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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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FestivalFestival
AFM Records 2010
Audio CD$5.18
$9.82 (used)
Global WarningGlobal Warning
Import · Limited Edition
Afm Records Germany 2008
Audio CD$10.46
$9.46 (used)
Tage MahalTage Mahal
Import
Steamhammer Europe 2005
Audio CD$19.98
$4.97 (used)
Maniacal RenderingsManiacal Renderings
Import
Afm Records Germany 2006
Audio CD$10.37
$9.23 (used)
Maniacal RenderingsManiacal Renderings
Import
Locomotive Spain 2006
Audio CD$30.00
$10.03 (used)
Maniacal RenderingsManiacal Renderings
Limited Edition · Import
Afm Records Germany 2006
Audio CD$37.88
$11.36 (used)
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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)

3.24 | 22 ratings
'Tage Mahal
2004
2.87 | 24 ratings
Maniacal Renderings
2006
3.47 | 21 ratings
Global Warning
2008
2.76 | 20 ratings
Festival
2010
4.07 | 6 ratings
Raise The Curtain
2013

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

JON OLIVA'S PAIN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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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
 'Tage Mahal by JON OLIVA'S PAIN album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.24 | 22 ratings

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'Tage Mahal
Jon Oliva's Pain Progressive Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "'Tage Mahal" is the debut full-length studio album by US heavy/power metal act Jon Oliva´s Pain. The album was released through Steamhammer Records in October 2004. After touring in support of "Streets: A Rock Opera (1991)", Jon Oliva stepped down as the frontman for Savatage. The years of Life on the road had taken their toll on the frontman´s voice (which was worn) and label pressure of selling albums had led to Jon Oliva developing a nasty alcohol and drug addiction. He remained associated with the band as composer and occasional keyboard/piano player but his main interest in those days was preparing a broadway musical and preparing the early foundation for Trans-Siberian Orchestra with Paul O´Neal. He shortly returned as a frontman on the self-titled 1994 Doctor Butcher album but it wasn´t until 2003 when he founded Jon Oliva´s Pain, that he would finally return as a frontman in a metal act again.

The music on "'Tage Mahal" is traditional heavy metal/US power metal which really isn´t surprising considering Jon Oliva´s past achivements. It´s kind of a continuation of the late eighties Savatage sound albeit with more keyboards and piano. The material are generally very well written and performed (Jon´s powerful rusty vocal delivery is as impressive as ever) and the album also features a well sounding production, which boosts the material. The vers/chorus based song structures are slightly generic in nature but the sophistication of the arrangements save the day every time. The album features both heavy tracks, more theatric tracks, a few faster paced tracks and quite a few power ballad type tracks.

"'Tage Mahal" is what I would characterize as good craftmanship from a seasoned singer and composer. It´s not an album that´ll surprise you or challenge you if you are already familiar with the back catalogue of Jon Oliva, but if you are a fan of that, "'Tage Mahal" is definitely a worthy purchase. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

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 Festival by JON OLIVA'S PAIN album cover Studio Album, 2010
2.76 | 20 ratings

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Festival
Jon Oliva's Pain Progressive Metal

Review by surrogate people

3 stars Well, still remembering how I fell in love with Hall of the mountain king back in 87 I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Jon Oliva was still around making music, so I decided to give his solo band a try and almost randomly ordered one of their CDs, 2010 Festival. In the first place I would like to state that this is no progressive metal, but a heavy metal album to my ears. Sure there are time changes, solos and songs longer than your average rock four minutes, but that was something commonly done by metal bands in the eighties long before the term "progressive metal" was coined. Opener Lies starts with a classical reminiscent intro and quickly grows into a galloping metal song that's fine if not particulary exciting. The chorus reminds me of Genesis' Back in NYC quite a bit, and halfway through some changes make it a bit more interesting. Next comes Death rides a black Horse, which has a very Kashmir-like feel and is one of my favorite ones here, with a powerful chorus and a fine doubled guitar solo.The title song is another of the strong moments, the riffing is quite good and the melodies are very Savatage-ish, too bad Jon can't hit those high notes anymore!!. Afterglow is according to Jon's liner notes "by far the most complex song of the CD",unfortunately not all parts are equally good. starts like a folky ballad but I quite like the chorus, strong and backed by symph keys .The song features some strings in the middle and a more uptempo section that includes swing parts in the middle of the heavy riffing. Living on the edge is a standard midtempo metal song and Looking for nothing is an uninspired ballad.The evil within is a downtuned tune which according to Jon Oliva is VERY DARK. I quite like it, but i find not much to highlight, maybe the "dreamy" midsection with lots of guitars and a synth bass followed by a heavy riff that ends the song. Winter heaven is yet another ballad I can do without, while I fear you is a bit doomier, the best song in the second half of the album to my ears, where Oliva's tortured voice perfectly fits the dense atmosphere. Closer Now is yet another slow number. Liner notes state that parts of it were written when Jon was 18, so I guess he had enough time to come with something better that this one. All in all a fine album that's hardly going to atract anyone who's not into traditional heavy metal. The musicianship is good but not outstanding and is surprising to find out how many Criss Oliva bits were used on the songs if we take into account that he had been dead for almost 20 years. As for Jon's voice....well not as it used to be but still does fine for the most part. Not for prog lovers, not even prog metal freaks.

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 Raise The Curtain by JON OLIVA'S PAIN album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.07 | 6 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
3.47 | 21 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
2.76 | 20 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
2.76 | 20 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
2.76 | 20 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
2.76 | 20 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
3.47 | 21 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 | 24 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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Thanks to A. F. Doyle for the artist addition. and to CCVP for the last updates

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