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Savatage - Gutter Ballet CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.01 | 192 ratings

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4 stars Savatage is another one of the bands that I've listened to a lot during my teens and therefore can't help but feel nostalgia every time I hear one of those Jon Oliva penned ballads. It doesn't really help that I'm a huge sucker for well written rock ballads to begin with.

Ever since Jim Steinman started his decline towards the end of the '80s (remember that most of compositions on Bat Out Of Hell II were composed long before the album's '93-release), Savatage became the next best thing during that period between late '80s and early '90s. Jon Oliva came up with some of the best material of his life in that period and from what I can tell it all began with this release.

I'm somewhat of a latecomer when it comes to Gutter Ballet since it actually was my forth and so far final Savatage-album purchase. I've heard the title track on many different occasions but hesitated strongly before purchasing the album. The deal breaker in this case was the second single off this album titled When The Crowds Are Gone. After hearing it for the first time I just had to give into the temptation of hearing the rest.

The album did impress me from early on even though most of these compositions are in a sort of transition phase between the two different eras of the band's history. Savatage originally started off as a carbon copy of Judas Priest and judging from the early material I've heard they really had a long way to go in order to evolve their sound to the level they show on Gutter Ballet.

The first track, titled Of Rage And War, is a good example of Savatage's early repertoire although this time with a much higher production quality. From what I've heard about the album's title-track it happened to be written at last minute notice after that the band's drummer had already left the studio and Jon Oliva played the drums on the recording. The final result has become one of the most recognized Savatage composition to date and it marked the change in direction for all the upcoming releases.

Most of the material here is pretty solid but I still would like to point out When The Crowds Are Gone as my personal favorite. The trilogy of songs at the end of the album would be my runner-up choices. I consider them inseparable since they are suppose to form the band's first conceptual suite and this type of storytelling will definitely get even better with the release of Streets.

Gutter Ballet is an early take on the formula that would pay-off with Savatage's next release so if you enjoy this type of music then this album is a must-have in your collection.

***** star songs: When The Crowds Are Gone (5:46)

**** star songs: Of Rage And War (4:47) Gutter Ballet (6:20) Temptation Revelation (Instrumental) (2:57) Silk And Steel (Instrumental) (2:58) Hounds (6:28) The Unholy (4:37) Mentally Yours (5:20) Summer's Rain (4:33) Thorazine Shuffle (4:46)

*** star songs: She's In Love (3:52)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |


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