on 23 July 2013
This is Jon Oliva's first solo album where he plays almost everything and has his first go at playing guitar solos. It is also the last album that will feature any more Criss Oliva's ideas because Jon has stated that he's used them all. Because of this, Behind The Curtain is a bittersweet album and the end of an era.
Both in production and sound you could easily be mistaken into thinking this is the new Jon Oliva's Pain album, but whereas JOP had a more metal edge, Oliva has more progressive, hard rock tendancies that are just as enjoyable. 'Father Time' is a great example of the metal being stripped away without it losing any of its potency, which is the mark of a great song. 'Soul Chaser' has a great rasp to it and enough grit to please the metal head. Ten Years is as catchy as hell and the album shines with the deliciously dark 'I Know', which, for me, is Oliva at his best, and could easily have sat on the 'Streets' album. Other songs of note, without blowing one's mind, is the standard quirky rocker, 'Big Brother', and the hugely entertaining, 'Armageddon', with an ending to end all endings.
As entertaining as the above are, the title track is a long instrumental that leaves me cold even though i feel like I should enjoy it considering the work it must have taken. 'Solider' is just dull and 'Can't Get Away' seemed to never end. 'Stalker' and 'The Witch' are ok tunes without really making their mark adding to a disappointing second half to this album
On the whole, this is an enjoyable hard rock release that demonstrates Jon Oliva's ecletic styles of song writing. Some of it works, some of it doesn't, and, for me, it is on par with the last couple of JOP albums, with Jon's voice holding up very nicely. Now that all the Criss Oliva demos have been used, it'll be interesting to see what he comes up with next. Recommended for Jon Oliva fans.