No question this will be one of the
most eagerly awaited releases of 2001, after all it has been a wait of
over 3 years since The Wake of Magellan.
With Al Pitrelli joining Megadeth and the sudden departure of Zak
Stevens for family reasons, this has meant Jon Oliva once again handling
vocal duties, as passionately and as capable as ever.
Since this was basically recorded as a quartet this has meant the
lessening of the more expansive sound of the previous couple of
What we have here is a rawer stripped back to basics rocks like a
proverbial bugger sonic metal album! But has it been worth the wait? The
true furious metal of I Seek Power with Oliva's essential trademark
gravely vocals, the gripping Stay With Me Awhile, the metal power and
hook of Drive, the melodic crunch of the single Comissar or the
controlled aggression of Man in the Mirror, this is a band still full of
confidence and playing what it does best.
Chris Caffrey's playing throughout is of the traditional heavy metal
guitarist, riffs that burn , solo's that shred and rhythm, power and
passion in abundance. The album is based around a true story of an
American photographer who....(oh just listen to the damn thing and find
At its centrepiece is the 10 minute epic Morphine Child which brings all
the classic Savatage elements together, pomp, metal, power and even the
ubiquitous multi-tracked harmonies.
Power and metal run through Poets and Madmen and this should be one of
the biggest sellers of the year, it's just a pity we probably will never
get to see it played live in the UK.
The answer to my original question is yes definitely, but you must have
(This review was brought to you courtesy of The Groove Machine.)