Ice Vajal :: Music Land :: Metal World
 
editorial :: feedback :: newsletter ::  
   Bands :: A-Z / J / Jon Oliva's Pain /

On disc: Jon Oliva's Pain



'Tage Mahal - Claudia Ehrhardt - 6 stars
Straight-Jacket Memoirs - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars
Maniacal Renderings - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars
Festival - Umberto Mino - 8 stars


www.jonoliva.net







Festival

Festival
(AFM Records - 2010)


If we must follow the words of The Mountain King, Jon Oliva, we must consider this project like the prosecution of my loved Savatage..... I prefer to consider this like a band that follow the ideas of their mastermind! This new album Festival is another chapter of JOP career, and like the others gave us a lot dark and bright points of view. I never like as much the old JOP albums, sounds to me like a try to emulate the Savatage sound with less ideas, but with Festival something seems changed in a better way and songs like Afterglow and Death Rides A Black Horse are here to confirm this opinion. All the CD sounds better than the old productions, now any song is a piece of a puzzle and not a song put on the optical disc, because is seems so 'empty'.....
2010 year start with new explosive of CDs of old-school lions like Overkill and Heathen.... Would you people add also Jon Oliva????


8 stars

Umberto Mino
 

up








Maniacal Renderings

Maniacal Renderings
(AFM Records - 2006)


A few weeks ago I had the chance to listen to the new Jon Oliva's Pain album Maniacal Renderings once at the pre-listening party, now I could listen more closely. But you can read about the song background in the special about the pre-listening party.
The first track is the thrashy Through The Eyes Of The King. A heavy one with a modern touch, but when Jon's vocals join in it takes off a bit of the edge. It reminds me of Doctor Butcher, but the guitars miss the aggressiveness. Also at Doctor Butcher they don't use strings - even if they are mainly in the background - and not the organ... In a way this song is building a bridge between Doctor Butcher and Savatage's Gutter Ballet or Hall Of The Mountain King. The title track Maniacal Renderings is a heavy groover with a big background choir. In the middle part they slow down a bit and the keyboard is typical Jon Oliva / Savatage. Jon Oliva was - with his brother Criss - the founder of Savatage and so it's no surprise that there are reminiscences. The title track is quite long with almost 8 minutes and so there are long instrumental parts. Personally I think they should have cut that down a bit... The tracks The Evil Beside You and Time To Die are probably known as they been released as a single a little ago. With The Answer they slow down, get balladesque - in the beginning. A heavy tune which shows parallels in the arranging to Savatage's Gutter Ballet. But then it's time to accelerate and to Push It To The Limit. Perhaps the fastest song Jon did in his career... Guitar-driven and based on some riffing. The song leads into Who's Playing God which could have been taken off Hall Of The Mountain King or Gutter Ballet, but is a bit more progressive. Twin guitar leads and riffs add some heaviness, while the keyboard give it some epic, bombastic character. The track Holes is very dark and has a different atmosphere, it needs time to get into it. Here only Jon's voice is showing similarities to Savatage, but he has a very unique voice, so that's no surprise. The last track on the regular album is Still I Pray For You Now which is an acoustic ballad where Jon is dealing with his brothers death. Very emotional and touching.
The limited edition has Reality's Fool as bonus. The track is special, coz at this song Jon's nephew Christopher Jon stepping into the light first and adds a guitar solo here.
Jon Oliva's Pain debut Tage Mahal had its moments,. but this album is a huge step forward and probably what Savatage fans are longing for. It kinda covers all shades of Savatage's sound, probably coz several songs are based on ideas of Criss Oliva... Check out: The Evil Beside You, End Times, The Answer and Push It To The Limit.
Savatage fans are waiting for a new album of Savatage and this one is closer to it then the debut. What the new Circle II Circle album will bring, time will tell, just wait a few weeks. But I can recommend this one to all Savatage fans and epic power metal fans. But it has to stand the fest of time, perhaps one day it'll be a classic like Hall Of The Mountain King or Gutter Ballet...


8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

up






Straight-Jacket Memoirs

Straight-Jacket Memoirs
(AFM Records - 2006)


With this single Jon Oliva's Pain announce the coming of their sophomore albums - Maniacal Renderings. On this single are 2 new songs and 2 live tracks, the song The Evil Beside You is presented in an edited version and a full - means album - version. The Evil Beside You is showing Savatage mastermind Jon Oliva and his Pain quite heavy, a bit bombastic and the vocals are sounding a bit mean. The edited version is about 90 seconds shortened, taken off the opening acoustic guitar part. The album version would have done - at least for Europe where we don't have any metal radio stations and the ones who play metal will play the album version, too. With Time To Die they present a song which could have been on Hall Of The Mountain King... It sounds very much like something of the Oliva brothers. This is what Savatage fans are longing for!
Additionally there are 2 live tracks which been recorded last year, but don't expect the quality of a live album. This is more a bonus for the fans who saw them live last year. But a nice idea to add some live tracks, even if I would have chosen others.
The new tracks give the impression that Maniacal Renderings will be more like old Savatage then their debut. Let's wait and see. Meanwhile this is a nice appetizer.


7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

up






'Tage Mahal

'Tage Mahal
(Steamhammer - 2004)


In 2001 Savatage released Poets And Madmen. Now Jon Oliva is back with his solo project Jon Oliva's Pain. What to expect? Most have high expectations which Jon Oliva in my opinion can't fullfil. Even if with The Dark they chose one of the better tracks as opener. But I think the wrong pick to start with, coz it starts very slow with piano and almost spoken words before they start full force. This song could have been on Poets And Madmen... The song People Say Gimme Some Hell is with a groovy bass riff and sounds a little electronic.... Lyrically Mr. Oliva found a way to use many of Savatage's song titles. The chorus is Savatage-like, but there is something missing in my opinion. For me this song doesn't sound homogenous... Like they tried hard to sound more modern. With No Escape they revive the days when Oliva was Savatage's singer... Father, Son, Holy Ghost is Oliva's song to remind people of 9-11. And one of the better tracks.
With Guardian Of Forever Jon Oliva's Pain recorded another track which starts slowly with piano, but this time it becomes a more mid-tempo epic one. The track Walk Alone is starting just with piano and Oliva's voice, then they band joins in. For some reason this song in my opinion doesn't fit into the album. The album doesn't sound homogenous, like a collection of songs which been written over years.
For me the best song is The Nonsensible Ravings Of The Lunatic Mind. This is what I expected. Probably a left-over from P&M at least the song title gives that idea... My highlight of 'Tage Mahal! Another good one is Outside The Door.
Actually I tend to skip to the next song after a minute or so of the song.... I soon get tired of the songs which isn't a good sign. Perhaps my expectations been too high, but even if vocally Poets And Madmen lacks the quality standard Savatage set with their previous album, I prefer P&M at least I listen to that one once in awhile. Even if I prefer other albums of them. This time it's hard for me to make a recommendation... I can just say, if you like Savatage then give it a try. But don't expect another Hall Of The Mountain King!


6 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

up

           2008-2010 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail: contact@ice-vajal.com


Bands J