|Review: Savatage - Ghost in the Ruins|
|Ghost in the Ruins|
Year released: 1995
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: February 8, 2010
Reviewed by: Hermer Arroyo
for:Ghost in the Ruins
Rated 4.4/5 (88%) (20 Votes)
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.
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