Jon Oliva's Pain - 'Tage Mahal
Old School Keyboard Influenced Metal
13 songs (62:37)
Release year: 2004
Jon Oliva's Pain, SPV
Reviewed by Brent
Album of the month

This cd is incredible. When listening to it, some words come to mind. “Breathtaking” is one, “Epic” is another, “Genius” even. This is the best album that Savatage never put out, although it wouldn’t really fit as a Savatage album. Jon Oliva poured his heart and soul into this album, and it sounds almost the exact same live, which I like, it means that this cd is no product of studio magic.

Yes Ladies and Gentlemen, Jon still has it. I saw him and the ex-Circle II Circle boys play their hearts out with this material. They really shine on this album, as well as Jon’s voice and keyboard abilities. The first song is called “The Dark”, this song is very “Zac-era Savatagesque”; nice solo by the way too. The next song is called “People Say – Gimme Some Hell”, and it is basically a nice anthem/arena song that could really get a crowd going, I know it really worked us up Progpower USA this year. The lyrical content of that song as well has some stuff to do with all of Jon’s musical accomplishments, listen and you will understand. The third song is called “Guardian of Forever”. This song reminds me so much of Pink Floyd it isn’t funny, maybe Jon’s ode to the band? After breaking through that wall, we have the song "Slipping Away", i don't really like this song, killer solo though. "Walk Alone" is next, nice song, i really do like this one a lot, heavy on the keyboard as well. After that is “Non Sensible Ravings of the Lunatic Mind”, great guitar solo intro, and also one of those epic songs I was speaking of. Next is “No Escape”, which is the heaviest song so far on the album, reminiscent of the Doctor Butcher days. Next up is “Father Son Holy Ghost”, nothing sticks out about it, but a GREAT tune nonetheless. “All the Time” is up next, and it has a great piano part at the beginning, as well as another heavy track as well. Next up, another heavy track in the vein of Doctor Butcher called, “Nowhere to Run”. I really, really like that song. Damn, it just seems like the end of the cd gets heavier. This next one is called “Pain”. I wonder if this is about his band mates, haha, as he jokingly refers to them as his “Pain”. Here we go, a break, in terms of heaviness. The next song, “Outside the Door”, lets up a little bit and Jon’s keyboard spotlights again. The last song of the album is called “Fly Away”. Not heavy at all, it is Jon and an acoustic guitar (until about halfway though it, an electric kicks in); this song has a lot of feeling in it, great track.

Overall, I think this is a victory on Jon’s part for a solo album. It didn’t really sound like a Savatagealbum, even though there were some songs on there that had parts or could have been on Savatage albums. Not to mention the fact that Dr. Killdrums, Steve Wacholz, did some skin beating duties on the album on a couple of tunes (Nowhere to Run and No Eecape). Jon sort of said in a statement a couple of weeks ago that he didn’t know when the next Savatage album was coming out, I am fine with that as long as there is a follow up to this album pretty soon. I know he has the material, the question is, is it an album’s worth that could raise the bar like this one…

Killing Songs :
The Dark, Guardian of Forever, Non Sensible Ravings of a Madman, No Escape, Nowhere to Run, Fly Away
Brent quoted 90 / 100
Jeff quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Jon Oliva's Pain that we have reviewed:
Jon Oliva's Pain - Festival reviewed by Marty and quoted 86 / 100
Jon Oliva's Pain - Global Warning reviewed by Marty and quoted 93 / 100
Jon Oliva's Pain - Maniacal Renderings reviewed by Marty and quoted 90 / 100
Jon Oliva's Pain - Straight Jacket Memoirs reviewed by Marty and quoted no quote
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