To my shame I must admit this is the first album by former Savatage mastermind Jon Oliva’s current band that was added to my collection. An omission that will correct itself the coming period I am sure.
For anyone fond of the work Savatage did, this is as close as you are gonna get. There are even some riffs present that were conceived by the late Chris Oliva!
Opener Global Warning already sets the mood with its prominent use of Hammond and that characteristic voice of the “mountain king”. As Jon writes in the booklet, this is a very varied affair with a lot of different moods and sounds. Of course Oliva holds it all together with ease. It is always great to hear him sing on the top of his lungs like in Adding The Cost. He seems to have regained all his vocal strengths after taking a step back during the later Savatage period where Zak Stevens (Circle II Circle) took over lead vocal duties.
The trademark piano bits are also present, as are those often intriguing vocal harmonies. The guys in the band are seasoned professionals so you can be sure the musicianship is of the highest calibre. This band is not afraid to experiment either. Just listen to the modern touches (effects) on heavy track Master.
Rest assured, with all that experience under the belt, the quality norm is high, so no fillers here. A very enjoyable affair that leaves you wanting more.
Personal play tips: just start it up!