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Savatage - Hall Of The Mountain King
on 28 August 2012
Savatage's fourth studio album Hall Of The Mountain King is a cult classic Heavy Metal album, that was released in 1987 and which was the starting point in the band's gradual evolution from a more traditional 80s Metal band into a Progressive Metal band.
Sonically, the album shares moments of Power Metal, NWOBHM, Progressive Metal & Thrash Metal without ever really settling on one or the other for a real long time, although in a way that always feels natural rather than a schizophrenic shifting between disjointed styles. If you come in to it expecting one particular thing then it may be confusing or even a bit annoying, indeed people often argue over what subgenre Savatage actually are since they sit perfectly on the borders of so many, but if you can stop yourself over-analyzing it in comparison to any set of genre boundaries, you'll get to hear a damn fine album of well written, quintessentially '80s sounding Metal.
Jon Olivia has a powerful voice that goes from throaty low pitched shouting to Dickinson & Halford style theatrics and melodies at a moments notice. Equally, the rest of the band are all impressive at their instruments, with each member shining at one point of the album or other, from a bass-centric intro to a lengthy guitar solo or some interesting drum fills everyone shows what they can do in a restrained but still impressive fashion.
The whole record flows really well and not a moment feels wasted or out of place, the production suits the musical direction perfectly and the album overall just feels satisfying. Its easy to see why it always makes it into lists of best metal albums.
Highlights include the rhythmic and interesting `Legion' the speedy `White Witch' and the brilliant and memorable title-track along with its classical-reinterpretation prelude track, for which most people will know the album.
Overall; Hall Of The Mountain King is something that pretty much any Metal fan should be able to find something to like about, and if you haven't heard it yet, you should at least consider trying it out.