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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
CD OLIVA RAISE THE CURTAIN REVIEW

OLIVA

RAISE THE CURTAIN

2013

 

 

PAINLESS

 

 

Putting aside the ‘Pain’ for a moment almost literally, the founder of Metal masters Savatage has released his first ever solo album combining as it does Jon’s Prog and 70’s Rock influences. And if Prog is your thing there’s certainly a lot to get excited about with the grooves. If you’re less of a Prog-head then the drums and swirling keys of opening track ‘Raise the Curtain’ might just be enough to put you off.

 

Taking it as read then that you’re at least Prog-inclined as you’re reading on then it’s worth noting that the album does contain material from Jon’s deceased brother and Savatage band-mate – Criss Oliva.

 

Sonically we’re in Savatage meets Yes on the set of a Broadway show territory.  The Prog though is primary with the Hammond being worked like it hasn’t in years, but there is more traditional Metal too – like ‘Soul Chaser’; there’s even some funk in the shape of ‘Ten Years’ – one of our favourites. It wouldn’t be Oliva without variety though would it? And there’s plenty more to catch your ear – from the balladic ‘I Know’ and ‘Soldier’ to the eastern-flavoured ‘Stalker’.

 

Best of all though is ‘Father Time’ whose first notes immediately brings The Doobies to mind before segueing into something Styx or Kansas might have conceived. It’s stirring stuff.

 

Jon took most of the instrumentation on board himself (as well as putting in a great vocal performance) and despite the scattered nature of the pieces (from funk to the semi-Country ‘Can’t Get Away’) it’s all tied together with Proggy string. It’s a more than interesting take on 70’s Prog and I’m sure Criss would be happy with the results.
 

 

 

 

Mark Diggins

 

CD OLIVA RAISE THE CURTAIN REVIEW 2013