Sound — 9
The sound of this album is very 80's. Pounding drums, shrieking voccals, good bass, and a very crisp clean guitar. This album is very power metal. But, what Savatage decided to do with this album was add bits of symphonic music in here. The last three songs of the album kinda fit into one story about a very disturbed boy. Overall, the sound and production of this album is excellent.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics on this album are very wide-ranged. But, thats the good thing: 01. Of Rage And War: this song is bassically about war. It's got a really kick-ass guitar riff to it and a very memorable chorus. 02. Gutter Ballet: ah, yes, the title track. This is where the long line of piano playing in Savatage songs begin. But, in this song, the guitar and the piano kinda work together. Before I knew this, I thought that it would be completely impossible to do this. This is the only song on the album that I have no idea what it is talking about. Sorry. 03. Temptation Revelation: the first of 2 instrumentals on this album. This one is kind of a battle between the guitar and this entire array of orchestra music. It's only 3 minutes, but a very good 3 minutes! Oh, the guitar wins. 04. When The Crowds Are Gone: ah, yes the first of 2 power ballads on this album. This one is very memorable and will be remembered. This song talks of a former musician who remembers his times on the road and how much he misses it. 05. Silk And Steel: the 2nd instrumental on this album. This on is a very peaceful song. Only acoustic guitars and a bit of mandolin, I think. 06. She's In Love: the title really tells you what the song is about. This one is filled with alot of really cool guitar and effects and some really fast playing. 07. Hounds: this one is a very prog metal kinda song. This is my favorite song on this album, it is so amazing! This song talks of someone who is trying to escape from some place, But all its says is that the hounds are coming. 08. The Unholy: this is another songs that speaks for itself. The sog has a really amazing guitar riff at the beginning, and around the end it has an amazing chant of "unholy". Catchy song. 09. Mentally Yours: this begins the last 3 songs that make a story. This, obviously, begins the story. This talks about "timmy" as a boy and how the things he did affected the people around him. 10. Summers Rain: another power ballad, but an amazing one. This one talks of timmy as an adult and where his actions have kinda gotten him. This is one of those very emotional songs that if you are tough as nails, this will make you open up. Tissues will be needed when listeing to this song. 11. Thorazine Shuffle: this one, I think, talks about how timme decides that he'll take some thorazine. I have no idea what this stuff does, but I think he dies from it. This song has a really cool and heavy ending. Perfect ending for a perfect album.
Overall Impression — 9
This album is my favorite album from Savatage. They really out did themselves on this one. The stand out songs on this album, in my opinion, a heard core Savatage fan, would be: Hounds, Of Rage And War, Gutter Ballet, When The Crowds Are Gona and Summers Rain. There is really nothing to hate about this album and the sound of the guitar is really what makes this album different than all of the other albums out in the late 80's / early 90's (It was realeased in December of '89). It really can't get stolen from me, because I bought the whole album on Itunes, which I kinda regret because its Itunes. I wish I got is on CD. But, If my computer F'd up on me and dumped all of my stuff, I would definetely buy this album again. It is amazing!