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Savatage - Dead Winter Dead CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.82 | 154 ratings

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3 stars Dead Winter Dead was the first and so far only post-Criss Oliva album that I have purchased. After hearing Edge Of Thorns I felt like pushing forward in my exploration of Savatage and since this album received the most praise both here on Prog Archives and many other websites it felt like the obvious choice for me.

The main question here was whether Jon Oliva could once again recreate the magic of Streets by pushing things even further? It was safe to say that Dead Winter Dead had the symphonic elements that I missed so much on Edge Of Thorns but the songwriting on this album just isn't on par with any of the previous Savatage releases that I've heard so far.

This is once again a concept album but the story isn't as apparent as it was on Streets and I needed to actually read the lyrics in order to even understand the basic elements of the concept. Still, if there is anything that Jon Oliva knows how to do it's writing those gorgeous ballads. His ability to convey the right feelings to the listener is flawless and he does so on a few occasions like This Is The Time (1990) and the concluding track Not What You See. These compositions do make me want to love Dead Winter Dead more but I just can't get past some of the lesser parts like Starlight and the title-track. Come to think of it, the whole middle section of the album feels sloppy which is the first time I experience this on a Savatage release.

I guess that Dead Winter Dead will remain a mixed bag of a concept album where some sections are almost as great as anything on Streets while the others just completely miss the mark. This is why I award it the good but non-essential rating.

***** star songs: This Is The Time (5:40) Not What You See (5:04)

**** star songs: Overture (Instrumental) (1:50) Sarajevo (2:31) Doesn't Matter Anyway (3:47) This Isn't What We Meant (4:12) Mozart And Madness (Instrumental) (5:01) One Child (5:14) Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24) (Instrumental) (3:24)

*** star songs: I Am (4:32) Starlight (5:38) Memory (Instrumental) (1:19) Dead Winter Dead (4:18)

Rune2000 | 3/5 |


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