JON OLIVA’S PAIN – Global Warning

JON OLIVA'S PAIN - Global Warning
  • 7/10
    JON OLIVA'S PAIN - Global Warning - 7/10


Release date: May 6, 2008

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Like on the last effort Maniacal Renderings, Jon Oliva has looked into the past to create something new for the third full length Jon Oliva’s Pain release Global Warning. Meaning; several ideas are from tapes found from storage. Indeed the ghost of Savatage and what Jon Oliva and his since deceased brother Cris made of that band, at a time when Savatage where more cohesive rather than the project type it would evolve into, lays quite a wide array here.

“Adding the Cost” sees an angrier side of Jon Oliva that is always welcome, almost bringing to mind the Doctor Butcher project of the mid nineties he shared with former colleague Chris Caffery, whilst retaining the Symphonic elements that has been part of the bulk of the man’s song writing for the past twenty something years. Indeed the two elements meet as well as was the case on Savatage’s classic middle road release, where styles were concerned, that was Gutter Ballet, (1989) where quieter moments that were largely new territory at the time met alongside the then traditional heavy Savatage stance of the likes “Of Rage And War”. Indeed, Jon Oliva’s work of today is probably akin more to late eighties/early nineties Savatage than the mentioned band/project itself did in later years, although it is hard to say whether this is a planned move, or because of past ideas used. Jon Oliva’s long since known large admiration for Beatles and Queen, especially shines through on tracks such as “Firefly” which may in fact be one of the better ballad’s he’s written since “When the Crowds are Gone,” although it drags a bit towards the end.

Still the feeling of déjà-vu that continues to plague much of the song writing works as a disadvantage to this amazing songwriter, and keeps the material as a whole from reaching the durance where the classic Savatage material is concerned especially. That said, the hard-hitting “Master” on the other hand, doesn’t really sound anything like the man has done before, with a machine like marching rhythm added for good measure. The short “O to G” feels too anonymous and fails to find a pure identity of it’s own amongst the piano-driven material of which there is still aplenty in the Jon Oliva catalogue, though a mighty fine vocal delivery savours it. The atmospheric “Walk upon the Water” brings the production of the album to the fore, and the particular magic the Oliva brothers used to conjure strikes a great presence here, maybe because of mentioned ghost’s past.

The irony is, while people cry out for Savatage to be active again, Jon Oliva’s Pain band could just as well be what Savatage would had been today anyway, seeing as the line-up of the latter had changed drastically and what was left for it to be still recognizable from its earlier incarnations was the song writing of Jon Oliva in any case. The spirit is certainly still there for old Savatage fans to enjoy, and another fine platter from this talented man all the same.


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