Savatage - Hall of the Mountain King
Atlantic Recording Company
Traditional Metal
10 songs (39:28)
Release year: 1987
Reviewed by Brent

I am thrilled to have the chance to review this album, as I was sure it would have been reviewed already, being the great album that it is. It happens to be one of my favorite Savatage albums to date and as well the first one I had ever been acquainted with, so I indeed have a soft spot for it. Very new to metal when I first heard this album some six years ago, I immediately acquired it for my slowly growing collection. The musicianship on this cd is outstanding, every person in this band has their instrument mastered. It is truly sad to think back on this era of the band only to know it could never be repeated again with the death of Criss Oliva, it was just never quite Savatage after his death.

The first song on this beast of an album is "24 Hours Ago", which sets the stage for the rest of the album, full of killer riffs and guitar wankery. Definitely one of the highlights of the disc. Secondly, "Beyond the Doors of the Dark", which is a pretty decent song, but really not a highlight of the album. "Legions" comes next, with a great start, a shrieking scream from Jon as well as a kick ass opening solo. Very cool chorus as well. The next song, as my roommate put it, is really the only commercial song on the album, "Strange Wings", and my least favorite song on the album. "Prelude to Madness" is next and with a very fitting title I might add. It is basically a metal cover of the original classical piece Hall of the Mountain King, by Edvard Grieg. I would go as far as to say that it is one of the greatest covers I have ever heard, a very well written and orchestrated tribute. Now, for the madness, "Hall of the Mountain King" is next, which is an original piece, with the original name of the last song. My favorite from this cd and Savatage's career, and it was a highlight of my life to see a reunited Savatage under the moniker of Weapons of Mass Destruction play this song live at ProgPower 5. Next is "The Price You Pay", really good song, another killer track on this already killer album. "White Witch" is next, and I would consider this a "speed metal" song, much like people consider Rapid Fire by Judas Priest one. It is definitely one of my top 3 favorites from the album. Moving on, "Last Dawn" is next, not much to say about it, it is just a small little intro to the last song on the album. Closing out this damn near masterpiece is "Total Devastation", as well as closing out my top 3 of the album. This one just has some cool lyrics layered over some really good guitar work, and the always good skin bashing of "Dr. Killdrums" Steve Wacholz.

All in all, as I hinted up earlier in the review, this album is a masterpiece, not worthy of a quote, so I hereby give it "Classic" status where it will forever be remembered as one of the greats. I would try and focus on some of the lesser parts of this album, but there really aren't any. If you don't have this album, or don't know much about Savatage and you are a fan of 80's metal, then you owe it to yourself to check them out and definitely check out this album.

Killing Songs :
All of them
Brent quoted Classic
Other albums by Savatage that we have reviewed:
Savatage - Gutter Ballet reviewed by Khelek and quoted 85 / 100
Savatage - Fight For The Rock reviewed by Khelek and quoted 68 / 100
Savatage - Power Of The Night reviewed by Khelek and quoted 92 / 100
Savatage - The Dungeons Are Calling reviewed by Khelek and quoted 90 / 100
Savatage - Sirens reviewed by Khelek and quoted 90 / 100
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