Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Jon Oliva's Pain - 'Tage Mahal CD (album) cover


Jon Oliva's Pain


Progressive Metal

3.23 | 26 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars This isn't a blues record...

No, this is thick, theatrical piano metal. The Dark starts off with a soft piano swagger that features Jon and his rough but lovable singing. It then proceeds to stomp everything. And that classically inspired solo rips quite well. The song punches and slams with the best of them, and does a great job of rekindling all that was good with Savatage. Not the most complex of songs, but the piano breaks and musical diversity within the single track is quite satisfying. Then there is the 'Tage tribute song Gimmie Some Hell. The lyrics are rather neat in their nostalgia verses. The solos clipped are even from old Criss solos. Quite an interesting premise. Not to mention the song has some nice thick metal in the symphonic vein.

Guardian of Forever is next with some Gothic metal that is quite enjoyable, if a bit plain. Jon's vocals are always top notch, and the playing never slouches. Those dark piano lines are a nice touch. Slipping Away kicks things into a more uptempo phrasing than before, with the band's classic style of bombastic metal with vocal harmonies that send shivers down your back.

Sometimes songs are carried on by the singing, alone. Walk Alone has such a terrific performance in that respect, even if the musical accompaniment is a bit lacking. The melodies are always strong, however. And that main chorus line is quite a stirring moment. The guitars dance vividly. Nonsensical Ravings is multifaceted in the best way, and has such a brilliant feel. Not to mention how the laughter is just haunting during the space twinged solo and keyboard runs. The lyrics are good, and the song has fantastic pacing. The singing Jon executes here, is emotional and theatrical in the greatest way. The album's main highlight. There are multiple segments, and main themes throughout.

No Escape brings things back to modern thick metal. Menacing and performed admirably. A brusque stab of pulsing metal. The Father follows and has a more symphonic driving to its core feel. The piano lines with the trotting guitar riffs are quite the fine pairing. The lyrics take a dip, and it seems a bit tame compared, but it skips along at a good pace. All The Time is more low key progressing metal with progressing arrangements.

In all the songs follow metal with the piano delegated to interlude fashion, but it adds a very nice level of depth to the overall sound, and some of the melodies are fantastic. Nowhere To Run has the most overt straight forward heavy metal atmosphere to it, at least until it drops out into a space metal jogging air. The song is cynical, and I like that, Jon has always been good at presenting an emotional performance.

The song composition takes a hit, and some of the songs lack real depth. Pain is your average metal tune. Not a highlight. It is strong and thick, and Jon screams well, but it shows some tings. His voice isn't as strong as it used to be, and the band sometimes fluff their compositions with metal to make up for weak overall compositions. Outside The Door brings some needed swaggering rock back in. The vocals are still a bit weaker here than on other, more fleshed out albums. Fly away closes the album on a nice and almost indie rock sounding nostalgia trip that fits snugly at the end of all the powerful symphonic metal.

Some of the songs are not so deep, and there are times when the songs' main melodies aren't so strong. Not to mention there are not too many progressive moments, here. But, the songs punch hard, they are diverse, they have excellent performing, and some of the melodies are absolutely beautiful.

Best Song - Nonsensical Ravings

Worst Song - Pain

**** Weak Stars

Alitare | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this JON OLIVA'S PAIN review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.