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Savatage - Streets - A Rock Opera CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.14 | 223 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Here, Savatage starts to clearly have some prog influence and to get really serious, but it still have some serious issues

Streets is yet another very important Savatage album. In fact, the albums Hall of the Mountain King, Gutter Ballet, Streets, Edge of Thorns and Handful of Rain are very important to the band's history and musical evolution, although these albums are definitely not Savatage's best, probably because in this phase the band was still consolidating its music and things were still a bit out of place, since Savatage was finally moving towards progressive metal, and Streets can easily be considered their first major step in the progressive metal world, though since Hall of the Mountain King some prog influence can be noticed.

Streets is so important because this album sets the pace for most of Savatage's releases after 93. Inspired by a Broadway play written by Paul O'Neill back in 1979 that Criss Oliva found stored in some forgotten drawer in O'Neill's home and suggested that it should be the next Savatage's album, Streets debuts Paul as one of Savatage's main composers and has the basic structure of all the band's next concept albums. Indeed, Dead Winter Dead, The Wake of Magellan, Poets and Madmen and Streets have the same basic skeleton, although not being incredibly alike.

One interesting note is that, besides this being a very good album, it had mediocre sales because this kind of music were widely regarded as out of fashion, mainly due to the raise of grunge in the early 90's.

The Concept

I only have have a vague idea about the concept, but it looks like that the main character (DT Jesus), was a low-life drug dealer from down-town New York, became a rock star, then he got in some serious trouble and had to disappear for a wile. He somehow managed to solve his problems and start his life again, but loses everything he had in the process.

About the songs, musicianship and other features, there are somethings i would like to state:

The music here doesn't differ very much from Savatage's two previous albums, except that here it is better worked and more diverse. I mean, here the production is a bit better, improving the album quality, and they explored more the different sides of their music, making the album sounds more diverse and complete.

However, here they have some issues. The biggest one, and the only i am really going to point out, are Jon Oliva's vocals. Sure they are nice for the songs that are more aggressive, but in the ballads and calm songs it sucks big time. His vocals are for heavy metal and not for metal ballads and because of that they completely ruin the normal ballads that he needs to sing gently, like A Little Too Far and St. Patrick's, among others, but his vocals are no problem in the power ballads, like Strange Reality and Can You Hear Me Now, also among others.

Th highlights go to: Streets, Jesus Saves, Tonight he Grins Again, Strange Reality, Can You Hear Me Now, Ghost In The Ruins, Somewhere In Time and Believe.

Grade and Final Thoughts

A very good release by Savatage that, besides some flaws, specially concerning Jon's Vocals, deserves a good grade. 4 stars seems fair for me.

CCVP | 4/5 |


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