From: Tampa, FL, United States
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Latest Savatage News
Below is our complete Savatage news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.
Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.
Paul O'Neill, long time collaborator with Savatage and the man who created Trans-Siberian Orchestra along with Jon Oliva (Jon Oliva's Pain/Savatage), Bob Kinkel, All Pitrelli (Savatage) and famed producer Dave Witman, died late last night from a chronic illness.
More information is expected soon, but the death was announced by Trans-Siberian Orchestra and reads:
"The entire Trans-Siberian Orchestra family, past and present, is heartbroken to share the devastating news that Paul O’Neill has passed away from chronic illness.
"He was our friend and our leader -- a truly creative spirit and an altruistic soul. This is a profound and indescribable loss for us all.
"We ask that you respect Paul’s family’s privacy now. We will make additional announcements shortly."
Many members of T.S.O. shared the post, like guitarist/writer Chris Caffery (Savatage) who simply stated: "Shattered..."
O'Neill's collaboration with Savatage led to some of the most well known conceptual albums like "Gutter Ballet," "Streets: A Rock Opera" and "Dead Winter Dead." More...
This past weekend an All-Star Musician event took place at the The Headliner in Neptune City, New Jersey to benefit Rock Against Dystrophy. The event featured members of Accept, Guns N Roses, Savatage/T.S.O., Metal Allegiance, A Sound of Thunder, TT Quick and more performing classic covers.
Amateur video footage surfaced on YouTube featuring Nina Osegueda (A Sound of Thunder), Mark Tornillo (Accept, TT Quick), Bumblefoot (ex-Guns N Roses), Mike Portnoy (Metal Allegiance), Chris Caffery (Savatage/T.S.O.) and Dave DiPietro (TT Quick), which you can enjoy below:
T.S.O./Savatage guitarist Chris Caffery announced that he will be filling in for injured Metal Church guitarist Rick van Zandt on the band's upcoming U.S. tour, which commences March 24th in Portland, ME.
In a post on Facebook, Caffery stated: "I'm really excite[d] to announce that I will be playing guitar with the mighty Metal Church on their upcoming US tour. Their guitarist Rick had a serious eye condition develop that needed surgery and we all pray for his continued, speedy and successful recovery.
"It will be a lot of fun to play with my longtime bandmate Jeff Plate and the guys. The first time I toured with Kurdt his band Vanderhoof was opening for Savatage. Then my solo band opened for Metal Church on my Faces tour! Steve was on bass then at the time, all of these guys are amazing musicians. It's gonna be so awesome to hear Mike Howe every night! I watched him on the cruise and was blown away at how incredible his voice is!
"If you don't have your tickets yet...what are you waiting for! It's time to go to Church!
"Lots of work on my end in the next few weeks but I can't wait to play this stuff live! See you soon!"
For dates and venues for the upcoming tour (which includes European dates), head over to this location, or refer to the poster below.
Metal Church will release "XI" on March 25th via Rat Pak Records (Nuclear Blast in Europe). It marks the return of former vocalist Mike Howe. More...
Metal will descend upon Schleswig-Holstein, Germany for the annual mecca of all festivals. 80,000 are expected at the long sold out event, which features - among many - the return of Savatage and Running Wild to the live stage.
As usual, the schedule is subject to change, but as of press time the following acts will be broadcast (all times CET so deduct 6 hours for EST and so on):
17h45 - In Extremo
19h20 - Grailknights
20h10 - Mambo Kurt
21h00 - New Model Army
22h10 - Uli Jon Roth
15h30 - At The Gates
16h45 - Queensryche
18h00 - Opeth
19h30 - Dream Theater
21h00 - tba
22h30 - In Flames
00h00 - Running Wild
01h45 - The BossHoss
14h30 - Amorphis
16h00 - Danko Jones
17h30 - Rock Meets Classic
18h55 - Dream Theater
20h15 - tba
21h15 - The BossHoss
22h00 - Sabaton
23h30 - In Flames
00h15 - Cradle of Filth
01h45 - Subway to Sally More...
So its Halloween yet again….and for some reason it just doesn’t seem as scary and wonderful as it used to be. Maybe its age….maybe it’s the state of the world….perhaps it’s just desensitization or my state of mind. Though its still my favorite time of year, Halloween used to be "special," mainly due to the fact that I bought into this notion that Halloween is the “world holiday of metal.” Not unlike horror films, metal used to have a creep factor in the 80's that seems all too polished and mechanical in 2014. For me, it's the only time when severely under-produced records can have a massive shock value.
On the topic of special Halloween memories over the years, I distinctly remember 1986 – when Slayer had just released what is arguably the greatest thrash metal album of our time just 24 days prior to Halloween. I begged my parents for money to buy it just around a day or two before Halloween…and it literally scared the crap out of me as a 15 year old kid. Every Halloween in that time, back when more people used to celebrate it with open doors, family, friends and I used to walk 5-7 miles – filling multiple pillow cases with candy…only to return home and dump it on the floor before switching costumes to go out for another 2-3 miles before all the lights went out in the neighborhood precisely at 8:30pm. 1986 was particularly memorable because the topic of discussion was “Reign in Blood.” My friends and I gasped in terror conjured by the album mostly because it was so "rebellious" and clashed directly (and indirectly) with our Roman Catholic upbringing. These were days before we reached the age of reason. More...
Through the history of popular music, many album covers have paid homage to the iconic War World II photograph, "Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima." This still features a group of United States Navy men raising a U.S. flag atop Mount Suribachi in Iwo Jima. The original, taken by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal in 1945, won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize and even inspired the equally iconic Marine Corps War Memorial monument located at Arlington, Virginia.
Two of the most recognizable cover album homages came out in 1986, barely months apart from each other. One was the sleeve for Savatage's third full-length, "Fight for the Rock" and the other belonged to Status Quo's "In the Army Now."
Savatage Vs. Status Quo
There are many factors that indicate that the conceptual similarities between both artworks were just coincidental. Ripping off each other or the original photo wasn't the point here. First, there was a short time frame between both albums' release dates—Savatage's in June; Satus Quo's in August. Probably, by the time "Fight for the Rock" came out, the cover for "In the Army Now" was already completed and heading into production and promotion. After all, let's remember that albums take a long time to put together from writing, production, to graphic design, marketing to release.
On top of that, the origins of both arts cannot be more different: Heavy metallers, Savatage, ordered their image (featuring the members of the band raising an American flag) apparently as a direct consequence of not including band photos in their previous albums' layouts. Their label (Atlantic) was demanding a portrait so instead of just simply posing like any other band, they opted for re-recreating the famous Iwo Jima still.
In the case of rockers, Status Quo, designer Mark Wilkinson (Judas Priest, Europe) remembers that the cover concept for his hand painted image (featuring fans and a British flag) "was suggested to me by singer/guitarist Rick Parfitt,—to reflect their 'denim army', the fans who followed them." More...
Promoters for the Wacken Open Air Festival announced that Trans-Siberian Orchestra will be performing live on stage at Wacken 2015, followed immediately by a Savatage reunion gig that will mark the band's first live performance in over a decade. Furthermore, these appearances are the only live appearances for both bands in Europe during 2015.
Guitarist Chris Caffery proudly proclaimed in his Facebook post: "I am extremely happy to make this post! Today our friends at the Wacken festival announced that Savatage will be finally playing again! Wacken 2015! Both Savatage and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra will make an appearance! Savatage will close the festival that night following #TSO's first ever European festival appearance! I have been waiting for then to announce this for a a few weeks! It was hard to keep it a secret! Yes Legion...our patience has finally paid off...Savatage will play again next summer!"
In addition, Running Wild will return to the stage after playing the farewell performance in 2009 before recently returning with two studio releases ("Shadowmaker" and "Resilent").
Other band named in the first wave of acts are: In Flames, In Extremo, U.D.O. (Special Orchestra show), Sabaton, Amorphis (Special "Tales from the Thousand Lakes" show), Death Angel, Powerwolf, Ensiferum, Kataklysm, Cannibal Corpse, Sepultura and Thyrfing.
The pre-sale starts in the night from Sunday, August 3rd to Monday, August 4th at Midnight (German time) (6:00pm EST) – exclusively at Metaltix.com. As always, the first offer is the 10,000 limited X-Mas Tickets. The X-Mas tickets will be available for 150€ + 10€ pre-sale fee and will be delivered together with one of the limited W:O:A X-Mas T-Shirts! Every customer can order up to 2 X-Mas tickets. More...
Savatage/Jon Oliva's Pain/T.S.O. mastermind Jon Oliva finalized the dates for the upcoming Storytellers Tour, commencing November 30th in Charlotte. The unique tour features Oliva and JOP drummer Chris Kinder presenting acoustic material spanning the career of Oliva with the stories behind the songs. VIP packages are available at this location.
Confirmed dates are:
Nov. 30th - Charlotte, NC - Amos Southend
Dec. 1st - Raleigh, NC - Lincoln Theater
Dec. 3rd - Poughkeepsie, NY - The Chance
Dec. 4th - Clifton, NJ - Dingbatz
Dec. 6th - Pittsburgh, PA - Rex Theatre
Dec. 8th - Joliet, IL - Mojoes
Dec. 10th - Dallas, TX - Trees
Dec. 11th - Houston, TX - Concert Pub North
Dec. 14th - St. Petersburg, FL - State Theater More...
As indicated in the recent interview with legendary Savatage frontman Jon Oliva, the mastermind will embark on an intimate "Storyteller" Tour from November 28th through December 16th of this year. The show will feature Oliva with Jon Oliva's Pain drummer and producer Christopher Kinder and will consist of an extensive in-depth look into the 3 significant phases of Jon's unique career. Fans will also hear rare and alternate versions of classic songs performed live as well as hilarious, emotional and true stories that have shaped his legendary career.
The booking process for the show has begun with the first phase in Florida and up the east coast and over to Chicago and down to Texas and back to Florida. After the new year, plans are for additional shows further west.
Savatage/Trans-Siberian Orchestra/Jon Oliva's Pain founder Jon Oliva will release his very first solo album in 2013. While his band Jon Oliva's Pain continues to write the follow up to the 2010 LP "Festival," Oliva will release his solo LP in Spring 2013 via AFM Records.
The announcement reads as follows:
"Good day one and all,
"We thank you all for your patience with regards to announcing our new recording plans.
"While JOP is very much intact and focused on new music and future touring...JON OLIVA will release his first ever solo record in early 2013.
"Jon has assembled a collection of ideas from the past 4-5 years and wants the opportunity to present them as his own work. Jon will be recording nearly all the instrument tracks and vocals himself and also playing drums on several tracks. Once again, I have the honor of recording the bulk of the drum tracks on the new cd, but this record will have been created from start to finish with Jon being completely at the helm."
Jon Oliva commented on the album: "I’ve got some weird ideas that I wanna try and I’ve got some time to do it. I don’t want do just 'another' JOP record. I’ve done four of those already. I wanna do something different. I have some material that I’ve wanted to put out for a while, that I’ll talk with the record company about, maybe putting something out quickly, like in the next four or five months, to give me more time to do this JOP record. I want the next JOP cd to be very special. I’ve got some great friends from other bands that are going to be a significant part of the next JOP release. We are going to do a killer JOP record and then an additional bonus cd with guest stars... kind of like the AVANTASIA thing but not in a story line. Tobias Sammet does a magnificent job with it, but I don’t have that much time to write a whole story, so I’ll just have some powerhouse friends from various bands come in and take it over the top."
Drum recordings, handled by J.O.P. drummer Christopher Kinder, begin at the legendary Morrisound Studio's in mid December.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra will release a narrated version of the band's first non-Christmas oriented LP "Beethoven's Last Night," which was originally released in 2000. The re-issue, dubbed "Beethoven's Last Night: The Complete Narrated Version" will be issued through Rhino Records and hit Walmart stores in the US on March 13, 2012. The album features performances from Savatage members Jon Oliva (Jon Oliva's Pain), Al Pitrelli, Chris Caffery, Johnny Lee Middleton and Jeff Plate.
The band is streaming the first few tracks with narration here:
Jon Oliva's Pain, led by the Mountain King himself, will play the classic Savatage release "Hall of the Mountain King" (1987) in its entirety along with Savatage guitarist Chris Caffery (Trans-Siberian Orchestra) at next years Bang Your Head Festival to be held in Balingen, Germany from July 13-14, 2012. The performance will mark the album's 25th Anniversary. The band will also perform some songs from Doctor Buther, the defunct project of Oliva and Caffery.
It was reported earlier that former Savatage vocalist Zack Stevens and Circle II Circle will perform Savatage's "Wake of Magellan" LP with Caffery at Wacken 2012 in August.
In other Jon Oliva's Pain news, Oliva and drummer Chris Kinder continue to demo songs for the next JLP album and the follow up to the 2010 release "Festival." In the latest update on the band's Facebook Page, Kinder states: "As for the 'band,' we have made no decisions on anything at this point. The first objective right now is the songs. So, we will continue the process as we have done since 'Maniacal Renderings' which is basically Jon's ideas and me crafting them into working songs and then we will worry about the rest of the details. Everything and everyone else involved with work itself out in the very near future. It's just nice to finally be back on that horse and riding a new wave of music for a JOP release in 2012."
Power/progressive metal band Circle II Circle, which features ex-Savatage singer Zack Stevens, announced that it will perform the entire Savatage LP "Wake of Magellan" (1997) along with special guest guitarist Chris Caffery (Savatage, Trans-Siberian Orchestra) at the sold out Wacken 2012 event in August 2012.
It was 1996, New York City, in what was a converted church. That was the first and last time I saw Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I was 25 years old. A band, comprised mostly of my heroes since I was a child, took the stage, fittingly on the church's former altar. You see, this new incarnation of Savatage had erupted on the scene quicker than those same heroes did in all the thirteen years prior to that first show.
It seems that by incorporating Savatage material into Christmas material with Broadway type singers, the band, disguised as Trans-Siberian Orchestra, gained almost instantaneous commercial and mainstream notoriety. They had been "accepted." I knew then that Savatage was doomed to end and time revealed it to be true, as they released only two albums in what would be the band's final five years after. Now relegated to a side project with a terminal "on hold" status, Savatage can only be heard within Trans-Siberian Orchestra, who continue to this day incorporate song parts, whole songs and it's legacy with contributions from all members, including one of its main writers/composers, The Mountain King Jon Oliva. More...
American power metal band CIRCLE II CIRCLE, featuring vocalist Zak Stevens of Savatage fame, are currently touring through the Midwest US, which is in support of their latest album "Consequence Of Power." The band will play Kenosha, Wisconsin tonight on their way to the final two shows in Chicago and Cleveland.
Stated Zak Stevens from the road this week, "We're still cruising along playing shows in the Midwest in Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota in November and December to finish off our initial world tour in support of our new CD Consequence Of Power. We'll be touring out across the U.S. supporting the new album throughout 2011. We're looking forward to seeing all our fans across the country in the coming year and we're very excited about the worldwide response to the new record."
Remaining CIRCLE II CIRCLE Midwest US tour dates are as follows:
12/04/2010 Hattrix Bar - Kenosha, WI
12/10/2010 Nitecap Chicago - Chicago, IL
12/16/2010 The Phantasy Nite Club - Cleveland, OH
earMUSIC, the international rock label of the Hamburg-based entertainment group Edel, has announced the signing of American/Norwegian melodic metallers Kamelot. The band's new studio album, "Poetry For The Poisoned," will be released in Europe on September 3, 2010.
"I think this album is by far our most diverse, fusing new ideas and elements along with the traditional Kamelot sound and style that we have established over the years," states Kamelot guitarist Thomas Youngblood.
"Poetry for the Poisoned" was mostly written in the remote woods of Norway to the final songwriting sessions in a remote region of Germany. Recordings took place in the familiar Gate Studios in Wolfsburg, Germany with producers Sascha Paeth and Miro. Additional tracking also took place in Tampa, Florida as well as various studios in Sweden, Greece and the U.S.
"Poetry for the Poisoned" features guest appearances by Simone Simons (Epica), Gus G. (Ozzy Osbourne, Firewind), Björn "Speed" Strid (Soilwork) and Jon Oliva (Savatage, Jon Oliva's Pain). The artwork was created by many great artists, including Seth Siro Anton, Natalie Shau and Michal Loranc.
"'Poetry for the Poisoned' is a mix of progressive elements, modern rock, dark arts and also power metal," states Youngblood. "It comes at a time where many people around the world are searching for something to grab on to spiritually, including myself. I recently lost my mother and to be honest it was very hard on me. So there are some melancholy moods reflected on this album."
Frontman Roy Khan assures that "Poetry for the Poisoned" will both please the band's existing following and expose the universe of Kamelot to a whole range of new fans. "'Poetry for the Poisoned' is our longest and toughest production so far, but when I hear the result I know it was well worth the struggle," he says.
Max Vaccaro, director of the earMUSIC label, commented: "If there is one thing that is absolutely clear with Kamelot, it's that the band has a unique vision of metal and they consider anything they do as the 'next step' to something bigger and better, constantly adamant to reach new ambitious artistic targets. We're happy about the fact that they have chosen earMUSIC as the partner to expand their audience with this new wonderful album."
"Poetry For The Poisoned" will also be available as a limited edition hard-cover digipak CD with a bonus DVD, LP and limited collector's edition featuring a bonus 45" vinyl with two rare songs only available on this strictly limited format, personally signed by the band.
Kamelot recently tapped Swedish director Owe Lingvall of Village Road Films for the video shoot and production of the song "The Great Pandemonium". The track, which was performed on the band's recently completed European tour, will appear on "Poetry For The Poisoned". Other songtitles set to appear on the effort include "House On A Hill"and "Hunters Season", the latter of which was also performed on the band's recently completed European headlining tour.
Kamelot recently inked a deal with Marquee/Avalon Records for the Japanese release of its next album. The plans for the North American release will be announced in the near future.
CIRCLE II CIRCLE, featuring former Savatage singer Zak Stevens, has just started recording their 5th album. The album, entitled "Consequence Of Power," will be the band's 2nd concept album. The album is expected to be released in Fall 2010.
Spanish metal band SANDALINAS has posted two unreleased tracks on their MySpace page.
"Battlefield Blues" is a track that belongs to the recording sessions of SANDALINAS first album called "Living on the Edge" (2005) as signed by current Firewind's singer Apollo Papathanasio. Gus G, guitarrist for Firewind is the new new Ozzy Osbourne's axe man.
The folowing track, which features current SANDALINAS singer, Rick Altzi (At Vance and Frequency), is called "No Matter What" which is a version of the so-called track as featured on SANDALINAS second CD "Fly to the Sun" (2008), edited by Metal Heaven Records. Also drummer Patrick Johanson (Yngwie Malmsteen) and bassist Mick Cervino (Yngwie Malmsteen, G3) are also featured in that track apart from SANDALINAS main man, Jordi Sandalinas. More...
Florida metallers Savatage have issued the following statement about asking fans to take a moment to remember their former guitarist Criss Olivia, who was killed in a car accident 16 years ago today:
"As most of you know, on October 17, 1993, the members of Savatage lost a brother, many people lost a friend, and the world lost a truly gifted musician. Please spare a thought for Criss Oliva and those who loved him today... may he rest in peace here, and rock hard with the angels up there!"
Savatage has issued the following announcement about bassist Johnny Lee Middleton appearing in a live interview which will be streaming online:
"Hey Sava fans,
"This coming Sunday, August 23, at 4:30 PM Eastern (US) time, Sava bassist Johnny Lee Middleton will be joining DJ Savage of Infernal Rock Radio for a live interview. Expect Johnny Lee to talk about his current solo project, TSO... and maybe some of those pesky Savatage rumors?