Rating:
9.8
Savatage - Hall Of The Mountain King
28 September 1987


01. 24 Hours Ago
02. Beyond The Doors Of The Dark
03. Legions
04. Strange Wings [Feat. Ray Gillen]
05. Prelude To Madness
06. Hall Of The Mountain King
07. The Price You Pay
08. White Witch
09. Last Dawn [Instrumental]
10. Devastation
11. Stay [1997 Edel Music CD reissue bonus]
12. Hall Of The Mountain King [live] [2002 SPV CD reissue bonus]
13. Devastation [live] [2002 SPV CD reissue bonus]
14. Castles Burning [Acoustic version] [2011 EarMusic CD reissue bonus]
15. Somewhere In Time/Alone You Breathe [Acoustic version] [2011 EarMusic CD reissue bonus]


This is one hell of a dark album. On any given Savatage album, there is a lot of gloom, but Hall Of The Mountain King is the most murky of all. Not in an evil way, but more in a cold, desolate way. They type of feeling you'd get on the bottom of the ocean, watching a sunset in Antarctica, or on some distant mountain top, shrouded in clouds. This is helped by the massive amount of chorus on Criss' guitars. Even the catchy, radio ready songs like "Strange Wings" and "The Price You Pay" have a healthy dose of melancholy to them.

But those radio friendly hits are only the tip of the iceberg. The rest of the material here is all winning, and much darker. "Beyond The Doors Of Dark" is probably the most sinister sounding of all, with that eerie intro, and off kilter shuffling main riff. I'm not too big a fan of "Prelude To Madness," but in context it works, leading up to the title track. And that's an epic tune! The midsection, with its melodic breakdown is quite possibly the highlight of Savatage's career...there are not many riffs as haunting and pensive as that one! "White Witch" turns up the speed, showing that Savatage was indeed a thrash metal band at one point. Amazingly, this is their weakest moment on here, but it's far from actually weak.

Hall Of The Mountain King reminds me a lot of another nearly perfect album of power metal, aptly called Power Metal by Pantera. The production and quality of songwriting on both this and Power Metal are very, very close, with this being more grandiose, and Power Metal being more straightforward. And of course, this does have kick ass solos oozing out everywhere. Criss never played a bad solo. Technically perfect and chock with feeling...goddamn, was he good!

It's not a stretch to say that this is Savatage's best album. Nothing else sounds like this--it is unmistakably Savatage. This is epic without the lameness of gnomes and trolls, and operatic without the frilly shirts.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Production: 10


Band profile: Savatage
Album: Hall Of The Mountain King


 


written by Opan | 05.03.2012


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

‹‹ Back to the Reviews
Comments: 4  
Users visited: 75  
Search this topic:  


Mountain King - 05.03.2012 at 18:16  
It's a great album but some tracks are not so good. I also really like 24 Hours Ago, great song! I would say Gutter Ballet is their best album but all their albums are amazing...
Opan - 05.03.2012 at 18:20  
Written by Mountain King on 05.03.2012 at 18:16

It's a great album but some tracks are not so good. I also really like 24 Hours Ago, great song! I would say Gutter Ballet is their best album but all their albums are amazing...


I also wrote a review for GB and now wait to publish him...I love both of them, but GB is much more progressive then HOTMK who is more heavier. Savatahe is one of best bends ever.
NortheRnmost - 06.03.2012 at 01:50  
This must be my favourite Savatage album too. GB is a close second being more versatile and polished but still heavy as hell. HotMK has still that early dark Savatage sound and feel. Criss' guitar had never sounded better. They are raw with enourmous sustain. When you listen to this album with a good enough equipment, the sound punches you flat in the chest.
Opan - 06.03.2012 at 14:06  
Written by NortheRnmost on 06.03.2012 at 01:50

This must be my favourite Savatage album too. GB is a close second being more versatile and polished but still heavy as hell. HotMK has still that early dark Savatage sound and feel. Criss' guitar had never sounded better. They are raw with enourmous sustain. When you listen to this album with a good enough equipment, the sound punches you flat in the chest.


totally agree with you...specialy about Criss

Advertise on Metal Storm


Login or register to post here.



Similar topics

Forum Topic Similarity Started
Albums Savatage - Hall Of The Mountain King 9 01.03.2012 by Korah
Events UAE, Dubai - 25th Anniversary of The Hall of the Mountain King 6 11.04.2012 by Sorrow
Reviews Kamelot - The Fourth Legacy 5.5 14.01.2012 by Boxcar Willy
Reviews Helloween - The Time Of The Oath 5.5 01.04.2011 by Zenzero
Lists The Greatest Heavy Metal Albums Of All Time 4.5 11.06.2012 by scennkah



Hits total: 2523 | This month: 84