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JON OLIVA'S PAIN

Progressive Metal • United States


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Jon Oliva's Pain biography
The genius Jon OLIVA, (leader of SAVATAGE, DOCTOR BUTCHER and TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA) now has his own solo career.

The idea is to put here some great songs that are left-out from the other bands. Recommended for the fans of BEATLES, QUEEN, BLACK SABBATH, FREE, The WHO, JOURNEY, DREAM THEATER ... besides, of course, SAVATAGE and TSO!!!!

See also:

- Savatage

Jon Oliva's Pain official website

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Maniacal RenderingsManiacal Renderings
Import
Afm Records Germany 2006
Audio CD$8.58
$7.58 (used)
Global WarningGlobal Warning
Locomotive Music 2008
Audio CD$11.95
$8.97 (used)
FestivalFestival
AFM Records 2010
Audio CD$3.99
$6.97 (used)
Tage MahalTage Mahal
Import
Steamhammer Europe 2005
Audio CD$19.98
$6.88 (used)
Maniacal RenderingsManiacal Renderings
Import
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Audio CD$30.00
$6.38 (used)
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Limited Edition · Import
Afm Records Germany 2006
Audio CD$44.99
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Global Warning by Jon Oliva's Pain (2008) Audio CDGlobal Warning by Jon Oliva's Pain (2008) Audio CD
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JON OLIVA'S PAIN discography


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JON OLIVA'S PAIN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.29 | 21 ratings
'Tage Mahal
2004
2.87 | 23 ratings
Maniacal Renderings
2006
3.48 | 20 ratings
Global Warning
2008
2.73 | 19 ratings
Festival
2010
4.00 | 4 ratings
Raise The Curtain
2013

JON OLIVA'S PAIN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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JON OLIVA'S PAIN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.09 | 3 ratings
Straight-Jacket Memoirs
2006

JON OLIVA'S PAIN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Raise The Curtain by JON OLIVA'S PAIN album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.00 | 4 ratings

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Raise The Curtain
Jon Oliva's Pain Progressive Metal

Review by nhbiker834

4 stars The most progressive release that we've had from Jon Oliva. Some of the same elements that have been in his music in JOP and TSO and, to a lesser extent, old Savatage, are on display here. However, Jon is definitely pushing into new-ish areas for him on this album. Lots of organ playing present; there are even some horns on this album (and flute). The Mountain King's voice is as strong as ever.

Raise the Curtain - powerful organ sound; huge gang vocals Soul Chaser - starts off great and never lets go Ten Years - horns! Really love this track Father Time - reminds of 70s Southern rock, but not in a bad way I Know - power ballad; haunting piano intro; chorus could be better Big Brother - fast organ intro; heavy Armageddon - good song, but perhaps a bit too much like some Dead Winter Dead songs Soldier - great lyrics; love the flute work on it Stalker - Jon in full scary mode The Witch - some great parts, but a bit uneven Can't Get Away - nothing bad here, but lacks...something

Five stars for any Sava/TSO/Butcher/JOP fan; a solid four stars for anyone else.

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 Global Warning by JON OLIVA'S PAIN album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.48 | 20 ratings

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Global Warning
Jon Oliva's Pain Progressive Metal

Review by 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.

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 Festival by JON OLIVA'S PAIN album cover Studio Album, 2010
2.73 | 19 ratings

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Festival
Jon Oliva's Pain Progressive Metal

Review by CCVP
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Average and ordinary

Being an acquaintant of Savatage's music, it was only a matter of time before I would find myself listening to some post-Savatage project of Jon Oliva. Trans-Siberian Orchestra was the first of them, but it proved to be an utter and complete disappointment in almost every possible aspect, so not much time after I have bought Night Castle I manage to exchange it at the store for Jon Oliva's Pain's fourth album, entitled Festival, which, by comparison, sounded like a mind-blowing album. However, the truth came to me after listening to it a number of times and comparing it with other albums I have.

As far as standard progressive metal goes (if there is such a thing), the compositions in this album are not dearing at all, staying at all times in the confort zone and having very few moments that are any surprising. Throughout the album you have that feeling that you have heard something similar, whatever the song that is playing; it constantly feels like you are listening to something you've already listened somewhere or sometime before. Furthermore, everything seems to be rather monochromatic and bland, even Jon's characteristical aggressive vocals sounds uninspired! If there is a way to describe this band's sound, I would say it is like a worsened version of Savatage mixed with some Black Sabbath and late 70's Pink Floyd.

That being said, I would like to point that there are not any bad song in Festival. They aren't extraordinary as well and do stay only in Jon Oliva's confort zone, but they are all quite listenable and don't have any further bad points besides not being special. It seems that there isn't anybody to chalange Jon creatively.

Due to that, I do believe that two stars would be the most fitting rating: only the fans (like myself) will enjoy listening to Festival.

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 Festival by JON OLIVA'S PAIN album cover Studio Album, 2010
2.73 | 19 ratings

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Festival
Jon Oliva's Pain Progressive Metal

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

3 stars Let met take a part in evaluating this album as well. I know your taste Slava (snobb) and I respect you a lot, but not everyone thinks like you. That's no offense, it's just that majority of people coming here will be less hardened in Prog terms and won't be so careful about what they like. More or less, I'm one of these, even also I began my transformation into something different, I hesitate more before rating something with extreme number of stars etc. That's life I suppose.

What we get here is quite Heavy Progressive Metal (most of the tracks), but that's no rule here, because you'll get also acoustic folk rock (Now) that transforms into Rock tune later (reminding me John Wetton's Icon a little bit). Rock-like ballad Winter Haven that again, ends in mixture of melodic Metal and Harder elements. Looking for nothing is also one of these, very acoustic, together with Afterglow, or at least certain parts of it.

4(-), Very eclectic album that has a lot to offer, of which main theme is Prog Metal. Except first two tracks which I don't like so much.

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 Festival by JON OLIVA'S PAIN album cover Studio Album, 2010
2.73 | 19 ratings

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Festival
Jon Oliva's Pain Progressive Metal

Review by A. F. Doyle

4 stars I must say a few words about JON OLIVA's PAIN. Some people thinks about Progressive Music as something "as complex as it can get", and that's a very little artistic thought, not to mention the very limited view upon a music style that can be so much rich and daring.

JON OLIVA is a vanguardist Heavy Metal artist, on SAVATAGE, on DOCTOR BUTCHER, on TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA and, now, on his solo carreer. "Festival" is, in my opinion, a most direct and simple album, but it's far of being predictable or stereotypic. That's for sure.

Such a creative artist has always a new vision upon his own sound, and Jon Oliva shows us this, on each of his albuns. Less intense than his antecessor, and less bombastic than his debut, this new album still show us, however, JON OLIVA on his unique Heavy Metal, with strong lyrics and emotional arranges. Everything, i must say, put there under a very sensitive and innovative way.

Highly Recommended!

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 Festival by JON OLIVA'S PAIN album cover Studio Album, 2010
2.73 | 19 ratings

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Festival
Jon Oliva's Pain Progressive Metal

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars I am not a big fan of such kind of heavy metal, but just used the possibility to listen this very freshly released album. No surprises.

Melodic heavy metal with some symphonic arrangements, very predictable if not stereotypic, too polished to be real heavy metal and not enough progressive to be good prog- metal. Many power metal elements make this music easy accessible, but with too strong commercial smell.

Vocal is strong, but not for everyone's taste, similar to early Udo's voice in Accept. Songs are melodic, but of very simple structure. Both guitars sound competent, though.

All album sounds as it was recorded somewhere in early eighties- stylistically and by musical arrangements. I think power metal lovers could be interested in it, but don't expect progressive element there. Early Accept/Udo albums as originals are better almost in all departments.

Almost 2,5.

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 Global Warning by JON OLIVA'S PAIN album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.48 | 20 ratings

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Global Warning
Jon Oliva's Pain Progressive Metal

Review by Alitare

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

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 Maniacal Renderings by JON OLIVA'S PAIN album cover Studio Album, 2006
2.87 | 23 ratings

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Maniacal Renderings
Jon Oliva's Pain Progressive Metal

Review by Alitare

3 stars More metal, more flash, but is it deeper?

In a way, yes. There is more diversity here, than on the debut. Not to mention it seems everyone has gelled together very nicely as a band. This shines very clearly on the absolute beast opening Through The Eyes of the King. The solos are furious, and the stomping rhythm is fantastic. Not to mention Jon stretches his vocals well. The record is also more progressive than the last. Maniacal Renderings has that delicious symphonic metal flair we are used to, but it has great segments and riffing. The solo section is quite captivating, where the guitars trade off with a keyboard.

Still a bit bare, the songs could be a bit more complex or challenging, but they all have solid melodies, and the playing is phenomenal. Acoustic guitar lines begin Evil Beside You, feeling almost like a folk rock ballad. Oliva always fit that part well. Then it turns into a theatrical piano rocker with teeth. The thick monster Time To Die roars out with its menacing howls of metal fervor. It isn't too complex, but my it kicks various levels of ass. More Broadway balladry follows with The Answer. The lyrics are cynical, and not the deepest, but they suffice. The music is solid, and the composition is strong, if a bit bland. Push It To The Limit is absolutely pounding. And is that lyrical reference about a White Witch? Either way, it is a stomping song.

Who's Playing God shows that while the songs are stronger over all, the lyrics have taken a small hit. Still not bad, though. The metal here is given in spades. And the vocal harmonies are even more expertly crafted. Timeless Flight has some of the most captivating melodies on the album. Not to mention the operatic balladesque piano interludes are very pretty. Holes has to have the most original and catching riff on the album, and it is quite interesting.

Mixing the songs into a sort of rocker/ballad style keeps the record from getting caught up in one overall tempo or atmosphere. And End Times is quite the superb track. Jon's voice has weakened, but can still show some bite. Still I Pray closes in the way the last album closed. The melodies are strong, and the playing is grand.

The record sacrifices some originality for a bit more depth overall, the melodies seem more skillfully crafted, but a bit less affecting. It is on par with the last release. Still, when it rocks it rocks harder.

(The bonus tracks are ballad types, that are quite beautiful at times)

Best song - Timeless Flight

Worst Song - Still I Pray, although all the songs retain a moderate level of decency.

***1/2 stars

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 'Tage Mahal by JON OLIVA'S PAIN album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.29 | 21 ratings

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'Tage Mahal
Jon Oliva's Pain Progressive Metal

Review by Alitare

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

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 Maniacal Renderings by JON OLIVA'S PAIN album cover Studio Album, 2006
2.87 | 23 ratings

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Maniacal Renderings
Jon Oliva's Pain Progressive Metal

Review by clarke2001
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars A mediocre album, but on the good side of mediocrity. Do not expect much prog in here, this is mostly classical heavy metal with some extra keys thrown in. I have to admit, although the riffs and patterns sound a bit predictable, in general it manages to sound consistent, even catchy. Perfromance is flawless, solos a bit irrelevant, the music is energetic all the time. Try to imagine Black Sabbath in the 80's without getting that poppy and uninspired. Znowhite slowed down, Fates Warning without the proggy part. Running Wild plus keys, perhaps. This is ole heavy metal, nothing less, nothing more.

I won't try to get anything else from this band, but it's enjoyable enough. Two stars.

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Thanks to A. F. Doyle for the artist addition. and to CCVP for the last updates

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