellan
Progressive Metal 1997
SAVATAGE Poets And Madmen album cover 4.17 | 21 ratings
Poets And Madmen
Progressive Metal 2001

SAVATAGE EPs & splits

SAVATAGE The Dungeons Are Calling album cover 3.17 | 15 ratings
The Dungeons Are Calling
US Power Metal 1984

SAVATAGE live albums

SAVATAGE Japan Live '94 album cover 3.33 | 6 ratings
Japan Live '94
Heavy Metal 1995
SAVATAGE Ghost In The Ruins: A Tribute To Criss Oliva album cover 4.14 | 7 ratings
Ghost In The Ruins: A Tribute To Criss Oliva
Heavy Metal 1995

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

SAVATAGE re-issues & compilations

SAVATAGE From The Gutter To The Stage: The Best Of 1981 - 1995 album cover 4.33 | 3 ratings
From The Gutter To The Stage: The Best Of 1981 - 1995
Heavy Metal 1995
SAVATAGE The Best And The Rest album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
The Best And The Rest
Heavy Metal 1997
SAVATAGE Believe album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Believe
Heavy Metal 1998
SAVATAGE Still The Orchestra Plays: Greatest Hits Volume 1 & 2 album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Still The Orchestra Plays: Greatest Hits Volume 1 & 2
Heavy Metal 2010
SAVATAGE Return to Wacken album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Return to Wacken
Progressive Metal 2015

SAVATAGE singles (2)

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

SAVATAGE movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
3.83 | 3 ratings
Japan Live '94
Heavy Metal 1995

SAVATAGE Reviews

SAVATAGE Gutter Ballet

Album · 1989 · Heavy Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
martindavey87
While there’s always been subtle classical and theatrical elements to Savatage’s music, it wasn’t until 1989’s ‘Gutter Ballet’ that the band really started to take their sound in a more ambitious direction. Inspired by musicals such as ‘Phantom of the Opera’, there’s a much more grandiose feel to this album than anything they’d done before, and would only lead to the band transitioning from power metal to more progressive territory.

One notable change in the band’s sound is the more prominent use of pianos and keyboards. While there were always some keys lingering in the background, ‘Gutter Ballet’ sees them become a more integral part of the music. It works amazingly well, and really distinguishes Savatage’s unique identity.

Of course, the musicianship itself is fantastic. With each member, building upon the momentum they’d garnered with previous album, ‘Hall of the Mountain King’, being on top form. Jon Oliva’s vocals really suit the more theatrical approach well, and his guitarist brother Criss Oliva’s blistering guitars are as incredible as ever. Working with producer/songwriter Paul O’Neill, this was a time of growth for the band, and each member really plays their part to help the band mature.

With highlights that include ‘Gutter Ballet’, ‘When the Crowds Are Gone’, ‘Of Rage and War’, ‘She’s in Love’, ‘Hounds’, ‘Thorazine Shuffle’ and ‘Mentally Yours’, there’s an abundance of killer material here that constantly shifts from heavy to melodic, but never lets up in quality.

1987’s ‘Hall of the Mountain King’ may have been the album where Savatage hit their stride and started a run of successful (critically, if not commercially) albums, but for me, ‘Gutter Ballet’ is where they truly defined their sound and began a creative run that would see them continually release albums of high standards.

SAVATAGE Return to Wacken

Boxset / Compilation · 2015 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
martindavey87
'Return to Wacken' is a very confusing and misleading compilation album that was released to coincide with Savatage's joint appearance with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the 2015 Wacken Festival in Germany.

The problem is that everything about this release made it seem like a live album, perhaps of one of the bands earlier Wacken appearances, which would have made the most sense. It even has "celebrating a return to the stage..." on the bloody cover! But instead, we get a compilation which is supposedly based upon and inspired by the set lists of Savatage's two previous performances at the prestigious event.

With that said, Savatage are one of my favourite bands, and the music here is still damn good. But as a compilation release, it's very underwhelming. With a wealth of material to choose from, reducing the bands best material down to a meagre eleven songs is near-impossible. Sure, we get 'Edge of Thorns', 'Chance', 'Hall of the Mountain King', 'Gutter Ballet' and 'The Wake of Magellan', not too shabby really, but there's still just so much missing, that it's pretty impossible to really care about this release at all.

Overall, 'Return to Wacken' is just a shameless cash-in on Savatage's return to the stage after a 14-year hiatus. It could make a good starting point for newcomers, but realistically there's better compilations or studio albums to choose from. The truly sad thing is that I knew all of this yet I bought it anyway because I'm such a huge fan and needed it in my collection.

SAVATAGE Poets And Madmen

Album · 2001 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
martindavey87
I remember this one so well. It was the Summer of 2003, and I was 16 years-old. I randomly picked up 'Handful of Rain', with no prior knowledge of the band Savatage. It was alright. Nothing amazing, but one or two catchy songs that stuck with me. Fast forward a few months and I was Christmas shopping with my sister. Having stumbled across a secondhand music shop, I had to have a quick look, and it was there that I picked up 'Poets and Madmen'.

And from here, Savatage would go on to become one of my all-time favourite bands.

'Poets and Madmen' sees Jon Oliva return to lead vocals, and Chris Caffery picks up the bulk of the guitar work after Al Pitrelli had left to join Megadeth. Though not strictly a rock opera like those the band were famous for doing, there is a loose concept behind the music, based upon real-life photographer Kevin Carter. It's not exactly an easy narrative to follow, though it doesn't disrupt the flow of the album either.

With Savatage slowly taking more and more of a backseat to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (a Savatage-related band that was having multiplatinum success), it's evident that a lot of the music here was influenced by the aforementioned group. Bigger and more grandiose than ever before, each of the songs here is a true gem in their own right, with each instrument working in complete synergy to produce some of the bands tightest and most cohesive compositions.

Highlights include 'Stay With Me Awhile', 'Commissar', 'There in the Silence', 'Surrender', 'Back to a Reason', and the centerpiece of the album, the ten-minute 'Morphine Child'. Each song really shows a band at the peak of their creativity, with plenty of crushing riffs, beautiful melodies, classical-inspired passages and the vocal counterpoint harmonies that the band had made their own.

A remarkable smorgasbord of every perfected nuance that had ever given this band their own unique sound, it's a shame that Savatage spent the majority of their career in the "underrated" category, because this album is an absolute masterpiece.

SAVATAGE Sirens

Album · 1983 · US Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
The Crow
Savatage's debut album will not appeal the prog or symphonic metal lovers, but is still a very enjoyable NWOBHM album.

In addition, some of the band's most recognizable virtues are yet present, like the crystal clear Criss Oliva's solos, Jon Oliva's piercing vocals and an overwhelming ability to create catchy riffs, a clear heritage of the brother's admiration for the early Black Sabbath. Maybe the in the text of the title track we can guess the love of this band for fantastic and bombastic themes, but it's really impossible to imagine that this band is the same that after a few years would make masterpieces like "Gutter Ballet " or "Streets".

Sirens starts with a strong riff and catchy vocals, while Holocaust shows the fiercest side of the band, both lyrically and musically. The good level of the compositions is maintained in the splendid I Believe and the powerful Rage, where the drums of Steve "Doc" Wacholz gain protagonism. On the Run, Twisted Little Sister, Living for the Night and Scream Murder are not so good, but nevertheless very listenable, while Out on the Streets flirts with AOR, with a moderate success.

Conclusion: Sirens is not an album for late Savatage fans, because it lacks the complexity and diversity of the grandiloquent rock operas of the 90's. Nevertheless, if you like the New Wave of British Heavy Metal of bands like Judas Priest of Saxon, you should give this record a chance. The Oliva brothers were able to show their ability on vocals and guitars, and of course, the title track is a little classic of the 80's today, while the rest of the album is also pretty good.

I miss you, guys! I still hope that Savatage will come back with full force someday... Call me a dreamer.

Best tracks: Sirens, Holocaust, I Believe.

My rating: ***1/2

SAVATAGE The Wake Of Magellan

Album · 1997 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
martindavey87
After their 1995 concept album 'Dead Winter Dead', which spawned a small radio hit for the band, and the recently-formed Trans-Siberian Orchestra, which also garnered mainstream success, Savatage continue down the route of epic rock operas which would see the band reach new heights of creativity and critical acclaim during the late 90's.

Featuring all the pomp and circumstance that the band had incorporated into their sound since 1994's 'Handful of Rain', and even way before that if I'm being realistic, 'The Wake of Magellan' sees everything come together for Savatage. The story itself doesn't really make much sense to me, but it ties around the fictional story of a sailor who goes out to sea to end his life, only to find new meaning to carry on, and two real-life events involving a journalist who was murdered whilst trying to battle the growing drug trade in 90's Ireland, and of a sea captain who had Romanian stowaways thrown overboard.

How does any of this fit together? I have no idea (and I doubt many people do), but the music itself is compelling and the performances are sincere. That's good enough for me!

Using the same lineup from the previous album, the band have really gelled by this point, and the chemistry is evident. Zak Stevens delivers powerful vocals as always, and founding member Jon Oliva returns to sing for a number of songs, having never sounded better or more confident. His keyboards add a warm depth to the record as well, giving it that orchestral feeling but without all the pomposity of a full orchestra.

'Turns to Me', 'Morning Sun', 'Another Way', 'Paragons of Innocence' and 'The Hourglass' are all highlights that this fantastic album has to offer, with the true gem being the title track, 'The Wake of Magellan'. It's a big, epic piece, with an absolutely mind-blowing finale which sees the band utilize the vocal harmony counterpoint which they had used more and more over the last few releases, but perfected here.

A truly underrated gem when it comes to concept albums, capturing the very essence and atmosphere of a journey out to sea, 'The Wake of Magellan' is an absolute epic from start to finish.

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