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Jon Oliva's Pain - Maniacal Renderings Review

by Matt Hensch

Jon Oliva is one of the most recognizable figures in the progressive metal scene. Jon's singing career runs through his work with Savatage as well as the Christmas influenced Trans-Siberian Orchestra. After the demise of Savatage, Jon Oliva formed a new project, titled Jon Oliva's Pain, which followed the similar progressive path of Savatage. The band released "Tage Mahal" in 2004 and received positive feedback from fans of Savatage and the progressive community. With that being said, fans of Savatage and progressive metal can relax and witness the second album of Jon Oliva's new project, "Maniacal Renderings."

"Maniacal Renderings" remains strong in the sense of being heavy, yet is still unwaveringly progressive. The riffing is surprisingly thick when considering the amount of progressive influences and musical formations. Some tracks, like "Through The Eyes Of The King," have smooth mid-paced thrash riffs that accompany Jon's vocals perfectly. Expect some really fancy guitar work on this album. Every song has anywhere between one to three solos with the occasional duel lead. The ballads are the only thing that drag this album down. I personally don't have a problem with ballads, but the softer tracks here are really boring and don't fit the mood of the album. Once again, the only negative section of this album is the softer songs. Keyboard-laden songs like "Playing God" and the title track give the record a strong progressive feel. The keyboards usually radiate symphonic effects, but the piano is common on the title track and most of the softer songs.

Jon Oliva has become a progressive metal legend because of his great voice, and he doesn't let down any of his fans here. Jon's exercises his awesome ability and vocal tone by compressing a voice that ranges from normal singing to high notes. He also does a great job of holding his notes and sounding passionate in his music. To sum it up, this is Jon f***ing Oliva the way we all know him.

"Maniacal Rendering" is a great album to own if you enjoy progressive metal. Being a huge progressive metal fan myself, I can safely say I enjoy listening to this record. This a good album and is essential for anyone who enjoys Savatage or Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

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Jon Oliva's Pain - Maniacal Renderings

Label:Locomotive Records (USA)

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