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Savatage - Gutter Ballet CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.00 | 191 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Gutter Ballet, along with its predecessor Hall of the Mountain King, marked the band's movement from straight-forward power metal to one of the top prog metal bands around. Chriss Olivia's pyrotechnics are augmented with the addition of Chris Cafferty, allowing for multiple melodies. John's keyboards are more prominent, especially on the instrumental Tempation Revelation. His vocals remind me of Udo Dirkshneider of the band Accept. If you haven't heard Accept, pictured the range and power of Scorpions frontman Klaus Meine combined with the tough as nails gravel of AC/DC's Brian Johnson.

Instrumentally, this is a superb album. Chriss' inventive work all too painfully displays just how good he was and that it's a shame he was never noticed until after his death. Lyrically, John offers up a mixed bag. Songs like Of Rage and War, the anthemic title track, When the Crowds Are Gone, and Chriss' eerie Hounds are great, but the rest of the tracks with lyrics are standard power metal anthems that lead up to the chorus which usually consists of little more than the words in the song title as well as "Yeah!". John would pen better lyrics down the line, but he does a good job of slowly pulling the band out of their power metal roots and into symphonic territory.

The off-kilter lyrics keep this from being a true classic, but fans of proto-prog metal (Queensryche, Fates Warning, Death) should start with either this album or its predecessor, or even the straight-forward rockin' debut Sirens.

Grade: B

1800iareyay | 4/5 |


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