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TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA

Crossover Prog • United States


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Trans-Siberian Orchestra picture
Trans-Siberian Orchestra biography
TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA was formed in 1996 by Paul O'Neill who immediately approached long time friends and collaborators Robert Kinkel and Jon Oliva to form the core of the writing team. Paul O'Neill is a rare talent; a prolific writer and producer with a tremendously varied career in the music industry. A New York City native, O'Neill shaped his passion for music around the varied sounds he was introduced to while growing up - from QUEEN to classical, YES to Harry Chapin, Broadway musicals to Jim Croce. With TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, he create the music with no artificial limitations, seeking the fusion of classical, rock, Broadway and R & B influences.

Robert Kinkel began working as an assistant engineer on productions for artists such as "The WHO," "The POLICE", and "GENESIS." He next began to work as an independent session keyboard player and writer. He began his collaboration with Paul O'Neill and Jon Oliva on the "Savatage" album "Hall of the Mountain King," playing keyboards and doing orchestrations.

Jon Oliva is a self taught multi-instrumentalist, accomplished on keyboards, guitar, drums, bass, violin and cello. Jon is internationally renowned for his work as founder, writer, keyboardist and lead singer for the hard rock band "Savatage. Jon became one of the core writers for the newly formed TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA. Jon has been a key member of the group ever since.

With a release of "The Lost Chrismas Eve" in 2004 reach world-wide fame. Being recognized as a kind of ALAN PARSONS PROJECT refering to the multiples collaborations of musician and their conceptual compositions.

: : : Nicolas Ramirez, ARGENTINA : : :

See also:

- Savatage

Trans-Siberian Orchestra official website

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The Lost Christmas EveThe Lost Christmas Eve
Lava Records 2004
Audio CD$2.38
$0.59 (used)
The Ghosts Of Christmas EveThe Ghosts Of Christmas Eve
Atlantic Catalog Group 2016
Audio CD$9.67
$4.78 (used)
Trans-Siberian Orchestra - The Ghosts Of Christmas EveTrans-Siberian Orchestra - The Ghosts Of Christmas Eve
Multiple Formats · Digital Sound
Lava Records 2001
DVD$4.58
$1.49 (used)
Christmas Attic, TheChristmas Attic, The
Atlantic / Lava 1998
Audio CD$2.49
$0.74 (used)
Christmas Eve and Other StoriesChristmas Eve and Other Stories
Lava Records 1996
Audio CD$2.21
$0.01 (used)
Letters From The LabyrinthLetters From The Labyrinth
Lava Music 2015
Audio CD$7.15
$3.95 (used)
Night CastleNight Castle
Atlantic 2009
Audio CD$12.47
$1.98 (used)
Dreams Of Fireflies (On A Christmas Night)Dreams Of Fireflies (On A Christmas Night)
Republic 2012
Audio CD$3.37
$1.49 (used)
Beethoven's Last NightBeethoven's Last Night
Lava Records 2000
Audio CD$7.00
$1.26 (used)
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More places to buy TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA music online Buy TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.02 | 60 ratings
Christmas Eve & Other Stories
1996
2.65 | 46 ratings
The Christmas Attic
1998
3.67 | 106 ratings
Beethoven's Last Night
2000
3.41 | 45 ratings
The Lost Christmas Eve
2004
3.06 | 38 ratings
Night Castle
2009
3.85 | 20 ratings
Letters From The Labyrinth
2015

TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

2.15 | 14 ratings
The Ghosts Of Christmas Eve
2001

TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.50 | 4 ratings
The Christmas Trilogy [CD & DVD]
2004
4.56 | 9 ratings
Tales Of Winter: Selections From The TSO Rock Operas
2013

TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.07 | 11 ratings
Dreams of Fireflies (On a Christmas Night)
2012

TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Lost Christmas Eve by TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.41 | 45 ratings

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The Lost Christmas Eve
Trans-Siberian Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by martindavey87

4 stars Forget Slade, forget Mariah Carey and forget Cliff Richards. When it comes to Christmas music you can't get any better than Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Lead by producer Paul O'Neill, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra brings together musicians from all different genres, and namely members of the metal band Savatage, to bring us Christmas-themed rock operas. Brilliantly arranged, with fantastic musicianship and some emotionally powerful vocals, if you're a Scrooge like me, at least this will give you something to look forward to around the holiday season.

The great thing about this group is the diversity of styles utilized in the music. Most notable are the metal and rock influences, but there's elements of blues, jazz and classical music too, with singers coming from all kinds of musical backgrounds. With such a wide pallet of dynamics and styles at their disposal, the music constantly sounds fresh and exciting throughout.

Songs such as 'The Lost Christmas Eve', 'Wizards in Winter', 'Christmas Nights in Blue', 'What Child is This?' and 'Christmas Canon Rock' make this album a joy to listen to, and it's only bought down a notch by one or two fillers.

In fact, the only major detriment with this release is that you can only really listen to it during the Christmas period, without feeling like a complete knob, that is. But when December 25th comes around, light some candles, pour some wine, and put on some Trans-Siberian Orchestra as you open presents with your loved ones. It's a truly wonderful experience.

 Christmas Eve & Other Stories by TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.02 | 60 ratings

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Christmas Eve & Other Stories
Trans-Siberian Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by martindavey87

3 stars It's bad enough hearing the same Christmas songs non-stop on the radio between the 1st and 25th of December. What's even worse is that in this day and age of commercialism, most supermarkets (in the UK, at least), start playing these songs over the radio as early as the first week of November! Sounds crazy, right? So it's understandable that, between seven weeks of the same songs every year (which only seems to get more tedious as you get older), that heartwarming spark of nostalgia is replaced with utter contempt for the holiday season.

Or perhaps that's just me. I am borderline sociopathic, mind you...

Thankfully, here's the Trans-Siberian Orchestra to get us through the monotony of the Christmas period.

Sounding exactly like the metal band Savatage, but with an orchestra (which funnily enough, is exactly what this is, for lack of a better description), Trans-Siberian Orchestra ("TSO" for short) take all the classic Christmas carols that we've come to love, and gives them the full rock opera treatment, with styles ranging from rock, pop and jazz, and an assortment of vocalists, including a kids choir thrown in for good measure. There's a feeble attempt at a storyline in there somewhere, but I wouldn't bother digging too deep into it.

TSO are a great and certainly unique group, but this album as a whole just feels slightly lacking. The musicianship is incredible, and the music covers a lot of ground, from epically bombastic tracks to beautifully emotional ones. However, some of the tracks seem the complete opposite. Lifeless, dull, lacking any real emotion or depth.

Some of the highlights include 'A Mad Russians Christmas', 'First Snow', 'Promises to Keep', and the epic 'Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24', which is probably the true highlight of the album and interestingly enough was also used on Savatage's album 'Dead Winter Dead'.

Arranged by rock producer Paul O'Neill, Trans-Siberian Orchestra's debut album 'Christmas Eve & Other Stories' is an ambitious record that doesn't quite hold up as well as subsequent releases, but that's mostly due to the fact that their later output is just so damn good. It's a good album though, and still worth listening to if you're fed up with hearing the same, rehashed Christmas hits every year.

 Night Castle by TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.06 | 38 ratings

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Night Castle
Trans-Siberian Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by Mystic Mamba

4 stars Mystic Mamba Review #1: TSO - Night Castle

For my first ever review on Prog Archives, I'm going to be talking about an album that's very special to me. I've been a loyal fan of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra for more than half of my life. Furthermore, Night Castle was the album responsible for getting me into the world of prog, as it inspired my mother to introduce me to Yes (keep in mind that I'm only 20 years old at the time of this review). But you don't want to hear about me, so let's dive right in to this massive album. I will attempt to be as non-biased as possible.

What do I like about this album?

Night Castle is a double concept album, meaning there is a lot of music to absorb here (more than 2 hours). There is also a very detailed story that goes along with the album. If you're going to listen to the album all the way through for the first time, then you absolutely have to follow along with the story booklet. It simply isn't the same emotional experience with just the music. With that in mind, I'm not going to be revealing the details of the story in this review; that is for the individual listener to discover.

It should be noted that Night Castle (as with most TSO albums) can be clearly divided into two categories of songs: instrumentals and non-instrumentals. The strongest moments on this album definitely occur in (most of) the instrumental tracks, so I'll talk about them first. Also worth mentioning is the fact that TSO has around 20 musicians covering 5 instruments, so it's very hard to tell who is playing what at any given moment.

The Memorable Instrumentals:

"The Mountain" is a dark and ominous piece with a remarkably heavy tone throughout. The song is a reworking of Savatage's "Prelude to Madness". It features some insane guitar solos, and is one of the most iconic tracks on the album.

"Mozart and Memories" is one of the album's proggiest songs, featuring tempo changes and brief moments in 7/4 time. The piano and strings really take center stage in this piece. It doesn't have as much of an intense impact as "The Mountain", but its diversity and dreamy atmosphere make it my favorite track on the first disc.

"Toccata" is another heavy song filled with shredding. Frequent tempo changes keep things alive and interesting in this all-too-short piece of prog metal goodness.

"Moonlight and Madness" opens the second disc, and what an adventure it is! Beginning with an excellent Beethoven piano solo, the song transitions into a dark prelude before the main song kicks in. Such a cool piece!

"Embers" is the final track in the main story, and is a very pleasant acoustic guitar piece.

"Nutrocker" (bonus track, originally arranged by ELP) is just all around fun, and has a few brilliant keyboard solos. Of all the songs on the album, this one has the most Christmas vibes.

"Tracers" (bonus track) is the big prog jam that finishes off the album. The highlight has to be the quiet interlude where acoustic guitars and strings shine through. It might be the best instrumental on the album, however it does lack the tempo changes that make songs like "Toccata" and "Moonlight and Madness" so great.

Now on to the non-instrumentals, many of which are quite excellent. Since this is a rock opera, many different singers are present. All of them are fantastic vocalists without a doubt, but many people criticize TSO vocals as being too cheesy. The singing style really is "love it or hate it", but personally I find the vocals to be quite enjoyable. Only Tim Hockenberry's raspy voice grinds my gears here and there.

The Memorable Non-Instrumentals:

"Night Castle", sung by the brilliant Jeff Scott Soto, almost sounds like something out of The Nightmare Before Christmas. It is quite operatic, and features a fun keyboard solo followed by a quiet ending section.

"Another Way You Can Die", another JSS piece, is absolutely the heaviest non-instrumental on the album. It is complex and intense, utilizing multiple tempo changes to its advantage.

"Dreams We Conceive", yet again featuring the vocals of Mr. Soto, is a very emotional rock ballad. It might not have the structural variation of the some of the other songs, but it is a much needed break after several heavy tracks in a row.

"Time Floats On", the final JSS song, appears to be just another ballad at first. However, this song has a very unexpected instrumental bridge with fantastic piano work.

"Epiphany", sung by Rob Evan, is the crowning jewel of the entire album. This is an outstanding 11 minute prog ballad that doesn't get boring for a single second (at least for me). I would have to say that this is my personal favorite TSO song as of this review. Like I said earlier, knowing the story is an absolute must for truly feeling the emotion within this song. The brief choir parts are particularly fantastic.

"Father, Son & Holy Ghost", sung by Jennifer Cella, begins calmly with just piano and vocals. However, 2.5 minutes in the song becomes dark and angry, before returning to a calm state at the end. This is another song that is very much enhanced by the story.

"Child of the Night" (bonus track), sung by Alexa Goddard and Valentina Porter, is the most beautiful and relaxed song TSO has ever arranged. Using only strings and vocals, it is a very ethereal piece.

"Carmina Burana" (bonus track) is a metal rendition of Carl Orff's "O Fortuna", and the choir sounds completely epic on this track. It is a shame that such an excellent piece of music is only 3 minutes long.

What do I dislike about this album?

With the sheer quantity of music present here, there are bound to be filler and/or subpar songs on this album, and that is indeed the case. Now, there aren't too many things that I truly dislike about Night Castle, but there are definitely criticisms worth mentioning. Most are simply minor complaints.

The Subpar Tracks:

"Night Enchanted" is a great opening track, and I love the choir vocals. However, I found it entirely unnecessary for the song to literally repeat itself after the short "Child of the Night" interlude. It merely makes the album longer than it needs to be.

"Childhood Dreams" and "The Safest Way Into Tomorrow", both sung by Jay Pierce, aren't terrible, but they seem like such simple rock songs compared to so many of the others. The latter of the two does have a very nice guitar solo.

"Sparks", sung by Tim Hockenberry, is not bad at all, and has great guitar work. But after seeing this song played live with added orchestration (and cleaner vocals, no offense to Mr. Hockenberry), it makes me wonder why they didn't just orchestrate it in the first place.

"The Lion's Roar" has a promising start, with the rock band coming in after a unique trumpet solo. However, everything in this instrumental feels like it was forcibly cut short (which was my main issue with their newest album, Letters From the Labyrinth). The piece could've easily been expanded by 3 minutes to allow for more musical exploration.

"There Was a Life", sung by Rob Evan, has exactly the opposite problem; it drags on for far too long. This 9 minute rock ballad could've easily been trimmed by 3 minutes, and that probably would've made it more enjoyable.

"Mother and Son" and "Bach Lullaby", the two filler tracks, don't really have any emotional impact on the listener unless they are following along with the story, and could've been left out.

"Remnants of a Lullaby", sung by Jennifer Cella, is a quiet song that's fine within the context of the story, but musically it's just uninteresting.

"Believe" (bonus track), sung by Tim Hockenberry, is a very solid rock ballad, however it isn't anywhere near as good as the original Savatage version (specifically the vocals). In my opinion, it is a very unnecessary inclusion on this already overpacked album.

My final bone to pick with this album is that there is a secret track titled "The Flight of Cassandra" that is only available with the Amazon MP3 version. It is a glorious 7 minute instrumental with sections in 7/8 and 5/4 time, and the album could've benefited tremendously had it been included with the CD version. I highly recommend buying the CD and then downloading this song separately, as it is the proggiest piece TSO has ever written. I would go so far as to place it alongside songs like Frost*'s "Hyperventilate" or even Rush's "YYZ". Yeah, it's that good!

What are my overall thoughts?

Night Castle is a colossal album, to the point that there are almost too many songs for the listener to take in. I like what reviewer TheGazzardian said about condensing the music of the story onto one disc, then having a smaller disc with bonus tracks. Sometimes, a short album with "all killer, no filler" is better than a long album with "a lot of killer, a lot of filler". This is just constructive criticism, of course. I love Night Castle, and you have to respect TSO for crafting such a big and bold musical adventure.

TSO is known for being one of the most accessible prog bands in the world, so of course Night Castle isn't as proggy of a concept album as something by Ayreon or Neal Morse. That being said, this album is absolutely essential for TSO and/or Savatage fans, and a very enjoyable listen for anyone who likes good crossover prog with a mixture of heavy songs and ballads. In conclusion, I would give Night Castle 3.5 stars on the PA rating system, which I will gladly round up to 4.

The Essential Tracks: "The Mountain", "Mozart and Memories", "Moonlight and Madness", "Epiphany", "Tracers", and "The Flight of Cassandra"

 Night Castle by TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.06 | 38 ratings

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Night Castle
Trans-Siberian Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by Progosopher

2 stars Night Castle by Trans-Siberian Orchestra

A sound that was exciting almost twenty years ago despite any sense of subtlety is now officially old hat enough to be dull. The aspects that made TSO so interesting in the 90s, their ability to rock out the classics in the context of a story or two is all but gone. What we get is an endless series of plodding power ballads and triteness intermixed with classic pieces usually played delicately but which also have no real place in the story. Whatever that story may. I can't tell what it is about. At least with their first two albums, Christmas Eve and Other Stories along with Beethoven's Last Night, the classical interludes fit in and enhanced the stories being told. And even though this is not a Christmas album, it might as well be with all its references to childhood and "this night." The story seems quite a bit darker than their usual holiday fare, but then their other albums are not exactly full of light brightness. A Christmas story can be dark. I am reading the second Christmas novella written by Charles Dickens called The Chimes, and it is very dark indeed. Yet it is also effective, something which Night Castle is not. The biggest problem is the sheer size of the release. At two solid hours, it is at least one hour too long, perhaps an hour and a half. There are some good pieces here and not all are the classical interludes. The presence of bonus tracks also presents some problems. If these come on the release they are not bonuses. They are, however, tracks that are not part of the story, so I guess they had to be called something. That one of them is a version of Nutrocker, only confuses the issue. Eliminating these five would give a halfway decent album which could have easily fit on one disc even if it would be far from their best. It would have been better to use these five recordings on a further release, but then that would not be telling a story. To be honest, that should not present a problem since their story telling is obscure and scattered at best. A solid half hour of good tunes could be extracted from this but none of them will be anything new for TSO; they just demonstrate what the band does best. The production is lavish and quite good, with good performances all around. But good production without good material does not a good album make. This is not a good album, especially given that several of the better tracks are the bonuses and these are rocked-out classics. Long passages go by which sound more like a group of hired singers and symphonies than a band production. Now, that has always been a distinctive characteristic of TSO, but at least on earlier releases there was a band squarely in the middle of all that. Here, they are just one part of the proceedings, and usually the best parts. This is an album that presents all that can and has gone wrong with Trans-Siberian Orchestra and almost none of what they do best. Some of it deserves to be heard, but one has to trudge through endless dreary corridors of the night castle to find them. When found, they offer relief from the drudgery but are really not the jewels one would hope for.

 Dreams of Fireflies (On a Christmas Night) by TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2012
3.07 | 11 ratings

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Dreams of Fireflies (On a Christmas Night)
Trans-Siberian Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars As far this EP of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, I mostly enjoy the first two instrumental tracks. The first one "Winter Palace" 03:39 is really good for any event to play this as setting the stage song like excerpts from Firebird Suite in the case of Yes concert. The orchestra is really cool especially backed with the kind of metal music even though it's not really a metal one. The piano work is cool even though quite simple. It continues nicely with "Dreams of Fireflies" which is another good instrumental as well. The other three tracks with vocal line are actually not quite prog in nature. "I Had a Memory" features inviting vocalist Erika Jerry. Tim Hockenberry takes the the vocal line on `Someday'. So, out the total five tracks only the first two that contains sorts of prog elements. It's not bad EP at all.
 The Lost Christmas Eve by TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.41 | 45 ratings

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The Lost Christmas Eve
Trans-Siberian Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by R-A-N-M-A

4 stars In my opinion the Lost Christmas Eve is album doesn't garner anywhere near the respect it deserves. It is a very finely crafted rock/metal opera which is only slightly held back by the fact that it is a Christmas album. It pays tribute to and expands on many holiday classics with excellent virtuosity while telling a fitting story of charity and redemption. Owing to its subject matter though, it is most certainly best enjoyed in the season, but that shouldn't stop you from head banging with it any time. You just might feel a little awkward letting your locks fly in August to a metalized version of Oh Come All Ye Faithful. I can't say that I have not done it.

The greatest strength of the Lost Chrismas Eve for me is in the powerful and plentiful application of the human voice. Anno Domine, Remember, Christmas Dreams, Queen of the Winter Night, Chrismas Nights in Blue, O' Come All Ye Faithful, For the Sake Of Our Brother and Back to Reason Part (II) are all excellent pieces of vocal work done in a variety of different styles. Fans of vocal harmony should be particularly pleased with the traditional boys' choir style round of Remember. For me though, the emotional pinnacle of the album comes on What Child is This? The TSO version is considerably expanded beyond whatever you might think of the traditional carol and the masterful performance elevates it to a new height. Don't be afraid to put this one up to 11.

A long the way, there are also a number of instrumentals, the most notable of which is the frenetic Wizards in Winter. If you haven't already been exposed to this completely original work by the band, I suggest you get on it. A very interesting choreographed light show to this track originally got me to take notice of the band.

I've heard all three of the Christmas Trilogy albums, and this one is the strongest. At any time of year, it is easily deserving of a four out of five, but when you are listening to it on a dark and cold December evening I think you can bump it right up to a five without hesitation. It is a refreshingly humane album from a genre, metal, generally associated with blackness and atrocity, symbolically speaking of course. It probably suffers in the minds of many metal heads because of its lack of edge, but I'm willing to be those have a soft spot for it somewhere. This album was also important for turning me on to power metal. It isn't a power metal album per se, though it shares certain theatrical qualities, but my desire to hear more metal without the taint of "death growl" or the laxity of thrash came from this.

A brief aside on the "death growl," it is one of the worst things going in music, right up there with auto-tuning and the country twang. None of which thankfully appear on this splendid selection. (FYI: I don't hate thrash, it's just a sometimes food.)

I recommend this album to any one and that it should be a cherished part of your prog-collection, not just your Christmas collection. And, if you ever get the opportunity, do see it performed live. I believe the farewell tour this year. If you happen to see it coming near you, you lucky Americans, jump on it for me.

 Beethoven's Last Night by TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.67 | 106 ratings

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Beethoven's Last Night
Trans-Siberian Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars This is the third CD by an organisation (I think the word band probably doesn't fit this situation) that I have never heard of, who have managed to sell over 1.5 million albums to date. TSO are the brainchild of Savatage front man Jon Oliva, along with composer/producer Paul O'Neill and classical composer/conductor Robert Kinkel. They take classical ideas then fuse these with rock to bring out rock operas on a huge scale. The idea has been so popular that last year two versions of the band were on the road at the same time to satisfy demand. The rest of Savatage lay claim to most of the rock sections, while members of the New York Philharmonic are also in evidence.

The story here is that of Beethoven's last night on earth when he is being tempted by the devil and the decisions he has to take. There are twenty-two sections, and this much more about being a full modern rock opera than just an album. It starts with a delicate rendition of the introduction of 'The Moonlight Sonata' before becoming much more reminiscent of Savatage in flight. In many ways this seems to be to be a logical progression from "Gutter Ballet", although here the orchestral passages and dynamics are much more in evidence.

But as this is an opera does it work as a piece of music? Yes, dramatically so. As well as being original pieces, the fusing together of some of Beethoven's best loved pieces does give it both class and also at the same time a sense of surprise, a wondering about what is going to happen next. This is an album that cannot be played in the background, but rather is one that should be listened to intently (with the booklet close to hand) to gain the most from. Yes I liked this a lot, now all I have to do is search out the earlier albums where they brought in Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky.

Originally appeared in Feedback #67, Apr 02

 The Lost Christmas Eve by TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.41 | 45 ratings

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The Lost Christmas Eve
Trans-Siberian Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I have to hand it to Paul O'Neill. The man who rescued SAVATAGE those many years ago simply by believing in them and then putting his faith into practice by helping to write and compose songs with them sure has a way of telling stories. This might be my favourite of the three TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA albums I own.

As per usual Paul writes the words and composes the music. Once again the story centers around an angel who is sent to earth with a quest. This time to pick one person who can continue the work God's son did when down here. So we get the listen to the story of the angel's travels and experiences as he seeks to find this person. Going back to heaven to reveal to his Lord who he thinks this person is he realizes that anyone can be that person if they "Do unto others as they would have done unto them".

Once again we get members and former members of SAVATAGE helping out like Oliva, Middleton, Pitrelli and Caffery. I like the middle section where we get the jazzy "Christmas Jazz" followed by "Christmas Jam" and "Siberian Sleigh Ride". The latter has some energetic guitar in it.

This cd came with thick liner notes detailing the story along with lots of other info.

 The Christmas Attic  by TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 1998
2.65 | 46 ratings

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The Christmas Attic
Trans-Siberian Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA's second album released in 1998 two years after their very successful debut. Yes this is more of the same in that it is of the same style. Again we get a concept album dealing with that young angel. This time the Lord has sent him down to earth on the night of Christmas eve, this time to leave the one thing behind that would most benefit all of mankind. The problem for the angel was that he couldn't bring anything with him from heaven to leave. All of this is detailed in the liner notes as we are told of the angels thoughts, concerns and quest.

It turns out the gift that was left behind was a gift of "belief" to this one particular child who with the angel's help (unknown to the child) realizes that the Earth is a magical place and as such this child could make this world a better place. Hey it's Christmas and like the debut this can be an emotional ride if you let it be. Like the first album it's the instrumentals that really standout for me. Again we get the same six members or former members of SAVATAGE helping out. Once a year i'd much rather play something from this band than any other Christmas music that i've heard. 3 stars.

 Christmas Eve & Other Stories by TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.02 | 60 ratings

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Christmas Eve & Other Stories
Trans-Siberian Orchestra Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I have been delaying the reviews for the three TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA albums I own long enough. I got these back around 2006 but not being a big fan (understatement of the year) of Christmas music i've kept putting these reviews off. Just to give a bit of history here, Paul O'Neill the man behind this project first met SAVATAGE when the A&R Rep for the label (Atlantic Records) they were signed to sent him down to Florida to check them out. The Rep had personally signed SAVATAGE and was concerned for them because of how bad the most recent SAVATAGE album ("Fight For The Rock") sold and sounded. He wanted Paul to produce and write for them hence his trip down south to catch the end of the tour. The band at that time were ready to quit after taking bad advice from management and making a bad album as the result. SAVATAGE felt they had let themselves and their fans down. Enter Paul who loved them right away but had to convince them to carry on under his direction. Well the rest as they say is history.

The first album they put out under Paul's guidance was "Hall Of The Mountain King" which is my favourite from them. Anyway one of the songs they did was called "Prelude To Madness" which the band really hesitated in doing because it was classical and symphomic neither of which the band had done before. It was based on Edvard Grieg's "Peer Gynt Suite". The band relented and it is significant because it led them years later to do "Sarajevo" on the "Dead Winter Dead" record which was of the same style. Well that song took off over Christmas that year and the label didn't have enough albums printed for the demand. That song is the center-piece of the first TRANS SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA record i'm reviewing here. That song spawned this band. Here it's called "Christmas Eve / Sarajevo 12/24".

Lets just say this project which contains many members of SAVATAGE has made them a commercial success and i'm sure they've been doing many shows this month. This first album is a concept album about a young angel who has been sent to earth to find and bring back to God the one thing that best represents everything good that has been done in the name of that day. This quest takes the angel all over the world and these songs tell us the story. So SAVATGE fans will recognize names like Paul O'Neill, Jon Oliva, John Middleton, Chris Caffery and Zak Stevens.Certainly this is extremely well done and well played and if you are into Christmas songs and Progressive Rock I don't know how you can't be impressed.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to CCVP for the last updates

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