Oh, man, over the past couple of days I have realised how much my old-school heavy metal soul needed this album. I used to be a huge fan of Savatage, and I still am at heart.
Listening to 'Festival' is like coming home.
I know, I know, I usually review lots of death metal, thrash, black and doom, and there is not a hint of it here. Not a single trace.
There is something else.
There is melody and heavy guitars. There is integrity. There is song writing that only someone like Jon Oliva can present.
Death rides a black horse? Yes, sure. Banal, yes, but the slightly proggy hooks and melody worm their way right into the heavy metal heart. Cheesy keyboards underneath, well, perhaps, but it doesn't change the fact that this is a SONG.
Living on the Edge of Time? But of course! Full-on heavy metal guitar attack with a chorus to die for. What more can you ask for?
'But, they have BALLADS?!' I hear you complain. Yes, they do, but they are f*cking heavy metal ballads with balls - so I don't give a shit. I love it.
Do you miss the real Savatage? I do, but this is just as good. Jon Oliva has a way of touching hearts and he certainly does so with 'Festival'.
Buy by the thousands.