Jon Oliva's Pain - Festival

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Denouncing any Savatage reunion rumours, Jon Oliva is now on his fourth album with his new band, and has made a huge improvement over the lacklustre Global Warning, released in 2007. Exploring all of the usual varied territory he has on all of his releases, sometimes in the same song, the structures on this album are much more expansive than the previous one, and more intricate in most cases. Afterglow combines sections of symphonic bombast, groove metal and acoustic balladry into just under seven-minutes brilliantly, and the imagery and feel created by Death Rides A Black Horse is immense. Elsewhere Living On The Edge is more or less a straight forward metal song, Winter Heaven and Now are typical Oliva ballads, Looking For Nothing is a less-than-typical guitar ballad which sounds like The Black Crowes (good, but doesn't fit at all), and the title track is a standard slab of Oliva extravagance. The other two stand-out songs are The Evil Within and I Fear You, which are both heavy and dark, but with a lot of other elements and passages combined, making them feel very progressive, even though they're both only just over five minutes long. The Evil Within's instrumental second half and outstanding guitar solo are particularly good. Festival as an album is comfortably on par with the 'Tage Mahal and Maniacal Renderings, and leaves Global Warning behind. In October 2010 JOP will record their Tilburg O13 show for a live DVD to be released sometime in 2011.

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2010, Albums, Heavy Metal, Quick.Play Reviews, ,

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