Search this site:


Jon Oliva’s Pain – Tage Mahal

Label: The End Records
Format: CD
Released: 2005
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

From the opening bars to the first track 'The Dark' you are instantly brought back to the classic Savatage "Streets: A Rock Opera" with the ride out to the track is very reminiscent to a "Wake of Magellan" piece.


Jon Oliva has not skipped a beat in the many years of not writing at least lyrics for an album. Musically he has been writing for Savatage, Trans Siberian Orchestra and Dr. Butcher for years, so this solo release obviously does not lack in the arrangement department. He continues his tribute to Savatage with 'People Say Gimme Some Hell' where all the lyrics for the verses contain song titles taken from every possible Savatage release. 'Guardian of Forever' has a Trans Siberian Orchestra feel to its dramatic orchestration and his singing style. Jon's band consists of the guys from Circle to Circle, the band that ironically features former Savatage vocalist Zak Stevens, so the music will surely have a familiar feel to it but with Oliva as the composer nothing ever gets stale. 'Slipping Away' also could have come off "Streets".

Original Savatage drummer Dr. Killdrums makes his recording return on the tracks 'No Escape' and 'Nowhere to Run', both tracks taking Jon back in time to "The Dungeons are Calling" when the band had a vicious and ferocious delivery to their music. Even part of the guitar solo to 'No Escape' gave me a little chill and felt as if the late Chris Oliva (Jon’s brother) played it.

It’s too bad that Jon Oliva does not get the kind of respect, at least among the masses, that other hard rocking legends get because among the Heavy Metal family of die hard listeners. Can't wait to get some new Savatage now, would love to hear it have the feel this release has, a cross between "The Dungeons Are Calling" and "Streets".

© 2017 MetalAsylum.net