MENU
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

SAVATAGE

Progressive Metal • United States


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Savatage picture
Savatage biography
See also:

- Trans-Siberian Orchestra
- John Oliva's Pain

Great band from New York formed by brothers Jon/Chris Oliva that started in 1981 under the name of AVATAR, and late in 1983 change the name to SAVATAGE, date when they released his first work "Sirens". At the beginning of their career the musical style was oriented to classic 80īs Heavy Metal, but in 1989 they change a bit his music introducing more keyboards and giving a symphonic/metal sound to his works. "Sirens", "Dungeons Are Calling" and "Hall Of The Mountain King" are the most notable albums of the early period. In 1989, with the change of sound they released "Gutter Ballet" an album with very god reviews that was follow with a long tour, after this, the release two albums more, "Streets" in 1991 and "Edge of Thorns" in 1993, this year was also a tragic date, because this year a drunk driver killed Chris Oliva, one of the founded members, but after this the band returns with a new album "Handful Of Rain", maybe a bit harder than the previous, but with the same symphonic/metal sound follow with the release of a live album in Japan and a Chris Oliva tribute album with songs recorded live from they early period.

1995 was the real change of sound and the beginning of a great concept albums, with the release of "Dead Winter Dead", a concept album about Sarajevo War, with the collaboration of a orchestra on the album, this album was follow with two compilations and in 1997 "The Wake Of Magellan" saw the light, a great concept album about "Fernando De Magallanes" and one of the best or the best symphonic/orchestra/metal albums ever made, this album was also the last album with the Zak Stevens (lead singer since "Edge Of Thorns"), but the band returns in 2001 with another concept album called "Poets And Madmen" with a similar sound to the 1989īs "Gutter Ballet", and the return to vocals of Jon Oliva, original member and lead singer from "Sirens" to "Streets".

Besides SAVATAGE, most of his members play on a side-project called TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, a orchestra-metal band with three albums, first two oriented to Christmas sound and the last one is a concept album about Beethoven music (this one especially recomended). Also exist another side-proje...
read more

Savatage official website

SAVATAGE MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s

SAVATAGE forum topics / tours, shows & news


SAVATAGE forum topics Create a topic now
SAVATAGE tours, shows & news
No topics found for : "savatage"
Post an entries now

SAVATAGE Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to SAVATAGE

Buy SAVATAGE Music


Still The Orchestra PlaysStill The Orchestra Plays
Import
earMUSIC 2010
Audio CD$6.64
$10.46 (used)
Hall of the Mountain KingHall of the Mountain King
Import
Ais 2011
Audio CD$7.25
$7.34 (used)
Gutter BalletGutter Ballet
Import
Ais 2011
Audio CD$7.10
$6.90 (used)
Collector's EditionCollector's Edition
Import
Imports 2015
Audio CD$12.96
$21.99 (used)
Fight for the RockFight for the Rock
Import
Edel Europe 2011
Audio CD$5.97
$8.55 (used)
Handful of RainHandful of Rain
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2011
Audio CD$7.48
$8.99 (used)
Poets & MadmenPoets & Madmen
Import
Ais 2011
Audio CD$6.71
$5.84 (used)
Dungeons Are CallingDungeons Are Calling
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2010
Audio CD$7.12
$9.63 (used)
Dead Winter DeadDead Winter Dead
Atlantic Off Roster 1995
Audio CD$5.41
$3.05 (used)
Streets: A Rock OperaStreets: A Rock Opera
Atlantic Off Roster 1991
Audio CD$11.59
$3.21 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
SAVATAGE - DEAD WINTER DEAD NEW CD USD $11.88 Buy It Now
Vertex - Self Titled CD, 1996, Ratt, Stephen Pearcy, Al Pitrelli Savatage USD $9.98 [0 bids]
Savatage Sirens/Dungeons are Calling CD - power metal USD $7.95 Buy It Now
Savatage: Streets A Rock Opera CD 1991 Atlantic Records A2 82320 / CRC Original USD $9.95 Buy It Now
Chris Caffery Your Heaven Is Real Savatage USD $13.99 Buy It Now 5m 21s
Power Chords Volume 1 Cassette Tape Anthrax Ace Frehley Savatage Testament... USD $2.49 Buy It Now 10m 10s
SAVATAGE - GUTTER BALLET / 1989 ATLANTIC RECORDS PROMOTIONAL CD SINGLE USD $20.00 Buy It Now 33m 14s
SAVATAGE Hall Of The Mountain King (CASSETTE TAPE, 1987) FREE SHIPPING! USD $11.99 Buy It Now 56m 4s
Sirens/Dungeons Are Calling: Complete Sessions - Savatage (CD Used Very Good) USD $8.20 Buy It Now 1h 22m
SAVATAGE THE BEST & THE REST + 2 BONUS TRACK JAPAN CD OBI 2520yen VICP 1ST PRESS USD $35.99 Buy It Now 2h 2m
Savatage - Sirens & Dungeons Are Calling: Complete Session [New CD] UK - Import USD $14.27 Buy It Now 2h 11m
Savatage - Sirens & Dungeons Are Calling: Complete Session [New CD] UK - Import USD $10.20 Buy It Now 2h 12m
Savatage Hall of the mountain king cd USD $4.00 [2 bids]
3h 34m
SAVATAGE Streets A Rock Opera WPCR-15927 CD JAPAN 2014 OBI USD $51.98 Buy It Now 7h 53m
Destiny Faire - Destiny Faire (SAVATAGE) BRAND NEW USD $27.99 Buy It Now 9h 3m
SAVATAGE - THE WAKE OF MAGELLAN [DIGIPAK] NEW CD USD $14.24 Buy It Now 10h 37m
NEW SEALED CD:U.D.O-24/7(mastercutor,accept,udo,savatage,helloween,dio)no lp USD $9.99 Buy It Now 11h 33m
SAVATAGE GUTTER BALLET CD FROM 1989 ORIGINAL PRESS CD ATLANTIC RECORDS USD $18.99 Buy It Now 13h 10m
Savatage - Edge Of Thorns Ultra Rare 12" Promo Picture Disc Rock Heavy Metal LP USD $219.99 Buy It Now 14h 8m
SAVATAGE - Commissar MEGA RARE 12" PICTURE DISC PROMO (Poets And Madmen) LP MINT USD $199.99 Buy It Now 14h 8m
SAVATAGE - GUTTER BALLET MEGA RARE 12" PICTURE DISC PROMO MAXI SINGLE LP MINT USD $219.99 Buy It Now 14h 8m
Savatage - Power of the Night [New CD] Germany - Import USD $11.08 Buy It Now 14h 16m
Power Of The Night - Savatage 4029759040224 (CD Used Very Good) USD $9.66 Buy It Now 14h 22m
Savatage - Edge of Thorns (1993) USD $5.08 Buy It Now 14h 59m
Savatage / USA 1990 ORG A5 USD $59.99 Buy It Now 15h
SAVATAGE / day after day- LP - Limited promo usa USD $10.00 [0 bids]
15h 5m
Savatage / Gutter Ballet JAPAN AMCY-27 1ST PRESS!!!!! C5 USD $29.99 Buy It Now 16h 43m
Savatage / Streets: A Rock Opera JAPAN AMCY-304 ORG!!! C5 USD $34.99 Buy It Now 16h 44m
Savatage - Power of the Night [New CD] Germany - Import USD $10.88 Buy It Now 17h 9m
Savatage / Handful of Rain JAPAN OOP!!!!! *J USD $19.99 Buy It Now 17h 35m
BLACKSMITH Blacksmith / Fire from within CD Gargoyle Savatage Titan Force USD $2.99 [0 bids]
18h 28m
CD SAVATAGE Hall of the Mountain King 1987 Atlantic Red Ring 81775 Oliva USD $12.99 Buy It Now 19h 23m
Savatage - Live In Kawasaki 1994 2CD LONG OOP!!! NEW / STILL SEALED FREE S USD $35.00 Buy It Now 19h 42m
Power of the Night [Digipak] by Savatage (CD, Apr-2011, Ear) USD $8.75 Buy It Now 19h 58m
Savatage: In the dream 12" vinyl record 1c USD $50.00 Buy It Now 20h 10m
SAVATAGE - IN THE HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN KING - 12" VINYL LP A1/B1 Nr Mint USD $50.94 Buy It Now 20h 34m
SEVEN WITCHES CD Lot!! Power Metal Heavy Metal Jack Frost Savatage Armored Saint USD $45.00 [0 bids]
USD $65.00 Buy It Now
21h 4m
SAVATAGE - THE WAKE OF MAGELLAN 2 VINYL LP NEW+ USD $32.69 Buy It Now 21h 45m
Savatage Streets A Rock Opera CD USD $6.99 Buy It Now 22h 41m
Savatage Streets A Rock Opera digipack CD new 2011 remaster USD $9.99 Buy It Now 23h 36m
SAVATAGE-GUTTER BALLET-JAPAN CD Ltd/Ed C68 USD $14.50 Buy It Now 1 day
Savatage The Dungeons Are Calling 1985 Combat records thrash Metallica *Rare* USD $9.99 [0 bids]
1 day
Savatage Dead Winter Dead USA Cassette Tape USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Gutter Ballet by Savatage (Cassette, Jan-1990, Atlantic) USD $3.75 Buy It Now 1 day
CHRIS CAFFERY Faces God Damn War 2 Cd Org04 Black Lotus Savatage Doctor Butcher USD $6.00 Buy It Now 1 day
SAVATAGE Handful Of Rain '94 JAPAN CD OBI XRCN-1147 PROG MELODIC METAL TESTAMENT USD $15.10 Buy It Now 1 day
SAVATAGE Japan Live '94 JAPAN CD OBI XRCN-1210 OOP PROG MELODIC METAL TESTAMENT USD $17.36 Buy It Now 1 day
SAVATAGE The Best And Rest '97 JAPAN ONLY CD w/OBI VICP-60166 PROG MELODIC METAL USD $15.10 Buy It Now 1 day
Raise the Curtain [Digipak] JON OLIVA CD ( FREE SHIPPING) SAVATAGE USD $9.81 Buy It Now 1 day
Savatage - The Dungeons Are Calling (Cassette 1985 Columbia) USD $8.50 Buy It Now 1 day
@ CD SAVATAGE - FIGHT FOR THE ROCK / ATLANTIC RECORDS 1986 ORG / METAL USA USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
@ CD SAVATAGE - GHOST IN THE RUINS JON OLIVA DOCTOR BUTCHER / SPV RECORDS 1995 USD $7.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Heavy Metal CD Lot: Savatage, Lamb Of God, Rob Zombie, God Forbid, More! USD $15.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Power Chords Volume 1 SEALED Vinyl LP - Anthrax, Overkill, Raven, Savatage, more USD $11.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Savatage - The Wake Of Magellan CD Read Description TSO RARE OOP USD $4.99 Buy It Now 1 day
@ CD SAVATAGE - SIRENS & THE DUNGEONS ARE CALLING/EAR MUSIC 2010 /METAL DIGIPACK USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Savatage Live In Japan 2001 Remastered DigiPack with 2 bonus trackes (sealed/new USD $12.75 Buy It Now 1 day
Savatage - Dead Winter Dead / Japan USD $7.00 [1 bids]
1 day
Savatage - Gutter Ballet / Japan + 1 USD $7.50 [2 bids]
1 day
Savatage - The Wake Of Magellan / Japan USD $7.00 [1 bids]
1 day
Savatage - Ghost in the Ruins (A Tribute to Chris Oliva, 2011) USD $6.37 [0 bids]
1 day
The Wake Of Magellan by Savatage (CD, Jun-2010, Ear Music) USD $5.00 Buy It Now 1 day
CHRIS CAFFERY Pins And Needles CD (Digipak) SAVATAGE DOCTOR BUTCHER USD $0.99 [0 bids]
1 day
Savatage-Streets CD with DVD NEW USD $19.56 Buy It Now 1 day
LEASH LAW Dogface CD NEVERMORE ICED EARTH SAVATAGE USD $0.99 [0 bids]
1 day
Sealed Box 14 CD:SAVATAGE-The Ultimate Boxset(NUMBERED #1823)Oliva,Avatar,no lp USD $249.99 Buy It Now 1 day
SAVATAGE Dead Winter Dead CD Orig BMG USD $5.73 Buy It Now 1 day
Savatage - Poets & Madmen [New CD] Germany - Import USD $9.93 Buy It Now 1 day
Poets & Madmen [Digipak] by Savatage (CD, Dec-2011, Ear Music) USD $16.33 Buy It Now 2 days
SAVATAGE - HANDFUL OF RAIN NEW CD USD $10.17 Buy It Now 2 days
AVANTASIA ANGEL OF BABYLON CD NEW WICKED SYMPHONY KISS SAVATAGE HELLOWEEN EDGUY USD $7.99 Buy It Now 2 days
CHRIS CAFFERY Pins and Needles Full Length PROMO cd 2007 Import Savatage TSO USD $10.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Savatage - Sirens & Dungeons Are Calling: Complete Session Vinyl LP USD $9.99 [1 bids]
2 days
RARE PROMO Atlantic Release #8 CASSETTE TAPE Savatage Crosby Stills Nash TOADIES USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Chris Caffery Warped 16 Track Advance Promo Heavy Metal CD Savatage TSO NMINT USD $9.98 Buy It Now 2 days
Jon Oliva`s Pain (Savatage) Festival Brand New, Sealed, Multipage Booklet, OBI USD $7.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Jon Oliva`s Pain (Savatage) Tage Mahal Brand New, Sealed, Multipage Booklet, OBI USD $8.00 Buy It Now 2 days
SAVATAGE ŦSIRENSŧ + ŦTHE DUNGEONS ARE CALLINGŧ CASSETTES RARE! BANZAI RECORDS USD $41.54 Buy It Now 2 days
Savatage - Streets (A Rock Opera) Europe LP 1991 //3 USD $45.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Savatage - Handful of Rain - Savatage CD IGVG USD $16.87 Buy It Now 2 days
The Mold EP By Chris Caffery (CD, 2004, Black Lotus Sweden) Rare, Savatage, TSO USD $8.99 Buy It Now 2 days
SAVATAGE HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN KING ATLANTIC 781 75-1 1983 1A / 1B EXCELLENT USD $15.29 Buy It Now 2 days
Savatage Collector's Package 3 CD new Edge Of Thorns Dead Winter Dead Magellan USD $21.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Savatage / The Best and the Rest JAPAN ONLY D USD $24.99 Buy It Now 2 days
BEYOND THE UNDERGROUND CD Promo Only CLUTCH SAVATAGE UNSANE +6 9 Tracks Nm USD $14.95 Buy It Now 2 days
HEAVY METAL Compilation 2 Cassette Tape Lot Anthrax Manowar Accept Savatage Kix USD $7.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Savatage - Hall of the Mountain King [New CD] Digipack Packaging, UK - Import USD $10.88 Buy It Now 2 days
The Dungeons Are Calling - Savatage CD, 1994, remastered, includes 2 lost tracks USD $39.95 Buy It Now 2 days
RARE 1980s Heavy Metal SAVATAGE Cassette Lot Of 2! Gutter Ballet, Fight For Rock USD $4.99 [0 bids]
2 days
Savatage The Wake Of Magellan USA Cassette Tape USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2 days
TROUBLE TALES OF BRAVE ULYSSES ORIG VINYL LP METAL BLADE84 savatage eric clapton USD $28.99 [0 bids]
USD $44.00 Buy It Now
2 days
CATCH 22 - SOULREAPER cd metallica maiden dio testament pantera savatage priest USD $11.98 [0 bids]
USD $15.58 Buy It Now
2 days
CATCH 22 - AWAKEN cd metallica maiden dio testament pantera savatage priest NEW! USD $11.98 [0 bids]
USD $15.58 Buy It Now
2 days
SAVATAGE Fight for the rock CD (ORG.1986 press) 1st european press 1986! USD $0.99 [1 bids]
2 days
V/A Return Of The Mountain King - A Tribute To Savatage CD (Digipak) USD $0.99 [0 bids]
2 days
savatage fighting for the rock 1986 original atlantic nwobhm style USD $16.50 Buy It Now 2 days
Savatage - Hall of the Mountain King [New CD] Digipack Packaging, UK - Import USD $9.64 Buy It Now 2 days
SYMPHORCE Twice Second CD (Digipak) Ltd. Edition MANTICORA SAVATAGE USD $0.99 [1 bids]
2 days
TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA Christmas Eve And Other Stories CD savatage ayreon USD $0.99 [1 bids]
2 days
SAVATAGE - THE WAKE OF MAGELLAN [DIGIPAK] USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $8.07 Buy It Now 2 days

More places to buy SAVATAGE music online Buy SAVATAGE & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
SAVATAGE has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

SAVATAGE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SAVATAGE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.05 | 61 ratings
Sirens
1983
3.21 | 61 ratings
Power Of The Night
1985
2.26 | 54 ratings
Fight For The Rock
1986
3.90 | 132 ratings
Hall Of The Mountain King
1987
4.02 | 159 ratings
Gutter Ballet
1989
4.16 | 202 ratings
Streets - A Rock Opera
1991
4.03 | 147 ratings
Edge of Thorns
1993
3.86 | 93 ratings
Handful of Rain
1994
3.86 | 132 ratings
Dead Winter Dead
1995
3.83 | 131 ratings
The Wake of Magellan
1998
3.84 | 96 ratings
Poets & Madmen
2001

SAVATAGE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.93 | 17 ratings
Japan Live '94
1995
4.60 | 27 ratings
Ghost in the Ruins / Final Bell
1995

SAVATAGE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.86 | 9 ratings
Japan Live '94
1995

SAVATAGE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.59 | 8 ratings
From the Gutter to the Stage
1996
1.92 | 3 ratings
The Best and the Rest (Japanese Greatest Hits)
1997
2.00 | 2 ratings
Believe (compilation)
1998
3.50 | 6 ratings
Still The Orchestra Plays - Greatest Hits Volume 1 & 2
2010

SAVATAGE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.32 | 27 ratings
The Dungeons Are Calling
1985
2.33 | 6 ratings
One Child (single)
1996
3.14 | 7 ratings
Commissar
2001

SAVATAGE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Wake of Magellan by SAVATAGE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.83 | 131 ratings

BUY
The Wake of Magellan
Savatage Progressive Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Savatage's return to narrative concept albums on Dead Winter Dead was strong enough to prompt another concept - this time, a suicidal sailor taking his boat out to the deep ocean, only to find new reason to live. This time around, they dial up the progressive aspects of their music, creating the most prog metal thing they'd put out for quite some time. It's not super-proggy by any means - don't be fooled by the nod to Dream Theater in the liner notes - but Jon Oliva lets himself get more indulgent with his keyboard work and song structures, yielding an enjoyable light-prog metal experience.
 Dead Winter Dead by SAVATAGE album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.86 | 132 ratings

BUY
Dead Winter Dead
Savatage Progressive Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars With Criss Oliva suitably memorialised on the previous album and Jon Oliva having grown into the lead songwriter role and able to once again become an official full member of the band, Savatage's Dead Winter Dead finds them offering a sober, more mature take on the rock opera style they'd tried out on Streets. Taking as inspiration the bitter civil war raging at the time in Bosnia, the album tells a Romeo and Juliet-esque story of love crossing community boundaries. It isn't fun and games and frolics by any stretch of the imagination, but instead offers exactly the sort of serious consideration the subject matter at hand calls for.
 Handful of Rain by SAVATAGE album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.86 | 93 ratings

BUY
Handful of Rain
Savatage Progressive Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Handful of Rain is the first Savatage release after the death of Criss Oliva, and as might be expected of a piece recorded hot on the heels of such a tragedy it's rather overshadowed by it.

The supposed lineup of Zak Stevens, Alex Skolnick, Johnny Lee Middleton and Steve Wacholz that is promoted as appearing on the album does not tell the whole story; in fact, Wacholz was so shaken by Criss' death that he left the band entirely and didn't take part in the recording process, and whilst Johnny Lee would stick around he was far too upset to face going into the studio to play Savatage music so soon.

As a result, much of the album ended up resting on the shoulders of Jon Oliva, who at this point in time wasn't even supposed to be a full member of the band, having worked on Edge of Thorns solely as a co-producer and guest musician. With Jon doing most of the instruments and composing most of the music (along with a brief snippet cowritten with Criss and several tracks cowritten with Paul O'Neill, who was coproducing), all that was left was for a fresh-out-of-Testament Skolnick to come in to do the guitar solos and Zak to get coaxed back into the studio to deliver the vocals.

These difficult circumstances are reflected in the final product; it's a bit more of a muddled production and less strong and distinctive than preceding Savatage albums, since the production process seems to have been mostly undertaken by Jon and Paul as part of the grieving process. You're effectively listening to Jon step into the main songwriter role solo, whereas previously he'd been largely contributing to songs in collaboration with Criss, and it's to Jon's credit that the album ends up sounding as good as it does, but it's no classic and very much a transitional piece.

 Edge of Thorns by SAVATAGE album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.03 | 147 ratings

BUY
Edge of Thorns
Savatage Progressive Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars On a certain level, Edge of Thorns is doomed to be forever known as the final Savatage album to feature Criss Oliva before his tragic death, so it's just as well that it sees Criss Oliva take a good share of the spotlight - partly as a by- product of Jon Oliva stepping back from being an official member of the lineup. New lead vocalist Zachary Stevens takes up the baton adeptly - the track Conversation Piece, in particular, gives him a moment to really show what he can do on that front - whilst Criss' prominent lead guitar performance makes this album a fitting memorial to his talents.
 Gutter Ballet by SAVATAGE album cover Studio Album, 1989
4.02 | 159 ratings

BUY
Gutter Ballet
Savatage Progressive Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Deploying some orchestral and keyboard hits to their grandiose style of US power metal might make you think that Savatage were running a risk of descending into flat-out pretentious pomposity, but on Gutter Ballet they walk the tightrope magnificently. Not quite going into prog metal territory but certainly letting off warning shots at its borders, not so much going full symphonic metal with the orchestral elements but instead using the strings to add a certain much to their more traditional power metal style, Savatage juggle numerous musical ingredients with skill and produce an album which is simultaneously punchy and nuanced, accessible and intricate.
 Handful of Rain by SAVATAGE album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.86 | 93 ratings

BUY
Handful of Rain
Savatage Progressive Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Handful Of Rain" is the 8th full-length studio album by US, Florida based heavy/power metal act Savatage. The album was released through Atlantic Records in August 1994. Thereīs been one lineup change since the release of "Edge Of Thorns (1993)" as guitarist/composer Criss Oliva died in a tragic car accident (involving a drunk driver behind the wheel of the other car) in October 1993. Older brother and lead vocalist Jon Oliva had already jumped ship before the recording sessions for "Edge Of Thorns (1993)" (he was replaced by Zachary Stevens), so "Handful Of Rain" is the first Savatage release not to feature at least one of the Oliva brothers in the lineup (although Jon remained the primary composer along with producer Paul OīNeill, and also performs session piano on the album). Criss Oliva is replaced here by former Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick.

So how does Savatage sound with none of the two Oliva brothers in the lineup? Well it sounds unmistakably like Savatage. While Skolnick could never replace Criss Oliva (no one could have...), he is a very capable guitarist and his contributions to the album suits the compositions perfectly. As far as the material goes, there hasnīt been much change since "Edge Of Thorns (1993)". The tracks maybe lean a bit more toward musical territory and they are maybe slightly less heavy tracks than on the predessecor, but itīs details, and overall "Handful Of Rain" is through and through the sound of Savatage.

As the case has been on the last couple of albums, the material on "Handful Of Rain" is relatively diverse, and there are both really heavy tracks like "Taunting Cobras" and "Nothing's Going On" and more epic (though still heavy tracks) like the title track and "Castles Burning", featured on the album. There are also more progressive oriented tracks on the album like "Chance", which is definitely one of the most progressive tracks in the bandīs discography, heavily influenced by musicals and featuring a multi harmony counterpoint vocal section (not completely unlike what you hear on some Queen songs). The closing "Alone You Breathe" deserves a mention too. Itīs a slow building power ballad type track, which in itīs long coda uses lyric lines from "When The Crowds Are Gone" (off "Gutter Ballet (1989)") and "Believe" (off "Streets: A Rock Opera (1991)"). As Frank Zappa would have put it: "Conceptual Continuity".

Overall the quality of the material is high throughout, and all tracks are instantly catchy and memorable. I would have prefered a few more rockers instead of the many epic tracks, but on the other hand itīs hard not to be impressed by how skillfully executed and well written the material is, and then it matters less that the really hard rocking and faster paced tracks are relatively few. "Handful Of Rain" features a powerful and well sounding production too, and upon conclusion itīs yet another high quality release by the band. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

 Edge of Thorns by SAVATAGE album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.03 | 147 ratings

BUY
Edge of Thorns
Savatage Progressive Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Edge Of Thorns" is the 7th full-length studio album by by US, Florida based heavy/power metal act Savatage. The album was released through Atlantic Records in April 1993. A major lineup change has taken place since the release of "Streets: A Rock Opera (1991)" as lead vocalist, composer, and founding member Jon Oliva left Savatage after the tour supporting "Streets: A Rock Opera (1991)". His substance abuse and the strain of touring had taken itīs toll on him, and he decided it would be best for him to quit the band and try and solve his personal issues. Oliva is replaced here by Zachary Stevens. He stayed on as composer though, and like the case have been on the last couple of albums, all songwriting is credited to Jon Oliva, Criss Oliva, and producer Paul OīNeill. The remaining part of the lineup are Criss Oliva (guitars, backing vocals), Johnny Lee Middleton (bass, backing vocals), and Steve Wacholz (drums, percussion).

"Edge Of Thorns" succeeds what is often considered the bandīs peak period (1987-1991), and adding to that the change on the lead vocalist spot, the album wasnīt exactly created under the easiest conditions. While Zachary Stevens canīt fully live up to the incredible vocal qualities of Jon Oliva, he is still a greatly skilled singer in his own right, and a suitable replacement with a strong voice and commanding delivery, who most fans of the band quickly accepted.

Stylistically the music on the 13 track, 53:57 minutes long album is unmistakably the sound of Savatage. Hard rocking heavy riffs, blistering solos and lead themes, a pounding organic rhythm section (there are actually electric drums on this one, which take away a bit of the usually more organic sounding tone), and raw yet melodic vocals in front. Piano and keyboards are also part of the sound, but they are not as dominant as they were on the predecessor. In that respect "Edge Of Thorns" is a more guitar driven and immediate album than "Streets: A Rock Opera (1991)", which required more spins to sink in and which had more sophisticated song arrangements. There are still quite a few sophisticated tracks featured on this album too though, so itīs not a through and through raw and unpolished heavy/power metal album like some of the bandīs early releases. But why would it be this long into the bandīs career? Taking into consideration their development of sound over the years, itīs only natural that the raw power is a bit more restrained and that the overall sound is relatively polished.

Savatage vary their sound from epic mid-paced tracks, to heavy US power metal, to hard rocking energetic rockers, and a couple of more quit/mellow tracks. Highlights include "He Carves His Stone" (which is among the bandīs most hard edged tracks), the title track, "Follow Me", "Damien", and the two energetic rockers "Lights Out" and "Miles Away". The latter reminds me a bit of a hard edged Van Halen track. The material is generally well written and catchy though. The whole thing is packed in a professional, clear, and powerful sounding production, which helps bring out the details in the music. Upon conclusion "Edge Of Thorns" is another fairly strong Savatage release, but compared to the preceding three studio albums, it canīt quite live up to the extremely high quality of those. Still a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is well deserved.

 Dead Winter Dead by SAVATAGE album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.86 | 132 ratings

BUY
Dead Winter Dead
Savatage Progressive Metal

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

3 stars With a high sense of dramatic flair, instrumental proficiency, and song variety, Savatage's Dead Winter Dead is a great prog-metal experience from the '90's. It shows it's age with some ham-fisted keyboard sounds, abundance of hard rock guitar soloing, and gruff machismo vocals, but the overall experience is solid and pulled off very well, especially given its ambition.

Dead Winter Dead is a tale of the human experience during civil unrest and war; the plot is basically Oscar-bait, but the music will appeal strongly to prog metal fans who love the raw sound of the genre's infancy. Oliva and company create a thick, heavy, melodic, and dynamic sound. Part blues, part refined metal, and part faux-symphony, this album has a little bit of everything, and while I can't say that it does any one thing exceptionally well, the total package comes together for a unique and rewarding experience.

The highlights have got to be the song writing and and instrumental work. The writing is unapologetically conceptual, so don't expect many big hooks or choruses to get stuck in your head. This is an album driven by narrative, but not weighted down by it. This creates the impressions of a story without the explicitness heard on many other concept albums - a big plus for me. The songs are short, punchy, and highly varied. The playing gets the job done, especially the guitar work, which is voluminous, heavy, and filled with solo moments.

The music is dated, but it doesn't matter because when it works, it works big time. The opening and suite ("Overture" through "Starlight"), as well as the third-act suite ("Memory" through "One Child") strike me as the strongest moments. The keyboard heavy treatments of classical works, and especially the Christmas song are gimmicky, and stick-out obnoxiously in an otherwise solid song lineup. An unfortunate crossover with Oliva's Transiberian Railroad project that hams up an otherwise prog experience! The overall tone is somewhat dark, brooding, threatening, but also optimistic. There's a sensitive streak of hope that shimmers beneath the metal riffing and melodies of Dead Winter Dead that is compelling.

This album is a strong 3.5, and highly recommended for rock fans who enjoy some sensitivity in their metal, and especially for prog metal fans who want to hear an early success story that shows us that a flurry of guitar shredding alone doesn't necessarily make a great album - it takes a touch of class, too.

Songwriting: 4 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 3 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

 Streets - A Rock Opera by SAVATAGE album cover Studio Album, 1991
4.16 | 202 ratings

BUY
Streets - A Rock Opera
Savatage Progressive Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "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.

 Hall Of The Mountain King by SAVATAGE album cover Studio Album, 1987
3.90 | 132 ratings

BUY
Hall Of The Mountain King
Savatage Progressive Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 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.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to CCVP for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives