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Savatage - Edge of Thorns CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.02 | 157 ratings

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4 stars After being literally blown away by the ambitious and highly enjoyable Streets I needed to hear more from Savatage! Edge Of Thorns felt like an obvious choice since it was the follow-up album and the last one with Criss Oliva who passed away due to a drunk driver accident later that year.

I noticed early on that the music on this album didn't feel like a linear follow-up to its predecessor. Gone were those lyrical themes, memorable rusty vocals and the piano driven ballads. This had a lot to do with Jon Oliva's semi-departure from the band. I guess the previous tour made him lose interest in Savatage and he started branching out to new possibilities. This didn't mean that he wasn't present during the recording sessions since many of his trademarked compositional hooks are still present and he does play piano/keyboards on some tracks. Still this time the music is definitely much more guitar driven and in a way there is a slight set-back to the style of Gutter Ballet.

Although this album wasn't as impressive and personal as their previous effort I still found it quite enjoyable. The opening title-track is a magnificent power-ballad which results in the most memorable composition that the album has to offer. I personally consider All That I Bleed slightly superior in the ballad department since it has a much stronger build-up, still both of them deserve the highest marks in my book. Many of the other compositions tend to be much more guitar-driven which does work most of the time, although the band goes slightly overboard with Skraggy's Tomb and Damien which sometimes make me cringe due to their over-the-top nature.

Overall Edge Of Thorns still manages to keep the Savatage spirit going strong and it would have been interesting to see how this sound would have evolved on later releases. Unfortunately this was not to be and once Jon Oliva came back he brought the conceptual lyrics and symphonic music elements back with him. At the end of the day Edge Of Thorns is an interesting follow-up album to the landmark that is Streets and therefore it's bound to be overshadowed by its predecessor. Somehow this release still manages to bring something new to the style which makes it quite memorable.

***** star songs: Edge Of Thorns (5:55) He Carves His Stone (4:10) All That I Bleed (4:40)

**** star songs: Lights Out (3:10) Labyrinths (Instrumental) (1:30) Follow Me (5:11) Exit Music (Instrumental) (3:09) Degrees Of Sanity (4:36) Conversation Piece (4:10) Miles Away (5:06) Sleep (3:52)

*** star songs: Skraggy's Tomb (4:23) Damien (3:54)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |


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