This is the project of the leader JON OLIVA, keyboard, vocals (now second vocal), composer definitively the leader of Savatage . John is one the principal members of Trans Siberian Orchestra. The new project is called Pain and is just in the middle of both bands.
This new band is a bit darker than Savatage , it is really curious that this record is more orchestral and epic. Tage Mahal is in the style of Trans Siberian Orchestra even with the rock and operatic approach of Queen .
The members of this band are the same as Circle II Circle , except Zak Stevens, drums: Kristopher Zinder, bass & backing vocals Kevin Rothney, guitar Matt Laporte and keyboardist John Zahner. All together, with the ambient keyboard melodies (really present on the record), the aggressive vocals really peculiar of John Oliva, give to this project's originality near Savatage .
When you hear this CD for the first time, it seems like this recording is an unfinished Savatage record. There is something missing on the album. The songs are great but are lineal too, in my opinion the aggressiveness of Savatage is missed, but this is not a Savatage record. The sudden Instrumental explosions, the structures seems all the jewels of Savatage , like “Hall of the Mountain King”, “Edge of Thorns”, “Gutter Bullet”,
The song “The dark” is a hard one with epic choirs, “Guardian of forever” (is slower, with a hard beat and a real melody, “Walk alone” this is a song which is really intense with a slow beat, and great keyboards making the melodies, “No escape” really heavy and aggressive. Another song, which rocks with orchestral like sound is “The non sensible ravings of the lunatic mind” epic and operatic, “Father, son, holy ghost” rocks even more, quiet and a superior keyboard melody, “Slipping away” is a 100% Queen song, with great guitar melodies, and a great vocal work, with some double vocal lines. Finally we can hear some songs walking on another way of the record line “People say – Gimme some hell” a dark song and a bit “party on” song, “Pain” is really dark and aggressive and “Fly Away” the love song of the record, the voice of John starts slow but at the end the voice is more aggressive.
Two curiosities: on the tracks 7 and 11 the drums are played by Steve Wacholz, the first Savatage drummer. The name of the record is in memory of Criss, ‘cause Tage Mahal was the instrumental record that Criss goes to release.
- The Dark
- People Say - Gimme Some Hell
- Guardian of Forever
- Slipping Away
- Walk Alone
- The Non Sensible Ravings Of The Lunatic Mind
- No Escape
- Father, Son, Holy Ghost
- All the Time
- Nowhere To Run
- Outside the Door
- Fly Away