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Jon Oliva has done a significant career as the frontman of Savatage. Now he has created a new band, Pain which will exist alongside Savatage. This new band consists of musicians Jon has known for ages and that he can get together with any time to play live, try out new ideas or record songs. The other band members, guitarist Matt Laporte, keyboardist John Zahner, drummer Chris Kinder and bassist Kevin Rothney have also played together on the debut of Circle II Circle called 'Watching in Silence' (by the way that is a good album - I liked it a lot when it came out - however, I seem to like all Zachary Stevens' material). Two of the tracks, 'No Escape' and 'Nowhere to Run', also feature Savatage's Steve Wacholz on drums.
Jon has written all the songs himself and he seems to like the artistic freedom that he has with this new group. He has said that there are some fixed rules when it comes to Savatage's sound and with Pain he doesn't have to follow any such constraints. With the album title 'Tage Mahal' Jon pays homage to his late brother, former Savatage guitarist Criss Oliva who was planning a solo album of instrumental tracks, called 'Tage Mahal', just before his fatal accident.
Since many people identify Savatage by Jon's charismatic voice and singing style, Pain sounds naturally similar to Savatage. In fact, Jon pays homage to Savatage in the song 'People Say - Gimme Some Hell' where the lyrics contain many Savatage's song names. The opener, 'The Dark', was initially intended for Savatage but Jon decided that it was probably too sinister. Third track, 'Guardians Of Forever', could also be a Savatage song.
The fourth track, 'Slipping Away' is more progressive than typical Savatage songs. I also liked the rawness of 'Walk alone', 'The Non Sensible Ravings Of The Lunatic Mind' and 'No Escape'. I fancy theatrical vocalists and Jon Oliva is famous of being such a vocalist, and with this album Jon uses that side of his even more than with Savatage which is definitely a plus. Nonetheless, the overall sound of Pain is darker and heavier than Savatage's. Although this isn't the most happiest album, I enjoyed listening to it.
Release date: January 2005 (USA) It's already released in Europe (25.10.2004).
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- broMizu (18.11.2004)
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