Hard Rock Hideout’s Stone - Picking the “top ten list” of anything in life is not that easy. Choosing my Top Ten Albums Of 2010 proved to be more daunting than I had initially expected, with there being multiple dozens of excellent albums released this past year, spanning across each sub-genre of Metal, not to mention Hard Rock and Rock as well. I decided this year, to pick out only those ten albums that I can honestly say moved me… as a complete album of songs. I have neverlimited my ears, mind and soul to just Metal, anyone who knows me, understands this. Therefore, finding an album in my “top ten” that is not full-throttle, pedal to the Metal, shouldn’t come across as scandalous.
An album that makes my “top ten” list will move me emotionally, sending signals to my senses that either A: psyches-me-out of my Metal mind or B: makes me feel as though I’ve found a long lost friend, a friend I’ll now have for the rest of my Metal life. Of course quality musicianship, songwriting and overall production comes into play… only those three attributes will fall into place when an album is truly special to me.
Maybe you’ll enjoy, become slightly amused and or confused by my Top Ten Albums Of 2010. Either way, my intent is to showcase and appluad these albums and the bands that created them. Hopefully I peak your interest to buy an album or two from this list. These are the albums that will stand the test of my Metal time on Earth.
KATAKLYSM epitomizes the marriage of melodic and heavy… and succeeds so brilliantly in a Death Metal genre, a genre that has profoundly matured into mandatory importance in my Metal history book, many full moons ago. I’ll say this time and again, when Maurizio Iacono sings, I listen. Jean-Francois Dagenais on guitar is not just impressive, his playing is beyond that. If Death Metal needed “that band” to bridge the gap between the meat & potatoes and the progressive, then KATAKLYSM is that band. “Heaven’s Venom” is more than just another excellent Melodic Death Metal album, it is a collective “sound” and “vibe” that makes me realize that maybe “extreme” should be replaced with “pristine” when describing these ten songs.
On December 2, 2010, I posted a review on Heaven’s Venom, giving more Metal details as to why KATAKLYSM is sitting atop my tier of Metal legendary bands. Clicking the link above will take you there!
The “Classic” Krokus lineup returned in 2010 to bring their Hard Rockin’ brand back… to kick our asses! Metal be thy name, Krokus DID kick my ass with “Hoodoo” and all I can say is: “thank you sirs, may I have more?” A (gasp) fun album is “Hoodoo”, that gives a wink and a smile to the gloriously loud and colorful 80’s decade of Arena Rock and good times thrills. If the songs “Too Hot” and “Hoodoo Woman” doesn’t get your Hard Rock adrenaline flowing, then maybe you should consider living as a hermit in the forests of Maine.
On April 27, 2010, I reviewed Hoodoo and did not hold back my Hard Rockin’ affection for this timeless Hard Rockin’ band. Click on the link above to see it!
Jon Oliva is a man of music. He proves this on “Festival”, by connecting the Rock ‘N’ Roll dots, Jon Oliva has his Classic Rock influences of the Beatles and The Electric Light Orchestra coexisting with the Savatage blood that flows through his ultra-talented veins. Is “Festival” a Heavy Metal album? On the surface it is… only once you really listen to this album a few dozen times, you might very well agree with me that “Festival” is a celebration of Jon Oliva’s musical career. The dark themes and nightmarish lyrics behold a realism that I find stunning, making me hope and pray that Jon Oliva and his band will create a “Festival”… part 2.
On April 15, 2010, my review for “Festival” was posted on Hard Rock Hideout. Click on the link above to read all about it!
What Greg Hampton (founding member, lead guitarist & vocalist) created with his band The New Czars, is one of the finest blends of Rock Music styles my ears have heard in years. “Doomsday Revolution” takes a Modern Hard Rock lead, with Industrial and Funk experimentation weaved within it’s lustrous interior. Greg Hampton might very well be the “missing link” within a generation of Rock vocal legends such as Glenn Hughes, Ian Gillan, David Coverdale and yes… Robert Plant. If that sounds too good to be true, then get yourself a copy of “Doomsday Revolution” and thank Stone for serving you right.
Back on September 8, 2010, I posted a detailed album review for Doomsday Revolution. You can click the link above if you want to read all about it!
“Nightmare” is the fifth studio album from A7X and very well should be anointed as their very best. Powerful, angry and raging is “God Hates Us”, while the album opener “Nightmare” speeds on with it’s relentless up-tempo that makes me feel like I belong in the pit, carrying on like a psyched-out Metalhead from 1989. Seriously, what A7X has accomplished with “Nightmare” is nothing short of a Metal miracle, with having to cope with the loss of Jimmy “The Reverend” Sullivan. I won’t hold back calling this “Nightmare” album the “Back In Black” or “Black Album” of A7X’s catalog.
On November 9, 2010, my review for “Nightmare” was posted on Hard Rock Hideout. Check it out by clicking the link below!
What’s this? A Hard Rock three piece? A Modern Hard Rock three piece? Can these guys play? Who invited them to the party? Stone will tell you right now… KOPEK is a three piece, they are a Hard Rock band and they bought the copyright for the word relevance. By the way, KOPEK will be invited to the party and they are bringing with them a case of Hard Rock whoop ass that will have you begging “them” for more. Guitarist and vocalist Daniel Jordan brings that “it” factor to the Hard Rock table, “it” being his charisma that resonates from each and every song I hear on “White Collar Lies”. Drummer Shane Cooney and bassist Brad Kinsella round out this Hard Rockin’ trio from Dublin, Ireland, making them a band I recommend to every breathing human being on Earth.
On June 28, 2010, I presented to the world, an album review for White Collar Lies. If you want to know more about this KOPEK album that you should really buy, then click the link above… it will serve you right!
This new DANZIG album could have easily been titled: “How Glenn Danzig Got His Groove Back”. “Deth Red Sabaoth” is a return to dark form for Glenn, with each song carrying it’s worthy weight of thump and stump heaviness. Dare I say once again… Old School? These flashbacks to the Heavy Metal glory years never hurt any band and DANZIG churns out the songs that I want to hear on a long, lost, dark nights cruise through the remote countryside. “Black Candy”, Deth Red Moon” and “Ju Ju Bone” are the three songs that stand-out among, well, 11 stand-out songs. Each time I listen to “Deth Red Sabaoth” I realize wholly, that Glenn Danzig is back… and that makes Stone feel very Metal comfy.
On July 22, 2010, my review for “Deth Red Sabaoth” was posted on Hard Rock Hideout. Check it out for yourself by clicking the link above!
An Udo-less Accept is hard to “accept”… unless you listen to “Blood Of The Nations”. Mark Tornillo made me a believer from the first note he bellows on “Beat The Bastards”, while not being an Udo clone, Mark just accomplished what always came natural to him… that’s to sing like an Old School Metal warrior! With a near perfect version of the original Accept lineup grinding out 14 songs, at the culmination of my first listen to this album I wanted MORE! This is an Accept album that solidifies this band’s Heavy Metal importance and existence of both past and present. “Blood Of The Nations” also reminds all of us aging Metalheads, that Old School Heavy Metal dreams really do come true.
On September 14, 2010, I posted a very psyched-out review for this Blood Of The Nations album. Check it out if you like, by clicking the link above!
#2 (Tie) EXODUS – EXHIBIT B: THE HUMAN CONDITION
Why have I made it a “tie” between EXODUS – Exhibit B: The Human Condition and OVERKILL -Ironbound? The answer is simple… Thrash Metal albums, from these two ultra-legends, sounding this damn outstanding, has fortunately collided with an uncanny equality. Choosing between these two albums as which is best, is liking choosing between two iced mugs of Blue Moon Ale. Pick ‘em. Founding members Gary Holt (guitar) and Tom Hunting (drums) are the Metal backbone to Exodus being not just pioneers of Thrash Metal, Exodus is one of this genre’s true leaders in 2010. This album is as brutal as any that Exodus has released… and these guys sound tighter than ever!
#2 (Tie) OVERKILL - IRONBOUND
As with Exodus, Overkill are pioneers of the Thrash Metal movement that has seen a resurgence of popularity that reminds me of the 80’s. “Ironbound” is full-blown and in-your-face Thrash Metal that glistens with Old School hunger and never relents with it’s crushing and force driven songs. Founding members Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth (vocals) and D.D. Verni (bass) are living proof that they can create and play Thrash Metal for 30 years and counting, with different lineups, while never losing a touch of relevance. After three decades of albums, Overkill quite possibly made their verybest with “Ironbound.”
On March 8, 2010, I reviewed “Ironbound” on Hard Rock Hideout. Click the header link above read the complete details!
#1 SCORPIONS – STING IN THE TAIL
“Sting In The Tail” radiates every quality that I yearn for in choosing a #1 album: heaviness, hardness, melodic, memorable, emotional and Old School… all wrapped up into one celebratory goodbye after spanning nearly five decades of existence. This album dominated my Metal soul like none other in 2010, even the ballads “The Good Die Young” and “The Best Is Yet To Come” made an instant impact on me… and I never wave the flag for ballads that often. Klaus Meine sounds as incredible as ever on vocals, while this entire band plays with the fire of twenty year olds. “Sting In The Tail” was not a return to the glory days of 80’s Heavy Metal, instead, this album showcases just how electrifying the Scorpions still are after so many decades. The Scorpions go out proving to me, they never lost their edge. There will never be another band like the Scorpions.
Back on April 3, 2010, I posted a detailed album review on Sting In The Tail. Click the large header below, to read about how much I really dig this Scorpions album!
LONG LIVE METAL.
THANK YOU SCORPIONS.
LONG LIVE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL.
JON OLIVA – has made quite the mark on the music industry. Since 1978, Jon Oliva has been involved in making music… after all, as you will later find out, Jon Oliva is a man of music. A founding member, along with his late brother Criss Oliva, of the influential and legendary Progressive Metal Band -Savatage. As Jon Oliva will elaborate, later in this interview, Savatage has since been transformed into the ultra world popular – Trans Siberian Orchestra, in which Jon Oliva is most personally proud of.
In the midst of of Jon Oliva’s music career, he has also founded and nurtured his Heavy Metal brainchild known as Jon Oliva’s Pain, with four studio albums released since 2004. Jon Oliva’s Pain has recently released a fourth studio album on AFM Records titled, “Festival”, this very same month on April 13th. Recently, Jon Oliva took the time from his busy schedule to talk to Hard Rock Hideout about his terrific new album and the music he has created and loves. Here’s what Jon Oliva had to say:
HRH: Jon, I can’t stop listening to “Festival”, I’m really hooked! An incredible album you made here!
Jon Oliva: Thank you, “Festival” really is an album that grows on you each time you listen to it.
HRH: As with all of the music you have created or helped to create, it’s always been a listening experience for me. “Festival” continues this trend. How did you prepare your thoughts and ideas for this new and amazing album?
Jon Oliva: There’s a lot of little things in the background. The last album, (“Global Warning”/AFM Records), was an experimental album and I pretty much got that out of my system. I wanted to play guitar, so when we were on tour in Europe, “Festival” was written. We had an amp and a 4-track riding around Europe! I wanted a darker, old school Savatage type album, a back to basics without losing any weird stuff that is heard in the songs.
HRH: “Festival” showcases your musical diversity, all the while maintaining a dark, hard and heavy style. Were there any last second double guessing happening while in the studio?
Jon Oliva: Not really, there was a plan. I was confident when we went in and prepared. “Festival” is different from the last three (John Oliva’s Pain) albums, every musical thing was written and ready to go. There was no searching for parts, no searching for keyboard parts, no stress. This was a very happy album to make.
HRH: The song “Now” has an uncanny Classic Rock feel to me, with a tad of ELO (Electric Light Orchestra) flavor and still it’s Jon Oliva’s Pain. Is that accurate for me to state?
Jon Oliva: Sure! A big influence on me is ELO, I love that band! Back when I was eighteen years old, my bother Criss and I wrote the chorus for this song in grandmas garage. After all those years, I pulled the tape out, wrote a new verse for it, inserted the chorus and this song, “Now”, is the result. “Now” was half written in 1978!
HRH: That’s really cool, the story behind “Now”.
HRH: “Death Rides A Black Horse” gives me goose bumps, such an epic power it delivers. How did this song come about?
Jon Oliva: From a nightmare. Lyrically based on nightmares are all my songs. I saw that guy with the long scythe, it was death coming through the clouds and he had fire in his eyes. What I remember from nightmares I elaborate on it, lyrically. I have nephews in the military and their slogan is this song title, so I thought it was a great name for a song! I wanted to do it for them, adding their slogan as the song title. “Now” and “Lies” are two songs not based on a dream or nightmare though. “Living On The Edge” is about being chased by something I cannot see, all I am seeing is blackness ahead of the lines in the road. The storyteller comes out in me through songs, I just improvise the ending of these nightmares I have.
HRH: It’s amazing and unique, these nightmares you have that eventually become songs.
Jon Oliva: Since I was a kid, I always have nightmares, every night. As a kid, I would watch “Creature Feature” (a Saturday morning/classic horror movie matinee on television) and my mom would warn me, “you’ll have nightmares if you watch this stuff!” My brain is having a party up there and this is what comes out in my sleep!
HRH: Each time I listen to “Festival” I get the perception that there is no slowing down Jon Oliva. How true is my perception?
Jon Oliva: Very true. There is a lot going on in my life. I am creating as much music as I can, while I can still do it. I’m not twenty one anymore and eventually it will all stop. I still have a lot of stuff on tape to pull out and work on. I like to get up and get out there! As I get older, I have acquired a sense of urgency. Trans Siberian Orchestra helps, I get lots of music through them that doesn’t suit John Oliva’s Pain, the Hard Rock and heavy side of Pain. The soft and more tender music I write suits Trans Siberian Orchestra.
HRH: Is there a North American tour on the horizon for Jon Oliva’s Pain?
Jon Oliva: I’m looking at a mid September to late September window, with a few dates in the Northeast and I’m working on setting this up. Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York would be the area for these dates. The economy is bad and the drinking age is twenty one. The club scene is killed with the drinking age of twenty one. The clubs lose fifty percent of their business with twenty one being the drinking age.
HRH: I always wonder, how much of a deterrent to alcohol this drinking age of twenty one really is.
Jon Oliva: It’s not a deterrent. When we were young, you would still gather somewhere to drink and play music.
HRH: Yeah, my buddies and I would set up in a remote field in the woods, crank up some Metal and let the keg beer flow!
Jon Oliva: Exactly! That’s what we did.
HRH: Who were your musical influences growing up and even now?
Jon Oliva: The Beatles and ELO. ELO’s music is so melodic. I saw ELO in concert in Florida, sometime in the late 70’s. ELO had this enormous spaceship on stage, it was like going to see Alice Cooper for the first time!
HRH: Was it the “Out Of The Blue” tour?
Jon Oliva: I believe it was. It was around 1977 and 1978.
Jon Oliva: Theater Rock is what I’ve always been into and inspired by. People get bored at a concert without entertainment on stage, you might as well stay home and listen to the album or CD instead. If you are really into ELO, Klaatu is a band you should look into. I’ve always loved this band’s music. They were a Canadian Progressive Rock band. Klaatu is named after a character in the science fiction movie “The Day The Earth Stood Still”.
HRH: Thanks Jon, I’ll have to definitely check out Klaatu.
HRH: Which instrument, that you play, gives you the most satisfaction?
Jon Oliva: The piano. There’s nothing like playing a real piano and singing. The guitar also, it’s a weird combination. I can get real emotion on the keyboards, yet it transposes better on guitar. Still, the touch and feel on a piano is something special.
HRH: Will Trans Siberian Orchestra return with a new Christmas theme in the future?
Jon Oliva: I’m not sure, it’s Paul O’Neill’s decision. Paul has lot’s of projects set up that he wants to get out.
HRH: Jon, you have seen and done it all in the world of music. What moment or moments in your career make you the most proud?
Jon Oliva: Becoming so successful with Trans Siberian Orchestra. Trans Siberian Orchestra is Savatage. We worked very long on Savatage and Trans Siberian Orchestra put a cap on Savatage, it’s all the same people. It was always as if we never could get over the hump, (with Savatage), where Savatage was a big name band, by changing the name to Trans Siberian Orchestra, it broadened the whole thing. Trans Siberian Orchestra was a natural progression to go to, there are no limitations, many musicians and singers are featured while the nucleus of Savatage is there. We have the same writers in Paul O’Neill and myself. The name and versatility of Savatage changed.
Living on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and trying to survive since 1980, we, (Savatage), would get beaten down and people would stomp on us! Then we got back up for another ten rounds with Mike Tyson and finally delivered that Buster Douglas punch with Trans Siberian Orchestra! Trans Siberian Orchestra is the biggest band, if not, one of the biggest bands in America today, two shows sell out a day! Currently, “Beethoven’s Last Night” is on tour.
HRH: Is music all about life or is life all about music?
Jon Oliva: Music is all about life! Music is personal experiences, desires, dreams, loves and losses. Music is life with a tune!
If Jon Oliva has proven one thing throughout his music career, it’s that he is never at a loss for storytelling through song. Jon Oliva’s Pain is just another amazing band that he has nurtured and built to stand the test of time. Festival is the newest release from Jon Oliva’s Pain, (released on April 13, 2010 in the U.S.). Festival is just that… a festival of songs that embody horror, nightmarish stories and the human experience.
If you are hankering for a new Heavy Metal album, that touches on some diverse musical material, while lending some dark themes lyrically, Festival should satisfy your palette. Need not worry though, this album delivers the hard and heavy that has grown on me considerably, which should do the same for any Jon Oliva’s Pain or Heavy Metal fan, in all likelihood. Jon Oliva is no stranger to atmospherics and chilling sound effects… Jon Oliva’s Pain delivers such mentioned on the opening track Festival. The chilling and carnival like sound effects open Festival, with spine curdling thunder storm atmospherics that explodes the creep-out meter.
“Death Rides A Black Horse” is a superior listen into a nightmare that engages with its epic and haunting keyboards. Without question, I cannot get “Death Rides A Black Horse” out of my mind ever since I first heard it, the atmospheric keyboards are what has captivated me so incredibly. This very easily can be the highlight song, that is played at the culmination of an epic horror film. “Eyes of hell burn in his eyes” are just a sampling of the lyrical content this song bestows… the grim reaper rides again through Jon Oliva’s Pain!
The one word that comes to mind while listening to Festival, is that these songs embody the integrity and substance of a man who knows how to write the utmost credible music and lyrics. Now has the sound and flavor of late 1970’s Electric Light Orchestra, while never leaving the threads of Jon Oliva’s Pain far behind.”Lies” upholds a Power Metal meets Traditional Heavy Metal union. Jon Oliva’s vocals on “Lies” reminds me of just how Heavy Metal vocals can pierce through a song with uncanny resonance.
“Looking For Nothing” has a Beatle-esque coating, the music speaks tranquility, all the while brandishing a 1970’s Classic Rock sword. “Living On The Edge” jumps out at me as a psyche-you-out song that straddles dark lyrics with an electrifying hardness. This dramatic song finds its incredible balance within its memorable melodies, caught between the speed and paced heaviness of the music itself.
To comment on the totality of musicianship I hear on Festival, the only way I can describe the credibility of this Jon Oliva’s Pain lineup, is to state, please take the time to buy Festival and listen for yourself… honestly, these guys are that great at what they do. If there is that one song on Festival, that exemplifies what I honestly mean here, it is “Winter Haven”. This song distinguishes itself amongst Festival as raising the music bar… and Jon Oliva’s Pain have succeeded in doing just that, in my Metal opinion.
Layered and textured are the songs throughout Festival, the ingredients and arrangements from a music mastermind in Jon Oliva comes through with heavy and soft results. I find both the heavy and soft sides of Festival, to be quite delectable for my music palette. This is a return to Old School form for Jon Oliva’s Pain, only it is presented with admirable conscientious care. If Jon Oliva set out to celebrate his interpretation of Heavy Metal, he has done so with Jon Oliva’s Pain and Festival… and I’m on board for this celebration.
Rating: Out of 10
01. Lies 6:18
02. Death Rides A Black Horse 5:28
03. Festival 4:22
04. Afterglow 6:50
05. Living On The Edge 5:10
06. Looking For Nothing 2:42
07. The Evil Within 4:36
08. Winter Haven 7:38
09. I Fear You 5:11
10. Now 3:51
Jon Oliva’s Pain is:
Jon Oliva – vocals, keyboards
Matt LaPorte – guitars
Tom McDyne – guitars
Kevin Rothney – bass
Christopher Kinder – drums
Festival, the fourth full-length from JON OLIVA’S PAIN, will be released in North America on April 12, 2010 via AFM Records! The CD, issued in Europe on February 19, entered the German Media Control chart at position No. 87. Festival was recorded at Morrisound Recording with Tom Morris. Check out video footage of OLIVA commenting on the recording and the first three tracks here (cover art included): http://tinyurl.com/ycxgbuy. Festival track-listing:
02. “Death Rides A Black Horse”
05. “Living On The Edge”
06. “Looking For Nothing”
07. “The Evil Within”
08. “Winter Haven”
09. “I Fear You”
In related news, the Savatage mastermind and his bandmates – guitarist Tom McDyne, former Circle II Circle members Matt LaPorte (guitar), Kevin Rothney (bass), John Zahner (keyboards) and Chris Kinder (drums) — have begun to announce their headlining Fall tour in support of the new release. Highlighting the trek will be the live-DVD concert filming at the 013 in Tilburg, Holland on October 15. Tentatively due in early 2011, it will mark the first official live DVD release with OLIVA handling all the vocal duties. It promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime show featuring an assault of Savatage classics and the four JON OLIVA’S PAIN CDs.
The band has two US dates confirmed later this month with more TBA. The JOP summer festival season is also taking shape with Graspop and Bang Your Head confirmed (and more to come).
4/24/2010 Bourbon Street Nightclub – New Port Richey, FL
4/30/2010 – 5/01/2010 Triton Power Cruise
5/15/2010 – 5/16/2010 Wacken Rock Brazil (Sao Paulo)
6/26/2010 – 6/27/2010 Graspop Metal Meeting Festival (Belgium)
7/06/2010 – 7/07/2010 Bang Your Head Festival (Germany)
10/01/2010 Prog Metal Night, Bamberg
10/02/2010 Turock – Essen, DE
10/05/2010 New Ballroom – Hamburg, DE
10/06/2010 Colos-Saal – Aschaffenburg, DE
10/09/2010 Kaminwerk – Memmingen, DE
10/10/2010 Werkstatt – Köln, DE
10/12/2010 Grillen – Colmar, FR
10/13/2010 Z7 – Pratteln, CH
10/15/2010 013 – Tilburg, NL
10/16/2010 Biebob – Vosselar, BE
JON OLIVA’S PAIN will release their fourth studio album “Festival” on February, 19, 2010. A bombastic title for a bombastic record, indeed.
After the more experimental last JOP album “Global Warning” from 2008, the songs of the new album are going “back to the basics” again. Less slow tracks, more Metal!
Like the master announced it some time ago, “Festival” could be described as a mix of “Hall Of The Mountain King” (Savatage) and the second JON OLIVA’S PAIN album “Maniacal Renderings”. Epic compositions encounter with rough, heavy rockers, all melt together by Jon´s unique style of composing. This album marks the next step in the continuing legacy of the “Mountain King”. It´s once again a unique and unmatched piece of work by one of the scene´s last originals.
Oliva is currently in Iowa to assist in programming the TSO light show… is there anything this guy can’t do??
JO has completed vocal tracking on a few songs with many additional trial runs now on tape. When he returns next week, he will finalize all his lead tracks and then we head on into massive, massive back-up singing…Oliva just never knows when to leave a good thing alone…hehe!
It is once again awe-inspiring to witness pure genious and power when it come to JO’s vocal tracks and his songwriting. Part of the staple JOP sound has become his ability to change characters and voices at will and to create incredibly interesting, thought provoking, passionate and down-right insane vocal melodies. Tom Morris and I have been pushing him to the edge (as JO requested), and we have met that challenge with great enthusiasm and also a bit of joy watching him suffer…. .
Oliva’s tenancious attitude, drive and full desire to do the best he can is only partially over-shadowed by the seemingly impossible task of singing songs that would require most of us to swallow mass consumptions of razor-blades in order to deliver what would be considered as torture to any metal music lover….We are all stoked to say the least, and proud of his commitment to giving all of you…all he has!
Laporte and McDine will finish things up this week. The string sections are almost complete as well. Matt, Kevin, myself, Oliva and guest singer Todd Latorre (Crimson Glory) will dive into back up singing next week.
From there it’s final reviews and begin mixing in early November. We will deliver the record on-time to AFM for our 2010 release.
Special thanks to Howard Helm, who has once again stepped in to lay down his amazing piano and keyboard tracks. Howard also played on Global Warning.
Also appearing on this CD will be the great Casey Grillo (supreme drummer of KAMELOT and an all around great guy). I am priviledged to call him my friend and welcome his contributions to the record. Casey will be helping to fill our need for a war-time drum corp section for the song “Death Rides a Black Horse”. Thank you Casey!
We once again thank you for the great support and pure enthusiasm for the next CD. So far, so good….we are all very happy with our progress
Jon Oliva’s Pain posted the following this evening:
Much is happening in the JOP camp so lets bring everyone up to speed.
JOP is currently in final negotiations with AFM Records for the release of our 4th CD (due out October 2009) and our first live DVD to be filmed in early 2010. We are planning a 2hr show with a setlist consisting of the 4 JOP Cd’s as well as a healthy assault of Savatage classics! We are very happy with our relatioship and agressive promotion that AFM Records has consistently delivered…and we are sincerely greatful for their support and dedication!
With regards to the upcoming CD…we have completed 90% of the arrangements for 11 songs plus 2 additional bonus tracks. This CD should prove to be much heavier and far more agressive overall than our previous releases. A few epic songs are always part of the equation but we wanted to make a record that was more in line with Maniacal Renderings meets Hall of Mountain King….and the current demo’s prove to be just that. We will begin recording at Morrisound Studio’s in July and deliver the record on time for an October release. Oliva continues to write at a feverish pace and he is hell bent on delivering one of his most agressive and powerful vocal performances to date!
The upcoming European Festival/club tour dates are almost complete. We are stoked to be hitting a number of countries that we have not yet performed in including Turkey, Romania and Finland. Tour dates are listed below with a few dates yet to be confirmed. This will be our busiest summer tour to date and a true testament to our increasing fan base who are supporting JOP and the rich Savatage history with great enthusiasm…Thank you all for making this and every tour possible.
See you on the road very soon…..
May 23: METAL DAYS FESTIVAL: Z7, Switzerland
May 24: WöRGL, Austria: Komma – Acoustic show
May 26: FRANKFURT, Germany: Sinkkasten Acoustic Show
May 27: DORTMUND, Germany: Garageland- Acoustic Show
May 29: ROCK TEMPLE : Kerkrade, Netherlands- Electric show
May 30: ROCK HARD FESTIVAL: Gelsenkirchen, Germany
May 31: ZOETEMEER NETHERLANDS: De Boeierji, Netherlands- Electric show
June 2: HAMBURG, Germany: Headbangers Ballroom – Acoustic Show
June 4: COPENHAGEN, Denmark: @ The Rock- Electric show
June 5: SWEDEN ROCK FESTIVAL: Sölvesborg, Sweden
June 6: FLENSBURG DE: Roxy Electric show
June 8: ROMANIA-Festival: Venue/location TBA
June 13: ISTANBUL,TURKEY: Venue/location TBA – Electric show
June 14: ISTANBUL,TURKEY: Venue/location TBA- Electric show
June 20: QUEENS OF METAL: Kleinwenkheim, Germany
June 21: THE METALWAY FESTIVAL: Zaragoza, Spain
June 23: NIEDERKRUCHTEN, Germany: Pitch Black- Acoustic Show
June 25: BANG YOUR HEAD FESTIVAL/WARM UP SHOW: Balingen, Germany
June 26: GRASPOP FESTIVAL: Dessel, Belgium
June 27: TUSKA FESTIVAL: Helsinki, Finland
JON OLIVA’S PAIN, CIRCLE II CIRCLE and MANTICORA are finalizing details for the first leg of their upcoming US tour. Both JOPand C2C are out in support of their new CD releases Global Warning and Delusions of Grandeur. This will mark the firsttime that Oliva has toured with JOP in the US in 4 years andnearly a decade since he has shared the stage with Zak Stevens!
Fans can expect a heavy assault of Savatage classics including a very special set with Zak Stevens. The tour kick’s off at Bourbon Street Nightclub in New Port Richey, Florida on September 20th and then on to the prestigious Progpower USA Festival in Atlanta from September 25-27. More U.S shows will be confirmed soon!
Oliva: “It has been far to long since I have had the chance to perform in the US and were going to pull out all the stops. My voice is in the best shape of my career, the band is kicking ass and performing with Zak, Circle II Circle and Manticora makes it that much more exciting. I’m really looking forward to getting re-acquainted with the “Legion” once again…it’s gonna be a blast”!
Confirmed dates include:
20 – Bourbon Street – Tampa, FL (JOP, Circle II Circle only)
24 – The Vinyl – Atlanta, GA (Circle II Circle, MIDNIGHT, ECLIPSED BY SANITY)
25 – ProgPower USA IX – Atlanta, GA (Manticora only)
27 – ProgPower USA IX – Atlanta, GA (JOP only)
29 – Pop’s – St Louis, MO
30 – Chicago City Limits – Schaumburg, IL
2 – The Intersection – Grand Rapids, MI
3 – I-Rock – Detroit, MI
4 – Agora Ballroom – Cleveland, OH
9 – The Haunt – Yonkers, NY
10 – Jaxx – Springfield, VA
11 – Volume 11 – Raleigh, NC
I started compiling the following list of New releases for 2008. This may not be a complete list, but so much great new music has arrived in 2008, so far, I though it would be a good idea to keep a running tab of what has come out, and what is on the way. The releases through August have been confirmed. Releases with a question mark have not been confirmed yet. This list will be updated as more news arrives.
Updated July 9, 2008
Drive By Truckers – Brigher Than Creation’s Dark
Airbourne – Running Wild (U.S. Release)
Bullet For My Valentine – Scream Aim Fire
Gamma Ray – Land of the Free, Part 2
Ayreon – 01011001
American Speedway – Ship of Fools
Lillian Axe – Love and War (Reissue)
Lillian Axe – S/T (Reissue)
Sleeze Beez – Screwed Blued & Tattooed (Reissue)
Sleeze Beez – Powertool (Reissue)
Stonerider – Three Legs of Trouble
Thieves & Liars – When Dreams Become Reality
Tiles – Fly Paper
Saint Daemon – In Shadows Lost From the Brave
Pagan’s Mind – God’s Equation
DVD – Iron Maiden – Live After Death
DVD – Scorpions – Live at Wacken Open Air 2006
DVD – Overkill – Live at Wacken Open Air 2007
DVD – Thin Lizzy – Live and Dangerous
Three – End is Begun
Pillar – For the Love of the Game
Avantasia – The Scarecrow
UFO – Phenomenon (Reissue)
UFO – No Heavy Pettin (Reissue)
UFO – Force It (Reissue)
Type O Negative – Dead Again (Red Version)
Hurricane – Over the Edge (Reissue)
Hurricane – Take What You Want (Reissue)
Hurricane – Slave To the Thrill (Reissue)
Hericane Alice – Tear the House Down (Reissue)
Baton Rouge – Shake Your Soul (Reissue)
Baton Rouge – Lights Out on The Playground (Reissue)
Wrathchild America – Climbing the Walls (Reissue)
Tangier – Four Winds (Reissue)
Tangier – Stranded (Reissue)
Danko Jones – Never Too Loud
King’s Call – No Alibi
Benedictum – Seasons of Tragedy
Inflikted – Cavalera Conspiracy
Saving Abel – S/T
Steve Stevens – Memory Crash
Firewind – The Premonition
DVD – Zebra
King Kobra – Ready to Strike (Reissue)
King Kobra – Thrill of a Lifetime (Reissue)
Icon – Right Between the Eyes (Reissue)
Black Tide – Light From Above
House of Lords – Come To My Kingdom
Warrior – Fighting For The Earth (Reissue)
Shannon – Angel in Disguise
Whitecross – 1987
Black Crowes – Warpaint
Diamond Head – Borrowed Time (Reissue)
Diamond Head – Canterbury (Reissue)
Fatal Smile – World Domination
Saints of the Underground – Love the Sin, Hate the Sinner
Theory of a Deadman – Scars & Souvenirs
Whitesnake – Good To Be Bad
Dominici – 03 A Trilogy Part 3
Asia – Phoenix
Testament – The Formation of Damnation
The Sword – Gods of The Earth
Dream Theater – Greatest Hit (And 21 other pretty cool songs)
P.O.D. – When Angels and Serpents Dance
Sevendust – Chapter VII: Hope and Sorrow
In Flames – Sense of Purpose
Kamelot – Ghost Opera: The Second Coming
Ministry – Cover Up
DVD – Axel Rudi Pell – Live Over Europe
Keel – Lay Down the Law (Reissue)
White Lion – Return of the Pride
Circle II Circle – Delusions of Grandeur
Crimson Glory – S/T (Reissue)
Crimson Glory – Transcendence (Reissue)
Tantric – The End Begins
Nine Inch Nails – Ghosts I – IV
Iron Maiden – Somewhere Back In Time: The Best Of 1980-1989
MSG – In the Midst of Beauty
3 Doors Down – S/T
Bombay Black – Psycho Magnet
Def Leppard – Songs From The Sparkle Lounge
Kip Winger – From the Moon To the Sun
Eden – Oblivion
King’s X – XV
M.ILL.ION – Thrill Of The Chase
Dokken – Lightning Strikes Again
10 Years – Division
Jon Oliva’s Pain – Global Warning
Flotsam and Jetsam – Cuatro (Reissue)
Gun Barrel – Outlaw invasion
Brother Firetribe – Heart Full of Fire
Circle II Circle – Delusions of Grandeur
Southern Gentleman – Valley of Fire
10 Years – Division
Glenn Hughes – First Underground Nuclear Kitchen
Souls of We – Let The Truth Be Known (Featuring George Lynch and London LeGrand)
Disturbed – Indestructible
Bret Michaels – Rock My World
Man Raze – Surreal
Motley Crue – Saints of Los Angeles
Judas Priest – Nostradamus (2 CD Set)
JORN – Lonely Are the Brave
Flotsam & Jetsam – When The Storm Comes Down (Reissue)
Clusterhead – Times of No Trust
Shinedown – The Sound of Madness
Harem Scarem – Hope
Valient Thorr – Immortalizer
The Dogs Divine – Way of Life
Stephen Pearcy – Under My Skin
Tesla – Comin Atcha Live – DVD
Hydrogyn – Deadly Passions
Gypsy Rose – S/T (Featuring David Reece)
Harem Scarem – Hope
Ritchie Kotzen – Live in San Paolo
Silent Rage – Four Letter World
Night Ranger – Hole in the Sun
Jet Black Stare - In This Life
Jesse James Dupree and Dixie Inc – Rev It Up and Go Go
Alice Cooper – Along Came a Spider
Black Sabbath – The Rules of Hell CD Boxset
Black Stone Cherry – Folklore & Superstition
Slipknot – All Hope is Gone
Trapt – Only Through The Pain (Aug 5th)
The Showdown – Back Breaker
Dragonforce – Ultra Beatdown
Extreme – Saudades De Rock (Aug 15th)
Papa Roach – Metamorphisis
Evergrey – Torn
Bullet – Bite the Bullet
Buckcherry – Black Butterfly
Metallica – Death Magnetic
Iced Earth – The Crucible Of Man (Something Wicked Part II)
Starbreaker – Love’s Dying Wish
I consider myself a fairly big Savatage fan, so when Jon Oliva puts out new music, I am usually one of his loyal consumers.
With Oliva’s new CD, he included more guitar riffs from his late brother Criss, that him and his wife found in an old shoebox. Criss Oliva is credited with 6 songs on this record. Even after his passing, Criss Oliva’s legacy carries on with Global Warning.
Global Warning is a little more experimental than the last JOP release, Maniacal Renderings. As a result, this is the kind of music that requires multiple listens to full absorb.
Those looking for heavy rockers will be happy to hear cuts like Adding the Cost, Before I Hang, Master, and The Ride.
This album’s strengths are also its weaknesses. Some of the cuts are like a psychedelic blend of Pink Floyd, Queen, and Savatage. Die hard fans are going to dig it, but those looking for songs with more structure, and tighter compositions might be disappointed. This isn’t what I would consider Jon Oliva’s best work, but it certainly deserves a listen or two.
You can preview some songs on the Jon Oliva myspace page. Check ‘em out!
Rating:Out of 10
1. Global Warning
2. Look at the World
3. Adding the Cost
4. Before I Hang
7. The Ride
8. O to G
9. Walk Upon the Water
11. Open Up Your Eyes
12. You Never Know
14. No More Saturday Nights
Jon Oliva’s Pain is:
Jon Oliva – Vocals, Piano, Keyboards, Acoustic Guitars Organ
Matt Laporte – Guitars, Vocals
Christopher Kinder – Drums, Percussions, vocals
Kevin Rothney – Bass, Fretless Bass, and vocals
John Zahner – Keyboards, Organ