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Savatage - Streets - A Rock Opera CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.13 | 226 ratings

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The Crow
Prog Reviewer
5 stars "Streets - A Rock Opera" is just my favourite metal album... I bought it eight years ago, and it made me instantaneously be a Savatage's fan!

And I'm still tinking that "Streets" is the best Savatage's album, and the best metal opera ever made. After Queensr˙che's "Operation Mindcrime", Savatage came up with this true masterpiece, clearly surpasing the Seattle's band precedent... This album was the first metal album recorded in 92 tracks tapes. The Paul O'Neill production is just outstanding, really perfect... This fact allows this album sound great seventeen years after its release.

The musicanship is also superb... Jon Oliva's took all the characters of the album with his personal and broken voice, but with a lot of feeling and good taste. His pianos and keys are not ultra fast or very technic, but they are a great part of the Savatage's personality. Like the six Criss Oliva's strings, who made his best guitar performance here... How stunning and influential this guitarist was! You have only to hear the synthethised guitar sound in Strange Reality, and you will discover where Jon Petrucci took some of the guitar tricks he used on "Images and Words"... Dr. Killdrums and Johnny Lee Middleton are just perfect and solid in their respective instruments.

The style of the album is the Savatage's trademark... Symphonic hard rock, with elaborated instrumental passages. But maybe even more variated than the usual Savatage's standars. The album opens with a gothic feeling, thanks to this children choir and the keyboards sounding like bells in the song Streets. After this, Jesus Saves attacks with its killer and intrincated riff... This way, we enter on this carousel of pain, love, suffering, hope... And just great music!

There is symphonic metal (Jesus Saves, Can You Hear me Now...), 80's heavy metal (Sammy & Tex, Agony & Ecstasy...), hard rock bullets (Strange Reality, You're Alive...), melodic hard rock (Ghost in the Ruins), marvellous symphonic ballads (St. Patrick's, If I go Away, Believe...), Elton John influences (A little Too Far)... Even some acoustic folk elements in New York City Don't Meant Nothing!

For all this, this album is the Savatage's most variated... And in my opinion, here we have their best balance between ballads and hard tracks, between melody and strenght... And their best lyrics and concept! Paul O'Neill wrote a touching history (was he indirectly speaking about Jon Oliva?), maybe only surpased by the "Dead Winter Dead"'s one. And the lyrics are an important part of the album too... They touch rock, drugs and religion themes. But religion not in the way Neal Morse's do, but in a metaphoric and subtle way. "So people take care when you're chasing a dream in the night!"

Best songs: seriously... Every song in this album is just great.

Conclusion: what a wonderful disc! This is just the best metal album from the 90's, in my humble opinion. Really touching, funny, diverse... And a demonstration of musical, performance and production virtuosity. If you have not hear it, give it a try... You'll maybe discover one of the most underrated, influential and marvellous bands in the world! Pure genious.

My rating: *****

The Crow | 5/5 |


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