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Review: Savatage - Ghost in the Ruins
Savatage
www.savatage.com
Ghost in the Ruins

Label: SPV
Year released: 1995
Duration: 62:51
Tracks: 13
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 5/5

Review online: February 8, 2010
Reviewed by: Hermer Arroyo
Readers Rating
for:
Ghost in the Ruins

Rated 4.5/5 (90%) (16 Votes)
Review


This was Savatage's first official live album, also known as Final Bell, and it is meant to be a fitting tribute to the great late guitarist Criss Oliva. Recorded at different venues during the Gutter Ballet tour, this record shows Savatage at one of their peaks during the Jon Oliva era. The disc starts with the cool "City Beneath the Surface" and right from the start you know that this isn't just another live album. From there the band pounds out great song after great song like "24 Hours Ago", "Sirens", "Hounds" and "Hall of the Mountain King", making for an extremely good set. The production is dead on, capturing what being at a Savatage show is like.

In Ghost in the Ruins, Savatage is on fire!!! Every song here is a massive improvement over the studio counterpart and considering the quality of the songs, it is an amazing feat to say the least. The band members prove that they are extremely skilled musicians, the album has a raw sound, no overdubs and it doesn't feel overproduced. From the great stage presence of Jon Oliva, to the thick bass of John Lee Middleton to the precise drumming of Steve Wacholz, the band is unbelievable. Which leads me to the star of the show, Criss Oliva. I've always been a fan of his style but here the man is fucking amazing, there is no other way to say it. He takes over at every moment that he can, and his beautiful leads will make your jaw drop (he is one of my top five guitarists ever).

This live album is one of my favorite live offerings ever and one of the best sounding records as well. Any Savatage fan, any metal fan, any guitar fan should have this album, as it really can't get any better than this. It is a damn tragedy that the genius that was Criss Oliva was taken from the metal world so early. At least we have this album so we can remember how great of a musician this guy was.


Track Listing:
  1. City Beneath the Surface
  2. 24 Hours Ago
  3. Legions
  4. Strange Wings
  5. Gutter Ballet
  6. When the Crowds are Gone
  7. Of Rage and War
  8. The Dungeons are Calling
  9. Sirens
  10. Hounds
  11. Criss Intro
  12. Hall of the Mountain King
  13. Post Script
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Video: 24 Hrs Ago
Video: Gutter Ballet
Video: Hall Of The Mountain King
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