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Chris Caffery – Faces

Label: Black Lotus Records
Format: CD
Released: 2005
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Long time guitarist for Savatage Chris Caffery has made good use of his down time since the last Sava release "Poets and Madmen" in 2000. Chris has taken it upon himself to do all the vocals as well as doing all the guitars. The sound and direction he has gone for is not the same as Savatage, Chris keeps the guitars heavy but his choice of arrangements and all around style is different. "Faces" lyrically is personal and reflective for Chris. Something like the tongue and cheek 'Pisses Me Off' expresses everything that bothers him and the words pisses me off is used rather often. It does become repetitive and I think may have been more effective used less often. 'Remember' has a melodic chorus and shows the poetic side to his lyrics, The acoustic 'Music Man' shows the smoother side to his voice, and 'Bag o Bones' is a layed back kind of foot tapper showing his versatility.


As far as a vocalist, Chris mostly possesses a gritty, almost Jon Oliva (also his bandmate from Savatage) quality to his tone and given some of his guitar compositions makes some of the songs feel like they could be on a Dr. Butcher album (the side project of Chris and Jon Oliva).

This is also a two disc release, the second called "God Damn War". Yes there is a lot of music to listen to hear but over the course of 24 songs you really get your moneys worth. Disc two is a little darker than "Faces", with "God Damn War" being about just that, war, 9/11, etc. The music is also a little heavier and his voice even has more bite to it.

There is a consistent sound throughout both discs and Chris has a certain style to his songs which makes it a complete listening experience, though he is not a one dimensional writer and does dabble in different sounds and instruments. Take for example 'Saddamize' with its Mid East sounds and satirical approach.

I’m looking forward to the next Savatage record and hope it comes sooner than later, hopefully Chris’s contributions to it will give us another headbanger like “Mountain King” or “Dungeons”. Obviously he has the fire and edge to do it.

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