Jon Oliva's Pain

Tage Mahal

BY Laura TaylorPublished Dec 1, 2004

Out of a desire to work with musicians who live nearby and to step outside the musical expectations inescapably tied to the Savatage name, Jon Oliva has added a new band called Pain to his current projects. In reality, Tage Mahal doesn’t stray far from what Savatage has done in the past, a similarity underscored by Oliva’s distinctive voice and the self-referential "People Say —– Gimme Some Hell” that unfolds like a poetic Savatage discography. Power metal at its core, this new album is emphatically dramatic — show tune-y at times, intimate in some moments and Wagnerian at others, covering a wide range of moods. The subject matter varies along the same lines, from melancholy to despairing and fierce to celebratory, the lyrics are often grounded in the reality of current events and socio-political concerns. "The Dark” offers a strong beginning to Tage Mahal and the album progresses in stirring waves and periodic lulls from that powerful opening. Overall the release’s strengths compound and Pain is a welcome chance to hear Oliva in a new context.

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