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Jon Oliva's Pain: Global Warning
Progressive Metal
Rating: 4.5/5.0

John Oliva (Savatage) inflicts some Pain again with 'Global Warning,' a disc filled with well composed and executed progressive metal. I loved his previous release 'Maniacal Renderings,' believing it to be his best work to that time. With 'Global Warning,' I'll have to recant and say this work is even better. This work is definitely progressive, yet more intricate, melodic and slightly less heavy than previously. Additionally, Mr. Oliva tackles some environmental, social political issues on this aptly titled 'Global Warning.'

I careful listen to the opening title track surprises for it is nearly totally instrumental with a phenomenal, almost retro keyboard motif. Still, Oliva enters at the end and introduces the theme of the album. When I said that this was slightly less heavy than 'Maniacal Renderings,' I didn't mean it wasn't heavy at all. 'Adding The Cost' surely puts the heaviness in heavy prog metal. Oliva is assuredly gruff on this number as it thunders along and brings a great guitar solo by Matt Laporte. Returning to Oliva's vocals for a moment, his intensity makes for near dirty vocals sounding like Meatloaf gargling barbed wire. His 'maniacal' style is particularly noted on 'Before I Hang.' Then, for a turn, you have 'Firefly' or 'O to G' where Mr. Oliva's slows and smoothes for a more emotional delivery than intensity. He sounds like a heavy metal John Lennon.

Other notable tracks include the acoustic and slide guitar driven 'The Ride,' the short, yet immensely moving ballad, 'O To G,' 'Stories' a breathless rocker with some fine vocal arrangements, and also, 'Open Your Eyes,' which is more traditional metal driven by some soaring guitar work by Laporte. In the end, the whole album succeeds.

John Oliva's Pain's 'Global Warning' is a premier example of well-crafted progressive metal (and it comes from America!). There is enough compelling compositions from front to back to make this a true jewel in the genre. Highly recommended!
  - Craig Hartranft

In Short

John Oliva's Pain brings us a 'Global Warning' in 2008. This is a fine example of where much of American (or otherwise) progressive metal should be. There's lots to listen to here and all of it is compelling.

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