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Jon Oliva's Pain - Maniacal Renderings review


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Band: Jon Oliva's Pain
Album: Maniacal Renderings
Release date: September 2006

01. Through The Eyes Of The King
02. Maniacal Renderings
03. The Evil Beside You
04. Time To Die
05. The Answer
06. Push It To The Limit
07. Who's Playing God
08. Timeless Flight
09. Holes
10. End Times
11. Still I Pray For You Now

After an amazing first album, "Taj Mahal", the great American compositor Jon Oliva is back with his new release "Maniacal Renderings", always through the German label AFM Records. If you don't know yet who is Jon Oliva, I will just ask you to have a look on the whole Savatage's discography and you'll probably understand how influential this man can be.

"Taj Mahal" was a beautiful piece of music. Full of poesy, this record of Progressive Metal, evidently influenced by the music of Savatage, was one of the best surprises of the year 2004. "Maniacal Renderings" follow this way, even if, let be honest, the surprise will not be here this time. But if you still like Metal mixed with beautiful parts of piano (a bit in the vein of a Bohemians Rhapsody if you want to have an idea?) organ and keyboards I'm sure that you'll like this album.

If I must talk about some songs, I will say that "Through the Eye of the King" is a pure Heavy Metal song with a big heavy riff that uses a catchy tempo with in addition some amazing guitars soli, when on the other hand, "The Evil Beside You" is at the opposite a bit less Metal especially in reason of the numerous part of piano mixed with a tender melody. But in general it never lacks of emotions and poesy and that's the force of this band. Evidently Jon Oliva's particular voice helps a lot to give those special emotions but this is also the great originality of his music that will give you a special feeling. This is simply unique.

When it comes to the others band members, I can tell you that they are to performers. I was this summer in a Metal festival in Spain and in reason of a problem with his plane, Jon Oliva has to cancel his performance in the afternoon and was replaced by his musicians who was already there. The guys played Hendrix; Deep Purple or Pink Floyd classics with an incredible easiness, it was simply beautiful. You have to know too, that the band had the luck to play later this day with Jon Oliva (who finally found a way to come to the festival) and the show was simply one of the best moments of the whole week end. Jon Oliva's Pain, this is not only good music on records, it's also amazing live performances.

We don't have any real surprises with "Maniacal Renderings", especially if you're already a fan of Savatage or a fan of "Taj Mahal" but this is a good album of progressive music in my opinion. Plus, nobody can say that it is not something unique, the music of Jon Oliva's Pain is just totally uncommon and never lacks of good ideas and original sonorities. Maybe not as good as "Taj Mahal", "Maniacal Renderings" is however a confirmation of the wonderful talent of this band.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 9

Written by Jeff | 19.10.2006


Comments: 5   Visited by: 64 users
19.10.2006 - 22:59
I agree that this album lacks surprise of Oliva's first album. Actually, it's more or less a sequel that has nothing new to offer. When you listen to "Maniacal Renderings" you have I've-heard-this-before feeling all the way through. All in all, although I wasn't waiting this release it still is more or less a disappointment.

No friends for playing games
No foes who scorn my name
Computerized machines of steel and rust
No friends in my house on Mars
No foes in my house on Mars
I was born in my house on Mars
I will die in my house on Mars
-- Ayreon - My House on Mars
08.06.2007 - 05:34
Rating: 6
Made of Metal
Ya, I agree actually. Although I love Jon Oliva and I think hes one of the best song writers ever, I think this album lacks creativity. However, some of the songs I think benefit from this. "Push it to the Limit" has that classic Savatage sound to it which makes it one of the best, if not the best, song on the entire album.
09.01.2008 - 01:56
Vinnie R.
Chido Chido
Woe! Great Review, i love the song Timeless Flight, amazing, with a vary beautiful change, almost like a rock opera, very Meat Loaf! hehehe. Hail Jon Oliva!!!!
26.02.2008 - 10:13
Totemic Lust
Good review, definitely a great album. I'm a sucker for great keyboard parts and this was very fulfilling. Just one question, am I the only one who sees the incorrect album artwork at the top of this page?
25.10.2008 - 21:19
Account deleted
Yeah they got the single and the album art mixed up. And about this album I will disagree with some people here because I think this has something new to offer (not all of it of course) but Through the eyes of the king and maniacal renderings doesn't really sound like anything they've done before... even tho Through the eyes of the king is like the continuation to HOMK. But when I listen to this i get the feeling that there is too much filler in here... I love Jon's ballads btw so those don't bother me ever he is just the best at doing that. Timeless flight is ammaaaazing. I take 2 points off for the filler songs so 8

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