The long awaited double album by the TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA was released this week just before they embark on their 2009 tour which includes an impressive 138 shows.
If you're a fan of the band, getting the actual CD is recommended on this one. Comes in a double digi-pack with 68 page booklet, double CD. We've grown accustomed to a full story and detailed booklet from band leader Paul O'Neill and this one does not disappoint.
Band consists of over 25 musicians including Paul O'Neill, Chris Caffery, Alex Skolnick, Al Pitrelli, Johnny Lee Middleton, Jeff Plate, Anna Phoebe, Robert Kinkle. Writing credits are dominiated by O'Neill and Oliva, with contributions by Pitrelli, Caffery, along with Mozart, Chopin, Orff, Beethoven, Grieg and Bach.
The double album includes a mesh of genres with Theatrical type pieces, intense vocal - piano performances, a great acoustic guitar track, and of course, some heavy rockers. The first few tracks set the stage of the story of the 7 year old and her wise grandfather, full story is quite interesting and worth taking a read. Then on track 4, "The Mountain", the Savatage in TSO crawls out with a nod back to the classic "HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN KING"! Very cool. Other Savatage "moments" include "Mozart and Memories (from Dead Winter Dead album), and "Believe" (first appearing on the "Streets A Rock Opera").
There a number of high energy "classical / Rock- metal" pieces TSO is famous for, including Bach's Toccata - Carpimus Noctem, Grieg's Hall of the Mountain King, Mozart on Mozart and Memories, Beethoven and Chopin on Moonlight and Madness, Orff's famous Carmina Burana, and what I consider the "hit anthem" on this record "NUTROCKER".
For those of you who do not know SAVATAGE - shame on you! Go to [...].
Overall a 9/10.