John Oliva's Pain
John Oliva's Pain “Tage Mahal” SPV America 2005 --Ken Pierce
|Track Listing1. The Dark|
2. People Say – Gimme Some Hell
3. Guardian Of Forever
4. Slipping Away
5. Walk Alone
6. The Non Sensible Ravings Of The Lunatic Mind
7. No Escape
8. Father, Son, Holy Ghost
9. All The Time
10. Nowhere To Run
12. Outside The Door
13. Fly Away
Hear Ye! Hear Ye! The “Mountain King” has returned to the Legions of Metal with a solid piece of music for all to enjoy. Yes, Jon Oliva the original voice power behind the influential power metal band Savatage is back with the debut CD from his new band “Jon Oliva’s Pain”. Entitled “Tage Mahal” the piece starts with Jon solo on the keyboard before the band kicks in. When they do it simply rocks. Given Jon’s past history with Savatage, the CD holds a very similar feel to it. As a matter of fact I instantly was reminded of the Savatage epic “Streets-A Rock Opera” when I started playing it. This CD was one of my favorites in the back catalog, and is a worthwhile companion piece of music to it.
The group is made up from former members of Zack Stevens band “Circle II Circle”. While I am not sure of the real reasons for this being the case, I am more than happy to report that they sound fantastic under Jon’s direction. The lineup is built up of Jon of course on vocals with Matt LaPorte (guitar), John Zahner (keyboards), Kevin Rothney (bass) and Christopher Kinder (drums). I admit a little surprise in noticing that Jon was not credited on the album for playing keyboards. Everytime I witnessed Savatage in action, Jon played, and did it quite well.
My high rating was the result of repeated listens and a difficulty in picking out one or two very favorite tracks. My copy had no lyrics page as it was an advance and I would have enjoyed to see the content of the tunes. I am guessing it can be researched via the homepage which I have provided below. The fans of of Jon as a performer and writer will enjoy this CD. There is just so much of the Savatage vibe going on in this and this sound has been missing in Metal for a couple of years now. My research has also found out that some of the tracks were supposed to be Savatage songs but were used for this piece instead. If this is misinformation, the bottom line is no matter what is written there will always be a feel of Tage in it, because that has made up Jon for over 2 decades. It is not easily lost, and I prefer it that way.
I have seen statements from Oliva, stating that there are plans to release some additional music, as well as a live DVD. It is my hope that when the live shows happen that there will be some Savatage music in there. Whether Savatage is set to return sometime is anybodys best guess. This year also saw the release of Chris Caffery’s debut CD “Faces”. That review can be read elsewhere on this site. Given these projects that everyone is involved it, it makes you wonder. Since this was one of the major players that helped to define the term Power Metal, I hope something comes from the camp sooner rather than later. Until then, enjoy these killer CDs from the members.
John Oliva’s Pain Site: www.jonoliva.net
--Ken Pierce 01.28.05