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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Who's the new guy?

Savatage - Edge of Thorns
Two of five stars

Savatage minus the vocal style of Jon Oliva has always been a disappointment to me. Edge of Thorns begins that trend and as such it holds a special place in my own private hell. That having been said, I’ll admit the disc is not without its high points. The title track is a solid tune and Stevens does a mighty fine job fitting in with the band’s signature progressive, melodic style.

 The next two or three tracks leave a lot more to be desired. Here is where the presence of a new vocalist brings to mind the difference between Sabbath with Ozzy and Sabbath with Tony Martin. In other words, you’re listening to a decent band, but it no longer resembles the band you’ve come to love.

The instrumental tracks give a little glimpse of hope, the penultimate three tracks deliver the goods, and the final song, “Sleep,” is a very good acoustic ballad that is not at all reminiscent of Savatage. Remember those high points I mentioned? In the end I can’t help but think of how much higher those highs would be if Oliva were at the helm instead. This is not Savatage.