Jon Oliva is recognized worldwide for his strong song composition and vocal skills from founding Savatage to Doctor Butcher to Trans-Siberian Orchestra to his own Jon Oliva's Pain. He drops the first and last words to introduce his first solo project as Oliva, Raise The Curtain.
Of course, most solo artists or projects do not occur in a vacuum or without help. Following the death of Pain's guitarist Matt LaPorte (1970-2011), Oliva began working with longtime friend Dan Fasciano (piano, keyboards) to develop news songs. Its seems both had a bevy of unfinished material besides a shared musical direction. Oliva also gets help from another source, one quite near and dear to his heart, the unfinished music of his late brother Criss Oliva (1963-1993). Oliva has commented in PR copy that the material here is the last of Criss's music.
The result is quite spectacular. Raise the Curtain is a terrific album. It's for lovers all of Oliva's past and recent musical projects, and those who simply love creative melodic progressive rock and metal. It's like Savatage and Pain washed through mixture of Seventies and modern progressive rock. There's a certain ambience to the material, begun with the opening cut Raise the Curtain, that reminds of musical theater with its best pomp and extravagance. The rest of the songs simply go on to develop this feeling.
Perhaps some of the richness or depth comes from prevalent layers of piano, synthesizers, and a dash of Hammond tremolo with the guitar lines and Oliva's strong vocals flowing with them. Catch this on Soul Chaser, The Witch, Father Time (listen below), or Big Brother. Perhaps also its infusion of horns in Ten Years that makes the song sound majestic and monumental. It's probably just synthesizer wizardry, but certainly adds some pomp to the arrangement. Alternatively, some songs, like I Know and Soldier, are simply magical because of their subtlety and passion with Oliva stepping back from assertive vocals for a softer emotive delivery.
Simply, with his new solo project, Raise The Curtain, Jon Oliva continues to create great music to impress and entertain. This could easily be his best work yet. At least until the next one. Strongly recommended.
With his new solo project, Raise The Curtain, Jon Oliva continues to create great music to impress and entertain. This could easily be his best work yet. At least until the next one. Strongly recommended.
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