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Review: Jon Oliva's Pain - 'Tage Mahal
Jon Oliva's Pain
'Tage Mahal

Label: SPV
Year released: 2004
Duration: 62:38
Tracks: 13
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: November 12, 2004
Reviewed by: 4th Horseman
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.18/5 (83.53%) (17 Votes)

The Mountain King is back to share his madness! While this is no brand new Savatage album, it is still close enough. Jon Oliva's Pain (I still don't know if the band name is just Pain by itself or not, but I have never seen the words "Jon Oliva's" isolated from it, so I assume it is one of those unusual names) is his side project and we have been assured by the label that Savatage are not through and will continue on.

"'Tage Mahal" is something of an anomaly for me. Realistically, I should hate this album. It is very, very vocally driven; the lyrics get a little too personal and emotional several times; the background vocals are those eighties pop/symphonic type with several people singing along the chorus at the same melody as the piano does (yuck); the guitar is not nearly as dominating an instrument as I would like in a metal album. But despite all these problems, I have to say…Oliva has done it again. It all comes together so well that I have no choice but to hum along.

The opening track is just unbelievable. Instant hook song is what you would call it. Starts off with Oliva and his masterful piano pieces and suddenly just dives into the infectious groove of the song with soaring, madness inducing screams and slaughterous riffs! Despite age and time, Jon still has his vocal firepower fully loaded and unleashes it every now and then on this album. He is just one of those crazy screamers who you can just imagine turning bloodshot red whilst screaming. His vocal melodies are really cool and do stick nicely, making many of these songs memorable. The overall theme to the album is of course - Pain! But if there is one emotion that it so powerfully generates in its entirety is – MADNESS! It really does have that psychotic feeling to it. Ah the Good stuff!

There are people that are labeling this as "Progressive Metal" and I have heard comparisons being made with Queensryche. However, I do not hear that. On the contrary, I feel this album is a little too predictable to be purely progressive metal. Prog or not, this is a good album and it is a given that all fans of the 'Tage need to check this out. The album name and this project was initially an idea of the late shred-master Cris Oliva and was left incomplete due to his passing away and has now been picked up and finished by brother Jon. And a job well done.

Recommended for the fans.

More about Jon Oliva's Pain...
Review: 'Tage Mahal (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Festival (reviewed by Adam Kohrman)
Review: Festival (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Global Warning (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Interview with Jon Oliva on May 22, 2010 (Interviewed by Adam Kohrman)
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