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Savatage - Poets and Madmen (1 Viewer)


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Poets and Madmen

Savatage, a Progressive Metal outfit from Florida, album Poets and Madmen opens with an enormous crash, a lone keyboard leading into the guitar-heavy "Stay With Me a While," setting the stage for the 12th and most recent album from this near-legendary band. Also their fourth concept album, Poets and Madmen proves to not only astound listeners with extreme lows and highs, softs and louds, but also to provide a listening experience that is not only entertaining, but interesting on a much ethereal plane of music. Produced by Paul O'Neil, Poets and Madmen has left an indelible impression upon the Progressive Metal scene.

The epic ten minute piece "Morphine Child" is perhaps the most musically significant track on the album. With its dazzling highs and brooding lows, it opens with an interplay between piano and guitar that sets an ominous tone for the song. The rhythmic pounding of the bass behind heavily distorted guitars and simple, clean piano provides a feeling unique to the song. Jon Oliva's powerful vocal melodies give "Morphine Child" a focal point, and vocal harmonies reminiscent of Queen will surely leave listeners amazed at the versatility Savatage so skillfully demonstrates. The power of lyrics is not underestimated by this group, unlike many other Metal bands; it is clearly shown with the lines "I am the morphine child / The dream defiled / The never ending metaphor / I am the wizard Oz / Result and cause / Never look behind that door."

This album, however, if not without its softer moments. The clean guitar of "The Rumor" provides a few minutes rest from the heavy guitar work before ripping into one of the more outstanding solo moments of the album. The extremely dark introduction to "Man in the Mirror" features some of the most outstanding vocal moments on Poets and Madmen, and with this, Savatage once again proves their ability to produce music that is not only heavy and powerful, but simple and beautiful. From the beautiful Spanish guitar-influenced stylings of the instrumental "Surrender" to the news-clip ridden "Back to Reason" to the oh-so-heavy metal sound that is "Awaken," Poets and Madmen is an album that exemplifies the skill and power of Savatage and sets a higher standard for many aspiring musicians.

Matthew Montgomery