Kalpana Kalpana (Editor)


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Also known as
Avatar (1979–1982)


Years active
1979–2002 2014–present

Savatage 1000 images about SAVATAGE on Pinterest Jesus saves Ballet and

Tarpon Springs, Florida, United States

Combat Atlantic Nuclear Blast SPV/Steamhammer

Jon Oliva, Chris Caffery, Al Pitrelli

Heavy metal, Progressive metal, Power metal

Associated acts
Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Testament, Circle II Circle, Jon Oliva's Pain, Doctor Butcher, Machines of Grace

Gutter Ballet, Hall of the Mountain King, Edge of Thorns, Dead Winter Dead, Handful of Rain


Savatage (/ˈsævətɑːʒ/) is an American heavy metal band founded by the Oliva brothers Jon and Criss in 1979 at Astro Skate in Tarpon Springs, Florida. The band was first called Avatar, and just prior to the release of their debut album Sirens in 1983, they changed their name to Savatage.


Savatage Savatage Biography Albums Streaming Links AllMusic

Savatage has released eleven studio albums, two live albums, four compilations and three EPs. The band experienced major American commercial success with the release of their third studio album, Fight for the Rock (1986), which peaked at number 158 on the Billboard 200. Their next four albums — Hall of the Mountain King (1987), Gutter Ballet (1989), Streets: A Rock Opera (1991) and Edge of Thorns (1993) — were also successful but more critically acclaimed than Fight for the Rock.

Savatage Heavy Metal FTW Underrated Metal Bands 3 Savatage

After Criss' death in 1993, Jon (along with producer Paul O'Neill) decided to continue Savatage in memory of his brother. The band released four more studio albums, and went through several line-up changes before going on hiatus in 2002. During the years — partly even before the hiatus — members founded various new bands such as Jon Oliva's Pain, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Circle II Circle and Doctor Butcher. On August 2, 2014, Savatage announced that they were reuniting for Wacken Open Air in 2015; although the band has not performed any live shows since then, they are still active.

Savatage wwwprogarchivescomprogressiverockdiscography

Savatage hall of the mountain king hd official video

Early days (1979–1986)

Savatage Savatage Wikipedia

Criss Oliva and his brother Jon formed their first band together, Avatar, in 1979, from the ashes of their former bands Tower and Alien respectively. In 1980, the duo met up with Steve "Doc" Wacholz and practiced in a small shack behind the Oliva home that was dubbed "The Pit" by the band. Wacholz originally tried out to be part of Jon's band, Alien, but when the first Savatage line-up was taking shape, Jon, who was originally on drum duties, was relieved of them by Wacholz. They also gave Steve a nickname that would follow him throughout his career: "Doctor Hardware Killdrums", often shortened to just "Doc" or "Doc Killdrums", which referred to Steve's hard playing style.

Savatage Savatage Encyclopaedia Metallum The Metal Archives

Criss, Jon and Steve played Tampa (where they had moved with their family in the late 1970s) and Clearwater area clubs for many years. In 1981 Keith Collins joined them to relieve Jon of bass guitar duties. In late 2006, footage was released onto the internet of an early performance by Avatar at a gig in a Clearwater, Florida parking lot and was prominent in featuring an early version of the song "Holocaust", which would later be released on Savatage's first album and a cover of Van Halen's "Eruption" and VH's version of "You Really Got Me". In 1982, Avatar took part in some heavy metal compilations, most notably "The YNF Pirate Tape", a promotion by Tampa rock radio station 95ynf for local Florida bands. Shortly after its release, "Avatar" was forced to change its name due to copyright issues. Combining the words "Savage" and "Avatar", the band decided on Savatage.

Savatage Savatage discography lineup biography interviews photos

We wrote out Avatar on a big piece of poster paper... and Criss said, 'Put a big S (like Kiss) in front of Avatar,' and it was like, 'SAVATAR.' I was like, 'That sounds like a really bad dinosaur,' but we liked the way it looked. So then finally, out of nowhere, I don't remember who it was-- it might have been Criss' wife or my wife-- somebody said, 'Take the R out and put a GE,' and we did, and it was 'SAVATAGE.' I was like, 'That was cool,' not 'SA-VA-TAGE,' but 'SAVATAGE,' like 'SAVA' for Savage and 'TAGE' for mystical or whatever. From that moment on we were Savatage.

Their first two albums, Sirens and The Dungeons Are Calling, were released on Par Records, an independent label. In 1985, they signed a contract with Atlantic Recording Corporation and released their third album Power of the Night. Power of the Night, which was produced by Max Norman, who would go on to produce Megadeth's 1992 album Countdown to Extinction, showcased the band's unorthodox approach to metal, which included Jon's liberal use of keyboards on songs like "Fountain of Youth" and Broadway-style song structures like the kind employed on "Warriors". It was well received by critics but fell short of sales expectations. Atlantic budgeted to provide funds to make a video for "Hard for Love", on the condition that it be retitled "Hot for Love" for broadcast purposes. The band refused to change the song and consequently a video was not released.

In 1986, after the release of their fourth album, Fight for the Rock, a failed attempt at a commercial approach imposed by the record company which the band themselves called Fight for the Nightmare, Savatage toured with Metallica, KISS and Motörhead. The band were not happy with the record, with pressure from the label to include two cover versions. Jon Oliva had been retained to write material for other artists on the Atlantic label, such as John Waite and other pop-rockers. Later, the label demanded Savatage record the material themselves. In a choice they would later regret, the band agreed. Not only did it destroy them in the press, it nearly destroyed the band and sent Jon into his early alcohol and drug problems. Oliva recently admitted however the album did have strong points, including the band's cover of Badfinger's "Day After Day". During this time, original bassist Keith Collins left the band, and Johnny Lee Middleton joined the band. Since 1987, Johnny has been the only consistent member of Savatage, performing on every album (except Handful of Rain).

The golden era (1987–1993)

In 1987, Savatage released their first commercially successful album, Hall of the Mountain King, which became the base for the band rising into a more mainstream arena. The band recorded their first music video for the album's title song, which received extensive air play on MTV's Headbangers Ball and was followed up by a video for the song "24 Hours Ago". The album introduced a new musical style, featuring symphonic elements, strongly influenced by their new producer, Paul O'Neill, that would shape the band's future recordings. O'Neill contributed most of the lyrics for the rest of their career and gave them a more conceptual edge starting with their next album, Gutter Ballet.

Gutter Ballet, which was released in 1989, has been considered the band's true turning point. Since that album, the band has adopted a more progressive style, writing longer songs with more complex melodies and differing vocal styles, rather than the more straightforward power metal style that was apparent in earlier works. The change to a more progressive, operatic style was also precipitated by Jon, after seeing a performance of Phantom of the Opera in Toronto. The songs "Gutter Ballet" and "When the Crowds Are Gone" are examples of this influence from that album, as was the next Savatage's release (which even included "Opera" in its title). Again, two videos were made for the songs "When the Crowds Are Gone" and "Gutter Ballet" which received airplay on MTV. Many additional songs already written, before the decision of this change of style, were unused and subsequently published as bonus tracks, in the Sirens and The Dungeons Are Calling 2002 reissues, some of them were also re-worked and published by Jon Oliva's Pain.

Chris Caffery, who had been playing with Savatage in the previous tour performing rhythm guitar and keyboards offstage, officially joined the band in 1989. He didn't play on the Gutter Ballet album, but was credited with guitars and keyboards and was pictured in the album's booklet "both to prepare the fans for the line-up they'd see on tour and confirm his permanent member status". However, he left the band after the Gutter Ballet tour for personal reasons, but kept writing music with Jon Oliva and would later return to Savatage during the second part of the 90's.

In 1991, the band created their first rock opera Streets, featuring the story of a fallen rock star called DT Jesus who has hit hard times. The record did not sell as well as the band would have liked however, as it was released around the time that grunge exploded into the mainstream music arena, but a video for "Jesus Saves" was recorded and again got airplay, drawing a new audience to appreciate the band. During the years Streets: A Rock Opera become one of the most appreciated and a landmark album in Savatage's career. Originally, this record was intended to be a double album, but Atlantic Records didn’t like the idea, so it was trimmed down to 17 songs. The album was then going to have spoken tracks in-between all the songs but that was scrapped also. The final version scrapped the 17th song "Larry Elbows" and erased all the spoken tracks except for the intro to Jesus Saves. The cover had the story explained in it to make up for the lost spoken tracks. Atlantic somehow over the years managed to lose the master tapes to Streets so the left over songs truly are lost. Many of the riffs from these songs showed up on the next album Edge of Thorns. Another interesting detail about the album is that "Jesus Saves" was originally written as a midtempo song, not the rocker it became on the finished album. In 2013, some of the lost material was found and the album was re-issued with the title: Streets: A Rock Opera - Narrated Version.

After a tour in support of the album, in 1992, Jon Oliva left the band to concentrate on his side projects Doctor Butcher and his Broadway-bound musical Romanov, as well as continuing co-writing Savatage material with his brother Criss and producer Paul O'Neill. However, as of 2013, only one instrumental track from the Romanov project was released under the moniker Trans-Siberian Orchestra on the Dreams Of Fireflies EP. After this EP, together with a Broadway version of Streets named Gutter Ballet (including mainly songs from both these albums), even Romanov is planned as a future Trans-Siberian Orchestra album.

On 13 June 1992, during the Jon's Farewell Show at Rock-It Club in Tampa, 28 songs were played to cover all the main highlights of the band. This show was not intended, recorded or filmed for any sort of live album.

The new lead vocalist, former Wicked Witch singer Zachary Stevens, was discovered and introduced to the band by Criss's best friend and guitar technician Dan Campbell. The band recorded their follow-up to Streets, Edge of Thorns, in 1993. Drummer Steve Wacholz decided to record the album but he was not interested in touring, even though he stated he intended to return to the band in the future, and hand-picked his replacement as well in drummer Andy James. For the first time, Savatage began to enjoy mainstream recognition, including increased radio play and a world tour which gained international press as "the best Savatage has ever sounded live". However, tragedy struck when founder and lead guitarist Criss Oliva was killed by a drunk driver on October 17, 1993. Jon chose to continue the band, although he has since admitted that the band was pretty much over after Criss's death, but only kept going because of his memory and to "keep his music alive".

After Criss (1994–2000)

A short while after Criss' death, the band held a tribute show for the late guitarist, with the same line-up as the Streets tour but without Criss. Lead guitarist Alex Skolnick temporarily joined Savatage in 1994 for the release of their ninth album Handful of Rain, written by Jon Oliva and Paul O'Neill. Although the album is technically a Jon Oliva solo album, with Jon handling all instrumental duties except for vocals by Zachary Stevens and lead guitars by Alex Skolnick, the record was released under the Savatage moniker with bass and drum credits given to Middleton and Wacholz respectively, as drummer Andy James had left the band following the death of Criss Oliva to pursue other projects. The song "Chance" was the first Savatage song to contain the usage of counterpoint vocals, a style which they continued to use on following albums. The album's final track, "Alone You Breathe", was a tribute to Criss Oliva.

When the band were preparing to tour in support of Handful of Rain, drummer Steve Wacholz announced his official departure from the band. Jeff Plate, a former bandmember of Zak Stevens' old band, was hired to replace him. Jon Oliva agreed to do the tour to perform keyboards and rhythm guitar, and a live CD/VHS entitled Japan Live '94 (in later releases it has been retitled Live in Japan) was released at the conclusion of the very short tour with Skolnick's three-piece band Exhibit-A and power metal band Tempo Tantrum as supporting-acts. After this tour, Alex Skolnick left the band to pursue other interests.

In a 2011 interview, Skolnick had this to say about his time with Savatage:

While Skolnick adapted Criss Oliva's solos to his own style, former guitarist Chris Caffery, who had left after the Gutter Ballet tour, was convinced he could do them better. He then told Jon Oliva that he would rejoin the band to pay tribute to his friend and mentor Criss Oliva on the condition that he would play all of Criss' solos, which the band accepted. Atlantic Records, however, wanted a second, more well-known guitarist to join the band, and Al Pitrelli was chosen. Pitrelli was known for his previous work with Alice Cooper and Asia, among others, and would play the majority of the lead parts of the band's new material.

In 1995, Savatage released their second rock opera Dead Winter Dead, an even more ambitious undertaking than its predecessor, Streets. They also achieved cross-over success with "Christmas Eve Sarajevo 12/24", which received heavy rotation on multiple radio formats during the Christmas season. While they toured Europe and Japan, the group forwent an American tour to work on their new project, Christmas Eve and Other Stories, recorded by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO), comprising Savatage and a large orchestra. Jon Oliva has since admitted that he was annoyed to see the success of TSO with what was originally a Savatage song, leading him to believe that the biggest barrier to success as Savatage was the name.

Also in 1995, another live album Final Bell / Ghost in the Ruins is published with old recordings taken during the Gutter Ballet tour. This is intended as a tribute to Criss Oliva and an instrumental bonus track, played by Criss, named "Post Script" (basically recorded during a sound check and never appeared before) closed it. This release is titled "Final Bell" in Japan and "Ghost in the Ruins" elsewhere. "Ghost in the Ruins" was one of the titles the band previously considered for the album Streets.

The eleventh studio album, The Wake of Magellan, was released in 1998 after a break to deal with the huge success of TSO, and dealt with such concepts as the worth of a life, suicide and drug abuse, drawing on real-life events such as the Maersk Dubai and the murder of Veronica Guerin. Savatage parted ways with long-time label Atlantic after this release and eventually signed on with a much smaller organization, Nuclear Blast (although Trans-Siberian Orchestra albums would in the future remain on the Atlantic/Lava imprint). Jon Oliva said that this was a good move, as Nuclear Blast "loved the band and they know our songs and everything!".

Due to Oliva, O'Neill and Savatage's long time engineer Robert Kinkel's songwriting, the main differences between Savatage's last two albums and Trans-Siberian Orchestra are the usage of a real orchestra and the fact lead vocals are not played only by Oliva and/or Zachary Stevens, as in Savatage, but by a huge number of guest singers.

Poets and Madmen, hiatus and side projects (2001–2013)

Savatage continued to focus on their Trans-Siberian Orchestra project for a while, releasing The Christmas Attic, but the release of Poets and Madmen in 2001 was highlighted by Jon Oliva's return as lead vocalist in studio, replacing Zak Stevens, who left the band citing family reasons, and the departure of Al Pitrelli, who accepted an offer to join Megadeth in 2000. Pitrelli did record solos for some songs prior to his departure. Another very limited US tour followed, supported by Fates Warning in the early shows, and then Nevermore for the remainder. Around this time, Caffery chose Zak's replacement in the form of the singer Damond Jiniya (Diet of Worms), who was once again brought to the band from long-time friend and Circle II Circle manager/co founder Dan Campbell. Damond sang the song "Edge of Thorns" as his audition song. Damond performed Zak's parts on tour, with Jon having an increased vocal role in proceedings. Jack Frost auditioned for the role of rhythm guitar player, and got the gig. He played with the band for a majority of the tour, but was mysteriously asked to leave the band after the tour, although it could be said that Frost's commitments elsewhere drove him from the band. For Summer festival appearances in 2002, the band was joined by Annihilator's Jeff Waters.

Savatage have remained inactive since that tour, with band members concentrating on other projects such as Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Jon Oliva's Pain. This has not pleased everyone, with Chris Caffery in particular citing his anger at Savatage not recording a new album in almost 5 years as of 2006.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra continues with their releases and Savatage's members are mostly split up between its two touring line-ups, but during the European tours in 2011 and 2014 Pitrelli, Caffery, Middleton and Plate were all featured together on stage. Year by year more Savatage songs were included in the TSO setlists, among them also Gutter Ballet, Believe, All That I Bleed and Chance. Jon Oliva usually doesn't play on stage with Trans-Siberian Orchestra while Paul O'Neill, in recent years, started to do it very often during some selected songs.

Jon Oliva formed his own band, Jon Oliva's Pain, and released their first album in 2004 entitled 'Tage Mahal. Through the years Jon Oliva's Pain, also called JOP, published many records and during their live concerts they always play a lot of Savatage's songs from the albums with Criss Oliva. Additional material, taken by Jon from his brother's unused stuff, was used to write several Jon Oliva's Pain's tracks as described in the album's credits.

Lead guitarist Chris Caffery also recorded solo albums while former front man Zak Stevens was approached by long-time friend and Savatage stage manager Dan Campbell to co-found a new band Circle II Circle and their first record entitled Watching in Silence was released in 2003, produced by Jon Oliva and featuring a guest appearance from Caffery. After a dispute with the management during the tour, Zak's entire band left and joined Jon Oliva's Pain band. Zak regrouped with new members and release other new records. Since 2011, the band included more and more Savatage songs (from the records with Stevens at vocals) in their setlists, and in 2012 also the entire The Wake Of Magellan album was played. Their 2013 European tour included the complete Edge Of Thorns album due to its 20th anniversary while the 2014 European tour included the complete Handful of Rain album for the same reason.

In addition to his work with Trans-Siberian Orchestra, drummer Jeff Plate performed with electric violinist Mark Wood and joined Metal Church. He also reformed Wicked Witch with Zak Stevens, renaming the band Machines of Grace, and releasing a self-titled album in 2010.

Never involved with Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Steve Wacholz formed a new band in 2010, named Reverence, with guitarist Pete Rossi, vocalist Todd Michael Hall (formerly of Jack Starr's Burning Starr and currently in Riot V) and former Tokyo Blade members guitarist Bryan Holland and bassist Frank Saparti.

We all loved Savatage but we gave Savatage its chance to get to the level where it was supposed to get to and it never did, for whatever reasons, you know - we had tragedies, everything like that. But to me Savatage was never Savatage after Criss died. All these other lineups of the band that people heard from "Edge Of Thorns" (1993, Atlantic Records) on, to me was more like Trans-Siberian Orchestra actually than Savatage.

Criss Oliva 10th anniversary memorial concert

On 17 October 2003, at The Masquerade in historic Ybor City, Tampa, Tampa, FL, USA: fans were invited to remember and celebrate the life and contributions of Criss Oliva at a 10th Anniversary Memorial Concert. It featured Circle II Circle, Jon Oliva's Pain and Doctor Butcher as supporting acts and, as headliner, a special one night only band (composed by Jon Oliva, Johnny Lee Middleton, Steve "Doc" Wacholz, Chris Caffery and John Zahner) who played only selected songs from the albums with Criss Oliva. Many Criss parts were executed by Jon himself using keyboards. This show was not intended, recorded or filmed for any sort of live album.

Reunion rumors

In an interview to Aardschok, a Dutch Magazine, in June 2006, Jon Oliva announced that he wants to record one more Savatage album, with a live CD and DVD to follow it, before ending the band. He did not specify a release date for a new album, however. Chris Caffery then said in an interview in October 2006 that if a new Savatage album was to be recorded, then it's likely that Alex Skolnick would be involved, as well as original drummer Steve "Doc" Wacholz. In a November 2006 interview to Greek website, MetalTemple.com, Jon Oliva himself shot down all rumours of the return of Savatage, claiming that it never made him any money, but instead it cost him one million US dollars to keep the band going over the years.

Jon also said that his new band, Jon Oliva's Pain, is basically Savatage reincarnated, so it could co-exist with the more successful Trans-Siberian Orchestra. He did however state that a one-off anniversary tour featuring Skolnick, Wacholz and other past Savatage members is being planned with Paul O'Neill as a final send off to the band. Zachary Stevens has made it clear that he will participate in a 25th anniversary festivities with the band. Jon Oliva then said about the band "Well, it's over but it's not over, you know what I mean? It's over right now because no one's doing anything. We haven't disbanded or anything. We have plans to do something in the future." Jon also announced that he is doing "some video compilation stuff, and editing old things for a bonus DVD to go with it, that has a ton of live Criss stuff in concert, a lot of backstage frolicking about, and going to castles in Europe".

In 2007, Oliva denied any rumours of a Savatage reunion and tour, as the Trans-Siberian Orchestra has become a year-round commitment, adding that Jon Oliva's Pain is "as close to Savatage as you can get". Despite Oliva's earlier denials, in October 2008 the band launched an official MySpace page, hinting that 2009 would see some activity under the Savatage banner. The line-up listed on official MySpace is: Jon Oliva, Zak Stevens, Chris Caffery, Al Pitrelli, Johnny Lee Middleton and Jeff Plate; signalling that Stevens would return as lead vocalist in a reunion. In December of the same year, a brand new Savatage web site was unveiled. However, Jon Oliva has since denied these reunion rumors saying

In 2013, in support for Jon's first solo album titled Raise the Curtain, Oliva has been giving many interviews, and during at least one he mentioned the possibility of new Savatage music is something he's considering. While discussing the success of TSO and the decision to cease activities as Savatage with Dr. Metal on 6/30/13 he had this to say about the idea of new Savatage recordings:

Official reunion (2014–present)

On August 2, 2014, it was announced that Trans-Siberian Orchestra would be performing live on stage at Wacken Open Air 2015, followed immediately by a Savatage reunion gig. It was announced as Savatage's only live show in Europe in 2015, which led to speculation that it would be a one-off reunion show, or the band had planned to continue performing in the future.

Asked in a December 2014 interview if Savatage would do any more live shows or record new material, guitarist Chris Caffery replied, "I'm gonna put it this way: for 12 years, 13 years, I've been waiting for my band to play again. We're playing again. I don't know what's going to happen after that [laughs], but there were people that were putting a fork in it, and we're getting up and not just running a marathon, we're running in the Olympics with this festival being what it is. I'm not going to make any predictions, but let's just say there's a possibility that something more will happen after Wacken – that's all I can say. And nothing would make me happier."

On the future of Savatage, frontman Jon Oliva explained, "As far as that goes, the whole Wacken thing came up, and I was, like, you know what? If we're going to do anything, we have to do it now. I don't want to do it when I'm 60 years old. I mentioned that to Paul. He said to me, 'We're going to do the Wacken thing, but let's just wait until the winter tour is over and then you and me we're going to sit down in January and discuss what we're going to do.'" Oliva also said that Savatage has "already gotten offers" to play in "certain areas of the world, America being one, Greece, South America, places like that", and added that he does not rule out the possibility of any more shows. Though Oliva said he does not know what the future holds for Savatage, he said, "I just wish that everything works out good and then we'll see what happens down the road. I'll never say no to anything anymore, because every time I do, I get rained on."

The Wacken show has started - against all further schedules and expectations - with a performance of Savatage on the Black Stage, featuring Gutter Ballet as first song. From the line-up only Pitrelli was missing, replaced by Circle II Circle guitarist Bill Hudson, and they also had a support by Vitalij Kuprij on keyboards. After seven songs the band has left the stage, and on the True Metal Stage TSO has begun to play with Pitrelli and its non-Sava members. Caffery, Middleton and Plate have replaced them on several songs, and Stevens had a duet with Andrew Ross in the song The Hourglass. This leg was followed up by simultaneous play both bands, featuring also Savatage and TSO songs, ending up with O'Neill's appearance on guitar in Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24) and Requiem (The Fifth).

In October 2015 Zak Stevens confirmed the intentions of starting a new phase for Savatage, adding that (from November 1 on) there would be meetings to take decisions on the details, possibly a tour or a new album, since Jon Oliva is inspiredly writing new music.

When asked in April 2016 about Savatage's future, drummer Jeff Plate (who had recently released an album with Metal Church) stated, "This really is a question for Jon and Paul. We had a tremendous time last year when we performed at the Wacken Open Air Festival. It truly was great, and magical, to perform with that band again. I would love to put the Dead Winter Dead band back on the road again, but this is not my decision to be made."

Musical style

Savatage and its former variations started out as a heavy metal band, incorporating Jon Oliva's powerful, sometimes screamed vocals accompanied by Criss Oliva's heavy guitar riffs and fast, melodic solos. When bassist Johnny Lee Middleton joined in 1986, the band took a step in the direction of radio-friendly hardrock due to label pressure, but to no success.

In 1987, producer Paul O'Neill was brought in and added symphonic elements to the band's sound, making Hall of the Mountain King the band's first progressive metal album. Around this time, vocalist Jon Oliva also started focusing more on keyboards and piano. The band's 1991 effort Streets: A Rock Opera was, as its name implies, a rock opera, the first of many to follow.

After the departure of lead vocalist Jon Oliva, his replacement Zachary Stevens brought in a very different vocal sound. The band continued on the progressive metal/hard rock path, and when Jon Oliva rejoined the band, albums would often feature a few songs with him on lead vocals.

One of the band's trademarks, especially in the band's later years, were the canon and multi-backing vocals. In Savatage's early years guitarist Criss Oliva would sometimes provide backing vocals, but this decreased dramatically over the years so he could focus on guitar playing. The band's 1994 album Handful of Rain saw the introduction of canon vocals with the song "Chance", and the subsequent albums had some of these incorporated as well. In the studio, Stevens' vocals would be layered on top of each other, but live Jon Oliva, Chris Caffery, Al Pitrelli and Johnny Lee Middleton would all do the canon vocals.

The song "Alone you Breathe" dedicated to the memory of Criss Oliva is sung by Zachary Stevens as all the rest of the Handful of Rain album. However, an acoustic version of the song, sung by Jon Oliva, was published as bonus track inside the recent Savatage's catalog reissues.


Touring Members
  • Chris Caffery – rhythm guitar (1987-1990)
  • Andy James – drums (1993)
  • Jack Frost – guitar (2000–2001)
  • Damond Jiniya – lead vocals (2001–2002)
  • The song "Hall of the Mountain King" from the album of the same name was used in the video game Brutal Legend.

    Gutter Ballet was an unpublished Broadway project Paul O'Neill wrote back in 1979. In 1989, Savatage already used this title for their previous album but decided to focus their next release, Streets: A Rock Opera, on it. Trans-Siberian Orchestra reprised, in recent years, the idea to release a Gutter Ballet musical close to O'Neill original script featuring Savatage's music as well.

    German power metal band Powerwolf covered "Edge of Thorns" on their 2015 "Blessed & Possessed" deluxe edition.


  • Sirens (1983)
  • Power of the Night (1985)
  • Fight for the Rock (1986)
  • Hall of the Mountain King (1987)
  • Gutter Ballet (1989)
  • Streets: A Rock Opera (1991)
  • Edge of Thorns (1993)
  • Handful of Rain (1994)
  • Dead Winter Dead (1995)
  • The Wake of Magellan (1997)
  • Poets and Madmen (2001)
  • Songs

    When the Crowds Are GoneGutter Ballet · 1989
    All That I BleedEdge of Thorns · 1993
    Summer's RainGutter Ballet · 1989


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