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Jon Oliva's Pain

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Jon Oliva's Pain 'Tage Mahal album cover
3.16 | 29 ratings | 5 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Dark (5:11)
2. People Say - Gimme Some Hell (4:08)
3. Guardian Of Forever (7:44)
4. Slipping Away (4:29)
5. Walk Alone (4:32)
6. The Non Sensible Ravings Of The Lunatic Mind (5:31)
7. No Escape (3:23)
8. Father, Son, Holy Ghost (5:54)
9. All The Time (4:58)
10. Nowhere To Run (5:23)
11. Pain (3:13)
12. Outside The Door (4:00)
13. Fly Away (4:11)

Total Time: 59:36

Line-up / Musicians

- Jon Oliva / vocals, piano, guitars
- Matt Laporte / guitar
- Kevin Rothney / bass
- John Zahner / keyboards
- Christopher Kinder / drums

Guest musician:
- Steve "Doc" Wacholz / drums (7 & 10)

Releases information

CD Steamhammer / SPV (2004)

Thanks to A. F. Doyle for the addition
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JON OLIVA'S PAIN 'Tage Mahal ratings distribution

(29 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

JON OLIVA'S PAIN 'Tage Mahal reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars This is Jon Oliva's first solo record. Jon of course was the vocalist and keyboard player for SAVATAGE for many years. In his own words he says "I wanted to visit many of my influences, everything from the BEATLES to BLACK SABBATH, QUEEN to DEEP PURPLE and beyond". He decided to record and play with the 4 band members that Zak Stevens (former SAVATAGE vocalist) had used for his own solo record. Jon also brought in long time SAVATAGE drummer Steve Wacholz for a couple of tracks. I've never been a fan of Jon's vocals, they are so raspy and course. It always takes me some time to get used to them.

"The Dark" opens with vocals and piano. The piano melodies continue through this whole song. It gets quite heavy and there are background vocals similar to what QUEEN did. "People Say-Gimme Some Hell" has a good beat and is a very catchy, uptempo song. "Guardian Of Forever" is one of my favourites as Jon's vocals are higher pitched. A dark, brooding and heavy soundscape appears as the guitars grind away.Things change drastically the rest of the way to a brighter and energetic sound. "Slipping Away" has some good, heavy riffing and the bass is great. The drummer is absolutely beating the hell out of his drum kit. Some scorching guitar to follow.

"Walk Alone" has reserved vocals with piano to open, this is contrasted throughout with the intense vocals and heavy soundscape. "The Nonsensible Ravings Of The Lunatic Mind" opens with some blistering guitar as the rough vocals, piano, backing vocals and drums follow. "No Escape" is a dark, heavy song with backing vocals. Scalding guitar solos follow. "Father, Son, Holy Spirit" is ok, while "All The Time" has a good driving beat and the vocals are better. "Nowhere To Run" has such meaningful lyrics and a catchy riff. Some great guitar and synth work in this one. "Pain" is my favourite. A heavy song with good vocals.The drum, bass melody with the guitar playing over the top is amazing. "Outside The Door" again has rough vocals and great guitar later. "Fly Away" is mellow with acoustic guitar and higher pitched vocals. Nice. It gets heavier later.

Highly recommended to SAVATAGE fans. 3.5 stars.

Review by The Crow
3 stars Disappointing collection of songs...

After the ŋperpetual? Savatage's stop, Jon Oliva formed this band with the runaway musicians of the Zachary Stevens's band Circle II Circle... Their anger against the old Savatage's singer because money caused their departure of CIIC, and Jon Oliva recruited them to his own band, Jon Oliva's Pain... They are all competent musicians, and their work is good. Maybe the drums are a bit empty and unspectacular, and the Matt LaPorte playing is not always great, some solos (Guardian of Forever) are mediocre... But the level is all right anyway.

The songs are in the vein of Savatage... But without a clear direction. The collection of ideas Jon had for this album are all here. Outtakes from the last Savatage's albums, old Savatage's demos, ideas wich didn's fit in the marvellous american band... And Jon took all this bunch of leftovers and made this album, together with some new ideas. This fact made 'Tage Mahal being a bit dissoriented, diverse in style and quality... The good songs make this album worth, but the weak ones make the hearing not so pleasant.

But of course, I think the Savatage's fans will find some interesting things... Apart of Jon's voice, the lyrics of Pleople Say are a marvellous summary of the Savatage's career, The Non sensible Raving of the Lunatic Mind is clearly a leftover of the outstanding Poets & Madmen, Dr. Killdrums played in two songs, Nowhere to Run is a new version of an old demo from the Gutter Ballet sessions called Target... The album is a constant tribute to Savatage, but never reaching the great levels of this very missed band.

Best songs: People Say (powerful guitars, good bass lines and incredible lyrics...), Slipping Away (dinamic and funny track, with great choirs and different taste, in the contrary of almost all the rest of the songs...), The Non Sensible Raving of the Lunatic Mind (I love the Poets & Madmen's sound of this track...), Walk Alone (good track) and Fly Away (a ballad with the Savatage's trademark, despite the acoustic guitars in replacement of the classic pianos...)

Conclusion: if you are a Savatage's fan, I recommend you this album... This is just a tribute of this great band. But the album has its flaws, with some forgettable songs, and a sound not really well cohesionated. The later Maniacal Renderings is definitely a better album... But if you are a die hard fan of the symphonic metal style, maybe you will find 'Tage Mahal interesting. If you are not, then I recommend you to hear Savatage... This is the real memorable music Jon Oliva made. His Pain project ist just a good imitation, some kind of tribute band... And 'Tage Mahal is maybe its weakest efforth to date.

My rating: ***

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "'Tage Mahal" is the debut full-length studio album by US heavy/power metal act Jon Olivaīs Pain. The album was released through Steamhammer Records in October 2004. After touring in support of "Streets: A Rock Opera (1991)", Jon Oliva stepped down as the frontman for Savatage. The years of Life on the road had taken their toll on the frontmanīs voice (which was worn) and label pressure of selling albums had led to Jon Oliva developing a nasty alcohol and drug addiction. He remained associated with the band as composer and occasional keyboard/piano player but his main interest in those days was preparing a broadway musical and preparing the early foundation for Trans-Siberian Orchestra with Paul OīNeal. He shortly returned as a frontman on the self-titled 1994 Doctor Butcher album but it wasnīt until 2003 when he founded Jon Olivaīs Pain, that he would finally return as a frontman in a metal act again.

The music on "'Tage Mahal" is traditional heavy metal/US power metal which really isnīt surprising considering Jon Olivaīs past achivements. Itīs kind of a continuation of the late eighties Savatage sound albeit with more keyboards and piano. The material are generally very well written and performed (Jonīs powerful rusty vocal delivery is as impressive as ever) and the album also features a well sounding production, which boosts the material. The vers/chorus based song structures are slightly generic in nature but the sophistication of the arrangements save the day every time. The album features both heavy tracks, more theatric tracks, a few faster paced tracks and quite a few power ballad type tracks.

"'Tage Mahal" is what I would characterize as good craftmanship from a seasoned singer and composer. Itīs not an album thatīll surprise you or challenge you if you are already familiar with the back catalogue of Jon Oliva, but if you are a fan of that, "'Tage Mahal" is definitely a worthy purchase. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

Latest members reviews

1 stars I bought this album because I'm a huge Savatage fan, and particularly a fan of Jon Olivia's vocals. However, since this album resembles neither Savatage's music nor Olivia's traditional vocal style, that led very little to me being able to appreciate this album. Furthermore, there's nothing pr ... (read more)

Report this review (#122973) | Posted by Equality 7-2521 | Monday, May 21, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is as good as it gets folks!!! Although most people may know Jon Oliva from Savatage, this solo disc is possibly better than almost anything Savatage has ever released!!! Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the pre-1989 Savatage, when they were primarily a struggling metal band with terrible ... (read more)

Report this review (#57207) | Posted by silversaw | Sunday, November 20, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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