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on 4 August 2017
Welcome back boys! After the disaster that was 'Fight for the Rock', Savatage's brief foray into adult-oriented rock (forced upon them by their label), the band rebound with an album that puts them back on track, and has gone on to be regarded as one of their most beloved releases, and certainly one that would maintain their upward momentum as a string of successful records would follow.

With the group going back to their heavier roots, there's a strong emphasis on fast, energetic guitar riffs, with early hints of the more classical-inspired sound that the band would adopt on later, more ambitious releases. Criss Oliva's blistering guitar work is second-to-none, and his brother, vocalist Jon Oliva's voice is as harsh and brutal as it's ever been. Each note really screaming out with pure passion and energy.

Highlights from this album include '24 Hours Ago', 'Beyond the Doors of the Dark', 'The Price You Pay', 'Strange Wings', 'Devastation' and of course, the title track itself. While I didn't mind 'Fight for the Rock', this is certainly a return to form for Savatage, and although it may be somewhat surpassed by the groups later material, it definitely still holds up well as a solid heavy metal album.

"Madness reigns..."
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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.
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on 19 August 2007
Occasionally I decide to discover bands I have little or no idea about, I'd heard of Savatage being a long time fan of 80's metal but had not actually heard any music from them. However I reasoned because the cover art is brilliantly cheesy the music must be great as well. Thankfully, I was right.

Savatage were one of those bands in the American metal scene who didn't fall into either the thrash or hair metal movements (however they apparently flirted with hair metal on their previous album). However I would describe the bands sound as King Diamond with a proper singer or Megadeth if they slowed down (and had a proper singer). Apart from the excellent songs on this album I was most impressed by Criss Oliva's guitar playing which like most players in the 80's was Van Halen inspired but imaginative rather than derivative and he clearly had the technical ability to do this. Their were few players in the late 80's metal scene who were shredding but actually doing something interesting in the context of a band, Andy LaRoque, Chris Poland and future Savatage guitarist Alex Skolnick spring to mind and Criss Oliva can easily hold his own against the aforementioned players. Vocally, Jon Oliva has a unique voice which is probably an acquired taste but he can clearly sing very well and his lyrics are dated yet enjoyable most of them being about `children of the night' and equally metal fare. The rhythm section is completely nothing to write home about pretty typical of the time and one of few weak points of this otherwise exceptional album.

This album has many memorable songs and is consistently good with no weak moments. However the albums title track is easily the finest yet it is confusingly not based on Edvard Greig's classical piece (`Prelude to Madness', however does as well as echoing Holst's `Mars, the bringer of war'), however Criss Oliva does provide some majestic guitar riffs and solos. Other notable tracks include opener `24 hours ago' which yet again is a guitar master class and perhaps the most commercially minded track, `Strange Wings'. The band show some heavier influences in `White Witch' which is reminiscent of Venom and could of easily be on their magnum opus `Black Metal'.

I really was surprised I hadn't heard this album before, it's a masterful 80's metal album with a lot going for it, songs, playing and an interesting neo-classical tinge. I can highly recommend this to any metal fan unfamiliar with Savatage. It has the right balance between heaviness and melody, which the band, although the ballads were good didn't get right on their following release `Gutter Ballet'.
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on 26 June 2008
I first heard the title track when I was about 13 and it got me crazy about Savatage, just the one song. So I bought the album and it is now most definetely one of favourites.
From the glass-shattering '24 Hours Ago' to the melodic 'Strange Wings', this album, especially if you're a fan of power metal, will have you hooked. It represents what power-metal should be, meaningful, heavy and owning a certain sense of aura, unlike many power metal bands today, who mainly focus on speed.
I could only give it 5 stars, but this is worthy of 10.
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on 10 July 2009
This Savatage album came along after a failed attempt to break into the US charts with over the top (poor) arena rock on the previous CD.

realising where their true strengths lay, savatage hit us with this true masterpiece of metal. Some of the riffs and leads found in here are (in my humble opinion) some of the greatest ever written in the history of metal... thus was the genius of the late Criss Oliva. His brother Jon also excells with truely fantastic vocals.... all set behind the backdrop of great songwriting.

The songs range from the more stereotypical 80's anthems (strange wings) to the simply epic Hall of the mountain king..... not a weak link to be found aside from a slight filler track or two towards the end. All in all i find this to be savatages finest moment, combining all that was great about this band in a single crushing release.

Any fan of 80's metal should have this one safely nestled in their collection already, for those who havent yet, get clicking..... a masterpiece.

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on 12 March 2014
I bought this album on a whim after hearing the title track.

I proceeded to have my face melted by the entire album
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on 9 March 2014
First heard on cassette ! loved it then love it even more now !
For any lifer metalheads or novices a must have ! Pure riff heaven ! You wont be dissapointed ! TURN IT UP!!!
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on 24 March 2016
The title track is absolutely AWESOME and the rest of the album doesn't let you down: In the same class as gutter ballet or a handful of rain but a little more oomph!
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on 24 December 2013
this is my first listen to this group.read someone,s review of it and decided to see for myself,and all i can say i am glad i did.
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on 15 June 2014
This was the album that opened me up to Savatage's music. Cracking vocals and guitar work. Recommended for any collection.
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