Jon Oliva's Pain - Global Warning

1. Global Warning
2. Look at the World
3. Adding the Cost
4. Before I Hang
5. Firefly
6. Master
7. The Ride
8. O to G
9. Walk Upon Water
10. Stories
11. Open Up Your Eyes
12. You Never Know
13. Someone/Souls

Jon Oliva (V,G,K)
Matt LaPorte (G)
Shane French (G)
Kevin Rothney (B)
John Zahner (K)
Christopher Kinder (D)

Tage Mahal (2003)
Maniacal Renderings (2006)

Ralph Santolla (G)

Produced by: Jon Oliva, Jim Morris, Tom Morris


Mr. Savatage could have been his name, but it isn’t, his name is Jon Oliva and he was once the creative and leading force of Savatage, nowadays he manages his own band called simply Jon Oliva’s Pain. This album has a green cover with trees and skeletons, that has always boded for a good album and Oliva and his friends will not do anything to change that fact.

There is often loads of talk about Savatage and Oliva himself once we get in around his things, but this is actually a real band, I don’t know what the rest of the band is named but they are situated on the side with all the other info about the band and this record. It is an ugly band, Jon said it and the pictures backs it up.

Then, how is an ugly band when it comes to playing? Is the skills to play an instrument always depended upon looks? If the answer to either these are yes, then quit reading and start looking for attractive people that plays boring radio music. If the answer is no, then go on reading. The band is really skilled and versatile, musically this is a quite diverse record with straight ahead hard and heavy rock/metal with lots of touches of the classical and some experimentalism. Some people may say it lacks direction, and maybe they are in part right, but I don’t think the record lacks direction it is just that the path they are travelling is not as straight as it is for most other bands. Another thing worth mentioning is Mr Oliva’s voice, it is a love/hate kind of voice I think.

To elaborate on the vocal part, Jon’s voice is a bit raspy, but it is very powerful and it suits this kind of music excellently. Still I think some people may dislike this record solely because of the way he sings, but they are not good people and they are not to be trusted, in any situation. Jon Oliva may have a voice that is far from beautiful and he is not fair to look at either but he has the skill to compose fantastic pieces and that is what really counts.

I truly like this green album, not because of the nod towards the imaginary thing called global warming, the warming part is a fact of the later years but the future and the cause of this is not what they say. Still I will not once again go into that discussion, it is still a great record with lyrical themes looking at wars and other problems on the global scale, and as far as I can make out Global Warming is not very high up that list of themes. Wars, poverty and starvation, the worlds real problems is the themes Oliva wants to enlighten us about on this album. And he does this preaching with powerful songs, good melodies and passionate powerful vocals is enhancing the experience.

There are good songs all the way through, some stand out just a little more than others, Firefly, Adding the Cost and Stories are three really good stand out songs on this album, especially Firefly which is a really strong and powerful song with a message. Jon Oliva has with his band carried over his and Savatage magic and brought it another level, still it cannot triumph Streets, but how many albums can?

I am impressed with the quality output that always come from Jon Oliva and whoever he works with, I have works like Streets which still runs quite a lot, Gutter Ballet is another strong work in my collection, the latest offering by Savatage: Poets and Madmen and so on, they all possess the same inherent strength and blows you away. Still as of yet I cannot say that Global Warning completely blow you out of the water, it is excellent and some songs really do, but there isn’t just the same greatness as Streets or Gutter Ballet. Nonetheless, it is an album that is to reckon with and it is a good album, very good even and some of the songs carry that magic that the best of works from Savatage have, I have a prophecy and that is that the next Jon Oliva’s Pain album will be in line and equally good as Streets, the potential is there it is just to find that little extra spark that adds that little extra level.

JOP, the Savatage we all miss, it is what we Savatage fans will have to put our faith into now, and it is definitely not a bad bet considering what they have already done. I truly enjoy this album though I would hope for more epic songs like Firefly on coming albums. Global Warning is a green album with loads of skill and loads of good music and it is a must-have for every Savatage fan out there.

Not to mix up with Al Gore propaganda, this is way better than that.

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Label - AFM/Sound Pollutiont
Three similar bands - Savatage/Trans Siberian Orchestra/Zak Steven's Circle II Circle
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm