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Savatage - Gutter Ballet CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.01 | 192 ratings

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Marc Baum
Prog Reviewer
5 stars This album is a breaking point in Savatage's career. "Gutter Ballet" is quite different than their previous releases, which were US power/plain heavy metal. This is much more ''sofisticated'', there's much more piano used here, more ballads... It's even maybe slightly progressive for that time. You could say, that "Gutter Ballet" is a templar for all later Savatage albums, since they became more and more piano and orchestra orientated.

Jon Oliva, is, as always, great. From really great emotional singing, to some awesome screams, everything great. He also really shows his writing talent on here. Some of the best lyrics ever. Just check out the pinnacle tracks "Gutter Ballet" or "When The Crowds Are Gone". What to say about guitars? Criss Oliva is one of the most underrated guitarists in the world, and he also proves that with this record. Very nice riffs, leads and solos. Any single note he plays on this album has more feeling and expression, what many highly acclaimed guitarists bring on one whole record.

As said, there are really some classics up here. "Gutter Ballet" is a great 6 minute power anthem of the highest order. It starts off with a piano intro, then the guitars come in and make a really memorable atmosphere. The chorus is one of the best, it's really memorable and a great singalong. "Temptation Revelation" and "Silk And Steel" are both instrumentals, but they are one of the many highlights of the album. Criss did a really great job here. "When The Crowds Are Gone" is a great ballad. It also contains some verses later heard in Believe from Streets. Also a very memorable song. "Hounds" was written by Criss and it has sort of an doomy atmosphere to it. Great main riff!

"The Unholy" could be from any classic 80s Savatage power metal album. It has that power vibe to it, Jon vocals are also very suitable. One of the hardest songs on the album. "Summer's Rain" is also a great ballad, nice guitar sound!

You couldn't say, that there is any bad songs on this one, there are just songs, that aren't as good as the others. That would be mostly harder songs, like "She's In Love", "Thorazine Shuffle" and "Mentally Yours". And again, by all means, these songs aren't bad.

If you like to get into Savatage this is the right CD for you. It's the transition album of their past sound and their future-direction. "Gutter Ballet" was and is the most important album for Savatage. To reach the final breakthrough in the global scene and set a really huge milestone into the world of symphonic/power metal. This album shows the combination of the power metal-style of past records with the more orchestral, symphonic approach of later records perfectly and if you really want to buy just one record by this metal legend, buy this! (Buy all!!) ;-)

album rating: 10/10 points = 98 % on MPV scale = 5/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

Marc Baum | 5/5 |


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