Sound — 8
To begin, The title says "A Rock Opera". And it couldnt be any farther from the truth. The sound is really good on here. The guitar always has this kind of a crunch sound. But on a few songs, it has this clear as crystal sound. The drums are good. Nothing too extraordinary. The bass is the same, when it shows up. The orchestra music is one of the main things that make this album what it is. And it doesn't sound like you just have a few guys in the background. It actually sounds like a full orchestra! There are also a few songs on here where it's just the piano, which I'm sure when you read this you're thinking "they're probably filler." They arent. This album has an entire story behind it and the piano-only songs are needed for the sadder, deppressing parts of the album.
Lyrics — 10
Jon Oliva's vocals seem to have gotten an upgrade on this album. On previous albums when he tried to do a peaceful or soft voice, he sounded like a crazy man on sedatives. But on here it actually sounds like he's been blessed with an amazing voice from birth. There are a few songs on here, as I said previously, that are piano only, plus him singing. These are the songs you want to look out for, because they show his true potential as a singer. Track list: 01. Streets 02. Jesus Saves 03 . Tonight He Grins Again * 04. Strange Reality 05. A Little Too Far * 06. You're Alive 07. Sammy and Tex 08. St. Patrick's 09. Can You Hear Me Now * 10. New York City Don't Mean Nothing 11. Ghost in the Ruins 12. If I Go Away * 13. Agony and Ecstasy 14. Heal My Soul 15. Somewhere in Time 16. Believe * I've put a little * there on some of the songs so you people know which songs I'm talking about when I tell you about Jon's voice.
Overall Impression — 9
This album, in my opinion, should've been Savatage's break-through album. But go figure, it didn't. Savatage never really has any luck with popularity. But, I have to say, I like it better this way, because, then you know that people who know and like Savatage are hardcore fans. This album isnt their best, in my opinion, but I still do like it. My reason for it is some songs I still, to this day, don't get why they are on the album. But it's just 2 or 3 songs. So, from a Savatage fan to Savatage fans, this album is actually the last of the golden era of Savatage because this is the last to have both of the Oliva brothers on it. Jon would leave and Criss would be on one more album until his death. So, to end this review... R.I.P. Criss Oliva 1963-1993