Jul 15

Oliva – Raise the Curtain (2013)

DIMMU BORGIR - Eonian

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This year, for the first time musical mastermind Jon Oliva releases his debut solo album, Raise the Curtain. This album combines all of the qualities Jon Oliva is best recognized for: power, talent, and those goddamn vocal chords. With early influences from 70’s prog rock with the stylings he used for his projects Savatage and Jon Oliva’s Pain, you hear a Jon Oliva you never heard. He incorporated so many influences with this record, yet still stayed the same Jon Oliva, and so much more. This reinvented material contains a collaboration of intricate yet catchy guitars, keyboards, horns, and empowering lyrics. This is the equation for an amazing and unforgettable album.

I’m pretty upset with the way the album starts. The opening track is Raise the Curtain. Even with the mighty guitar chords and keyboards, I feel it’s redundant. But then, the album enters my favorite song off this record, Soul Chaser. The opening riff and keyboards get stuck in your head as Jon Oliva’s vocals start. His voice completes the song, giving it more force that completely throws you off. The next song, Ten Years, surprised me. The introduction of horns gives it a big band vibe. It’s Jon Oliva’s vocals that remind you that you’re listening to something a little heavier. All of these influences combine and complete each other perfectly; the beauty of progressive rock.

I will definitely tell you this; this album takes a few good listens to appreciate. Especially if you’re used to heavier Oliva, you’ll be thrown off at first. I wasn’t expecting his solo album to be so proggy, but then again solo albums serve the purpose for discovery and recreation. I feel the direction Oliva went for this solo album is perfect. Everything blends so perfectly. The album is extremely spontaneous: from heartfelt, moving tracks like I Know to songs that make you want to get and dance like Father Time. All feeling and all interests are exhibited on this one album.

Jon Oliva has always been one to impress. What other musician can say they founded a metal band, to traveling the world playing Christmas songs in a progressive rock orchestra? So we all shouldn’t have been surprised when Jon Oliva announced he had something else up his sleeve. This album is beyond impressive. For writing the vast majority of this record independently, it makes you think of what else Jon Oliva is capable of. Probably a lot more than we could ever imagine.

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Tracklist:

1. Raise the Curtain
2. Soul Chaser
3. Father Time
4. I Know
5. Big Brother
6. Armageddon
7. Soldier
8. Stalker
9. The Witch
10. Can’t Get Away

Genre: Progressive Rock/Metal

Label: AFM Records

Line Up:

Jon Oliva – Vocals, All Instruments
Chris Kinder – Drums
Dan Fasciano – Hammond organ

Links:

www.jonoliva.net
www.afm-records.de

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