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Jon Oliva's Pain - Global Warning CD (album) cover

GLOBAL WARNING

Jon Oliva's Pain

Progressive Metal


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4 stars Oh, I hope it isn't about the weather!

And it isn't. No, this is varied symphonic progressive metal. And it rarely speaks of anything remotely affiliated with metal. The beginning track has thick keyboard lines as the entire band shows their mettle in an interesting way. Very epic feeling, and quite the grandiose beginning. Then it all flows into Look at the World, which waves its theatrical influence on its sleeve. The nostalgic lines, the warm vocals, and the expertly crafted composition.

This album is much more adventurous than the first two releases, and the lyrics are a bit stronger. They rock hard as ever, with thick metal slabs in the shape of Adding the Cost. Those soaring guitar bits amidst ferocious singing is quite a treat. In all, the material feels more complex and cohesive.

Long time Savatage fans will get a large hit of nostalgia when Before I Hang emerges. It feels much like a Streets track, and is quite the highlight. Those melodies are great, too. Firefly dips into progressive rock territory with its flowing waves of keyboards and guitar washes. The lyrics are imagery-laden, and the song is very strong.

Master has a menacing feel, and is a bit more creative than normal. The ride is a dive into folk rock, at the beginning. It is catchy as hell, too. O to G has to be the prettiest moment on the entire disc. Those vocals are so touching, and the lyrics tell of a friend long lost.

Or is Walk Upon The Water the most Beautiful song? I don't know, but this track is quite poppy in its metal symphony approach that Oliva does so well. this album suffers from the unoriginality the previous release did, but it is a stronger effort in all. Stories is some catchy thick metal, and Open Your eyes features Jon doing some strong singing. You Never Know brings it all back to classic metal straight from the 80's.

Someone/Souls is the final track, and it is perhaps the best in all. IT features very soft and ethereal guitars. Very flowing and warming. Again, this album suffers from some unoriginality, and the melodies aren't always perfect, but the material here is very solid.

Best Song - Someone/Souls

Worst Song - It is all pretty good

**** Strong Stars

Report this review (#213928)
Posted Monday, May 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
CCVP
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Good, but not special

Ever since I first checked (and thoroughly enjoyed) Savatage, some years after they disbanded, I knew it was inevitable that I would come to listen to the band's spiritual successor, Jon Oliva's Pain. After the not-so-special experience I had listening to this latest album from this project of Jon's, Festival, I wasn't too excited about getting my hands on Global Warming.

However, as anyone would expect from a fanboy, under the right circumstances, he'll toss his reason aside and impulsively act, which was what happened when I found this at an inviting price range (coupled with the salesman insisting that this was better than Festival). It wasn't the smartest move I've ever done, I admit it, but I don't regret from it because, after all, Global Warming isn't really a bad album.

in spite of that, the album suffers from some of the same problems as Festival does, but to a lesser degree. Once more, it feels that Jon Oliva, although amounting great compositions with Savatage, has come to a point in his career that people assume that, no matter what he thinks or does, will always be acceptable to put out and market as an opus compared to his previous works. Everybody knows it doesn't work like that, people who work creatively need to be challenged in order to really outdo themselves, to really be able to do what they are supposed to do: be creative. However, for some time now, Jon Oliva seems to not have enough people to challenge and question him creatively anymore, so all his compositions somewhat sound like something he has already done before. In Global Warming, at least, this generic feeling I have is restricted to his own compositions, unlike in Festival, where things were much more generic.

Extending the comparison with Festival for some few more words, the influences here are much more varied. There is still the feeling that you are listening to a worsened version of Savatage with touches of Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd, but here you can also hear Queen, blues, Rush and hard rock; furthermore, the compositions are more intricate and well constructed, even if they aren't quite special when put in perspective. His vocals are also better used/sung here; not that there is a huge difference from the 2010 album, but he chooses more carefully how and when to sing, what makes some slight but noticeable difference.

All in all, although Global Warming is indeed a better album than Festival, there isn't much anything quite special about this album either. This is what you would expect from an average progressive metal album, excepting the extraordinary instrumental virtuosi one would expect in this genre (which was never Savatage's focus anyway). Having no real surprises and being an enjoyable album, I believe that the most fitting rating would be three stars.

Report this review (#854031)
Posted Friday, November 9, 2012 | Review Permalink

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