7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
...short on hits, long on quality...,
This review is from: Still The Orchestra Plays Greatest Hits Vol.1+2 (Audio CD)
Savatage were on the leading American progressive metal bands, who lifted the genre to new heights, before the departure of singer Jon Oliva and the subsequent, tragic death of his guitarist brother Criss. Their two final albums together "Gutter Ballet" and "Streets" hit peaks that no other band of the genre has ever managed.
Strange to relate, then, that after Jon Olivas return for their final album "Poets And Madmen" in 2001, that the Savatage side project Trans-Siberian Orchestra has gone to ludicrously successful heights denied to its parent band, with their most recent album going Top 5 in the USA. What better time, then, to reissue the Savatage back catalogue, and bung out a double album best of! None more better.
Things kick off with the title track of their third album "Power Of The Night", a record that still saw them finding their feet, before launching into the title track of 1987's "Hall Of The Mountain King", probably the best of the early Savatage albums, which will be why there are another 2 "Hall" tracks before the arrival of 'Gutter Ballet', the song, along with another couple of extracts. And they're still as good as they were all those years ago.
It's a shame that they've chosen to blank out their earliest recordings, especially as it's a double album. Also there's no room for the bonus tracks that were dug out for earlier reissues of the main albums. But I suppose it is masquerading as a greatest hits album, despite the fact that they only troubled the singles chart once (with 'Edge Of Thorns'). However, there are three new tracks on offer, which were recorded last year by Jon Oliva.
If you get in quick, there is a limited edition three disc edition which has a DVD of the complete "Japan Live" show from 1994, which appears for the first time on DVD. Of course, if you're a fan, you've got to buy it, and hope that something special is being saved up for the full reissues which will, apparently, feature bonus tracks as well as newly recorded audio commentaries. If you're new to the band, however, or only know them through the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, then this is an excellent introduction, well worth buying.