I was saddened to hear the news yesterday about the passing of guitarist Matthew LaPorte who played lead guitar in Jon Oliva’s Pain. Having enjoyed the music of Savatage for many years I always liked what Oliva had been doing with Pain as this was essentially the closest that fans were ever going to come to this sound in today’s music world. As a guitarist LaPorte was a great fit in the lineup and did real justice to the songs that had originally been done by the late great Criss Oliva. He was forty years old at the time of his passing.
Jon Oliva’s Pain didn’t make it to NYC all that much but the one time that they played in Brooklyn, NY at a club called Brooklyn Music Terminal, my friends and I were there to support the Mountain King and his at the time new band. They had just released the “Tage Mahal” album and were doing a short tour with Chris Caffery and Tim Ripper Owens’ band Beyond Fear. The show was amazing, but the venue was an abysmal place that was not missed at all when it closed its doors. They returned a couple of years ago to a place in Yonkers but that was it to my knowledge. There is a ton of Jon Oliva’s Pain footage on YouTube.com which you can enjoy Matt’s playing in. He was a really gifted axe-slinger and we send condolences out to his family and friends at this time.
Artist: Jon Oliva’s Pain Title: “Maniacal Renderings” Label: Locomotive Records Release Date: 10/17/2006 Genre: Heavy Metal Rating: 4/5
Metal Legions I ask that you once again proclaim a hearty “All Hail The Mountain King” for he has returned and brings The Pain to Metal once again. Yes, the Savatage mastermind Jon Oliva is back and doing what he has always done best – delivering emotional and powerful Metal that is loaded with melodic hooks, inspiring piano and choruses that will have you with fists raised to the sky. “Maniacal Renderings “ is the second album Oliva recorded with this band and they do not suffer the sophomore curse by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, they seem to have worked out any kinks and begun the next logical step in their development. Yet as you listen, and especially if you had followed his career in the past you will find this album to be the most Savatage like of the two they have released. I was left wondering if this was on purpose or as an accident but perhaps it was a little bit of both. Oliva has one of the most unique voices to ever hit Metal and his song writing style has made albums like “Gutter Ballet”, “Streets”, and “Handful Of Rain” become classics that are long referred to by fans and other musicians of note. After so many years in the business, one’s overall style does not change fully, yet adapts over time. Based on the Savatage work and his co-creation of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, we find JOP to be a Metal band that utilizes to success some elements of each of these juggernauts. I have felt that Jon’s writing always had a specific vibe to it also and as a result this album could very well have been called “Streets 2”, for as soon as it finished I ran to my case and dug that one out. There are more than a few moments on this release that sound like they are continuations to music we first heard on “Streets: A Rock Opera”. Oliva fans will enjoy this closeness as the Savalegions have been begging for a reunion of the classic group for years and this is probably as close as they will get. Continue reading “Maniacal Renderings” by Jon Oliva’s Pain→
Artist: John Oliva’s Pain Title: “Tage Mahal” Label: SPV America Release Date: 2/1/2005 Style: Heavy Metal Rating: 9/10
Hear Ye! Hear Ye! The “Mountain King” has returned to the Legions of Metal with a solid piece of music for all to enjoy. Yes, Jon Oliva the original voice power behind the influential power metal band Savatage is back with the debut CD from his new band “Jon Oliva’s Pain”. Entitled “Tage Mahal” the piece starts with Jon solo on the keyboard before the band kicks in. When they do it simply rocks. Given Jon’s past history with Savatage, the CD holds a very similar feel to it. As a matter of fact I instantly was reminded of the Savatage epic “Streets-A Rock Opera” when I started playing it. This CD was one of my favorites in the back catalog, and is a worthwhile companion piece of music to it. Continue reading “Tage Mahal” by Jon Oliva’s Pain→