1983 - Sirens.
1987 - Hall Of The Moutain King.
1989 - Gutter Ballet.
1991 - Streets: A Rock Opera.
1993 - Edge Of Thorns.
way more Helter Skelter.

April 11, 1983 - 2023: 40 years of: Sirens.

The genesis of American powermetal.

Down in the Sunshine State, almost a decade before the deathmetal assault, dwelled the NWOBHM attack of AVATAR. Influenced by the new 1980-81-82 Eurometal explosion, this unit would morph and approach the calling of the wild, with a progressive outlook. Heavymetal world, please welcome to the arena of pleasure: SAVATAGE.

The crush is imminent, the arenarock vocals are imminent as the "Sirens" wailed high above the scene. Powerful powermetal makes a stand on "Holocaust", the EXCITER-type fast-cut "Rage", while both "Living For The Night" and "By The Grace Of The Witch" are top-quality high excitement heavymetal roller-coasters.

No decibel-limits are applied on "Midas Knight" and the tyrannical thrashmetal tangent of "City Beneath The Surface". Hello from the gutter, all aboard children of the night: this is mean-metal.

Released on independent-label Par Records, the Sirens LP's track-listing has been edited due to the long-player's available running-time so the remaining tracks were later released on 1984's The Dungeons Are Calling EP. Yet all 15 songs were written in the same mindset and recorded during the same sessions.

Created by both Oliva brothers, this band was hitting hard and it was about time American acts incorporated Euro / gothic influences in their hardrock / heavymetal diet ...SAVATAGE IS THE CURE !

More metal and more might, now under major-label Atlantic Records, would surface on Max Norman's 1985 produced fistful of metal Power Of The Night LP.

Sirens = full LP
The Dungeons Are Calling = full EP

September 28, 1987 - 2022: 35 years of: Hall Of The Mountain King.

The birth of American melodicrock.

In a sea of glamrock Hollywoodians, the Floridian SAVATAGE broke far away from the trend. After the lukewarm appeal of 1986's Fight For The Rock LP, re-focused and re-metalized they would now ...enter the Hall.

Barely "24 Hrs. Ago" between the then SAVATAGE, to the now SAVATAGE. Overdriven and biting back, this new revitalized entity means serious business. Explore epicmetal as we walk through the journey of "Beyond The Doors Of The Dark" and the strong arenarock aggressions of "Devastation".

The electrified hard-edged "Hall Of The Mountain King" leading title-track punches the hair-scene with a solid left knock-out, while more dark metal vibes oozes on "The Price You Pay" and the fast powermetal RPMs of "White Witch".

The lavish incorporation of Gustav Holst's futuristic 1914 "The Planets" morphed into Edvard Grieg's 1875 classical masterpiece "In The Hall Of The Mountain King" in the hardrocked "Prelude To Madness" instru-metal piece, is orchestral wizardry at best: melodicrock is born.

The Hall Of The Mountain King LP is a percussive statement from SAVATAGE, the first full fledge collaboration with visionary writer / producer Paul O'Neill ...Jon and Criss had found their match. The Hall Of The Mountain King LP is the band's turning-point into their very own brand-signature of melodic / symphonic hardrock. A long-term brand that will further bloom into the stratosphere with 1989's grandiose theater-metal mammoth: the Gutter Ballet LP.

Welcome back into the rock arena:
-The Grit
-The Crunch
-The Cannons &
-The Thunder

Hall Of The Mountain King = video
Hall Of The Mountain King = full LP
Interview in 1987
Live in Detroit in 1987

December 1, 1989 - 2019: 30 years of: Gutter Ballet.

A mix of raw power and heavenly melodicrock, infused by progressive symphonies, performed in a heavy theatrical-rock set ...guess the band ?

...the iconic SAVATAGE is the answer !

1989 is the creative pinnacle for hardrock and thrashmetal, yet the Floridian-boys strayed far away from both scenes, crafting and perfecting a unique sound of their own.

While 1987's Hall Of The Mountain King is the first awakening of the SAVATAGE signature-sound, it is also the first of many LPs to feature producer/writer/fifth member Paul O'Neill. This union would catapult the band into rock-stardom with their 8-album collaboration and later furthermore with the multi-Platinum selling heavyweight supergroup TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA. Rock-fighters of the night, SAVATAGE now features exquisite piano and rich progressive melodies, all of these where fully bloomed on the mature 1989's tour-de-force rock masterpiece: Gutter Ballet.

The album's opener "Of Rage And War" is just that, a blazing heavymetal track that bites down hard. The instrumental "Temptation Revelation" interlude showcases top quality musicianship by guitarist Criss Oliva and eerie atmospheric keyboard landscapes ...and now the tearful "When The Crowds Are Gone" should've been a Top 40FM hit this one is a MEAT LOAF-type emotion-filled power-rock mid-paced number. Balls-to-the-wall riffing kicks hard on "She's In love", another old-school cut that leaves us all in awe while "The Unholy" wipes the floor with some more slick metal-riffs.

And now ...the pièce-de-résistance:

Epicness takes a stand on top of the hardrock-Everest and reaches biblical proportions on the glorious show-stopper "Gutter Ballet". Directly inspired by the 1986 blockbuster musical "The Phantom Of The Opera", "Gutter Ballet" is hardrock's strongest powerballad ever to be written and performed. The grandiose piece starts-off with a 1:23sec silky piano-intro and then all hells breaks loose. Fist-pumping heavymetal rhythms in a monumental start-stop riff and Jon Oliva's angelic / demonic voice. The progressive guitars builds-up to the ultimate metal-climax as the lead-guitar machine-guns away at the 3:54sec mark.

Magic and majestic ...a heavymetal "Bohemian Rhapsody", pure symphonic operatic heavyness, geniusly wrapped in piano and string orchestration. One of the greatest heavymetal powerballads ever ...simply: un-touch-a-ble ! There was nothing like it before and nothing like it ever since.

For your ecstatic pleasure, please review the following material: Gutter Ballet, the music-video.

While the metal-world wasn't ready for intricate melodicrock in 1989, Gutter Ballet left a massive foot-print into the rock / metal saturated-market of the era ...a decade before Europeans took over and re-electrified the genre with acts like RHAPSODY, SONATA ARTICA and NIGHTWISH.

Since 2002 SAVATAGE are currently on hiatus, yet their legacy remains unmatched, has throughout the 90s they became a farm for metal key-players (Zak Stevens, Al Pitrelli, Chris Caffery, Jack Frost and Alex Skolnick) as well as a purveyor of fine top-class US melodic-powermetal.

When The Crowds Are Gone = video
Gutter Ballet = full LP
Interview at MuchMusic in 1990
Live in 1990
Gutter Ballet live by TSO in 2014
some band

October 4, 1991 - 2021: 30 years of: Streets: A Rock Opera.

Leave the hall, thru the gutter and you'll end up on the streets ...De-Tox welcomes you downtown.

While 1991 shall be remembered in the history-books as a crossroad of heavymetal downfall and alternative revolution. It should also be noted that SAVATAGE held the melodicrock fort, standing strong and tall, even throughout the turbulent hip 90s.

Epic intro-entrance of the massive "Streets" title-cut, is where all of the elements of metal and classicrock clashes into a beautiful supernova ala "24 Hrs Ago". Followed by the holy-rockin' "Jesus Saves" where we learn a little bit more about the record's main-character: D.T. Jesus.

The concept-album's story-line continues on the mid-paced "Tonight He Grins Again" and the crunchy-madness of "Can You Hear Me Now". Diametrically, piano-driven ballads like "A Little Too Far" and the even more epic "St. Patrick's" paints a different mood. More headbanging rockers sets the stage afire with "You're Alive" + "Sammy And Tex", the riff-raff of "Agony And Ecstasy" and then with the build-up of the monumental "New-York City Don't Mean Nothing".

The finally released 2013 fully narrated CD-version, displays a different angle on this rock-adventure, AKA the complete-story. Co-written with genius producer Paul O'Neill, with a Broadway play in mind, these extra interlude-segments have been kept under wraps for 20+ years.

Out of the gutter and left into the chaotic trash-littered inner-city streets, this seventh record is yet still somewhat ignored by mainstream-metal, way out of the limelights of commercial L.A.-rock. Written by poets and madmen, Streets is a challenging testament to SAVATAGE's superior musicianship.

Later, singer Jon Oliva would take a back-seat as the dungeons where calling and welcomed new frontman Zak Stevens, on the melodic 1993 Edge Of Thorns CD.

Jesus Saves = video
Streets: A Rock Opera = full CD
Interview in 1991
Live in Holland in 1991

April 6, 1993 - 2023: 30 years of: Edge Of Thorns.

The fine shiny diamond of 1993.

Past beyond the alternative tidalwave, look above the hype and the smelly trends. Yes the downfall of hardrock was a tough event to swallow, but some bands have kept the magic alive and some even went above and beyond the call of duty. From the farthest away from Seattle, comes another tour-de-force from Tampa veterans SAVATAGE. And this time, there's a new kid behind the mike: Zachary Stevens.

Beautiful piano opens-up as crunchy-guitars rips the mood in half. The mid-heavy "Edge Of Thorns" displays controlled rage and focused energy that no other band could master. Unison breakdown-leads and operatic-vocal lines, this 5:56sec is all the top quality elements of perfect melodicrock, in a single cut. 1993's best hardrock piece, bar-none !

Some headbanging fun is found on "He Carves His Stone", the high-stamina "Lights Out" and the face-stomper "Damien" ...from majestic melodies to maniacal-metal.

The "Labyrinths" interlude is another epic Oliva + Oliva + O'Neill signature that drives into the "Follow Me" rock rollercoaster, where Stevens shines high. The Japan-only bonustrack "Shotgun Innocence" might be the band's heaviest heavymetal cut to date ...true power of the night.

After 1991's highly audacious-concept Streets: A Rock Opera CD, the SAVA-guys takes us down for another ride through the gutter of melodic-rock heaven. The Edge Of Thorns CD is a shiny diamond on the American hardrock landscape, from a band that surpassed all of their peers ...from firing fury to fantastic finesse.

Sadly, one normal evening would turn into a fateful night in October. Instant catastrophe, as a drunk-driver stroke Criss Oliva's vehicle and took him away, one of the scene's best guitar-player. In tears and commitment, his brother Jon would vow to continue the band and spread the music, to keep Criss's spirit alive. The comeback would arise with 1994's emotionally charged Handful Of Rain CD, with Alex Skolnick on guitars.

RIP Criss Oliva (1963-1993)

Edge Of Thorns = video
Sleep = video
Edge Of Thorns = full CD
Interview in Berlin in 1993
Live in Chicago in 1993


Frères métalliques



(c) (p) 2017-2024 All Rights Reserved. Tous Droits Réservés.