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Savatage is a heavy metal/progressive metal band founded by the brothers Jon and Criss Oliva in 1979. The band is known for recording many rock operas. Early on, Savatage was a traditional heavy metal band, who stood out from the pack due to guitarist Criss Oliva's uncommonly heavy riffing and vocalist Jon Oliva's unique vocal stylings.
Following the failure of FIGHT FOR THE ROCK, an attempt to commercialize their sound, Savatage began moving in a more operatic direction, releasing a number of rock opera albums in collaboration with producer Paul O'Neill.
After the tragic death of Criss Oliva in 1993, the band soldiered on to continued critical acclaim but diminishing commercial success. However, Oliva and O'Neill lucked out when a single from DEAD WINTER DEAD, "Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)", managed to crack the singles chart. The song, a reworking of a classic Christmas hymn, acted as a launching pad for the immensely successful Trans-Siberian Orchestra project.
Savatage is currently considered to be on indefinite hiatus. Guitarist Chris Caffery, vocalist Zak Stevens, and even Oliva himself have all collaborated to some extent on each others' solo projects. Jon Oliva has a successful solo-project, Jon Oliva's Pain, and Zak Stevens and Jeff Plate have worked together in Machines of Grace.
In 2010 a best-of was released, "Still the Orchestra Plays", including their Japan Live '94 show on DVD.
In 2011 their entire catalogue was remastered and reissued.
Jon Oliva - Vocals & Keyboards (1979-1992, 1994-present), bass (1980-1981, 1994), rhythm guitar & drums (1994)
Zak Stevens - Vocals (1993-2000, 2008-present)
Chris Caffery - Guitars, backing vocals (1987-1988, 1989-1990, 1995-present)
Al Pitrelli - Guitars (1995-1999, 2008-present)
Johnny Lee Middleton - Bass, backing vocals (1986-present)
Jeff Plate - Drums (1994-present)
Criss Oliva - Guitars, backing vocals (1979-1993) (Deceased)
Steve Wacholz - Drums (1979-1993)
Keith Collins - Bass (1981-1985)
Alex Skolnick - Guitars (1994)
Chris Caffery - Rhythm guitars, keyboards (1987-1988, 1989-1990)
John Zahner - Keyboards (1991-1992)
Wes Garren - Rhythm guitars, keyboards (1993)
Andy James - Drums (1993)
Damond Jiniya - Vocals (2001-2002)
Jack Frost - Guitars (2001-2002)
Jeff Waters - Guitars (2002)
Jon Oliva-eras (1978-1992, 2001-2002)
City Beneath the Surface (1982) (as Avatar)
Dungeons are Calling (1984)
Power of the Night (1985)
Fight for the Rock (1986)
Hall of the Mountain King (1987)
Gutter Ballet (1989)
Ghost in the Ruins (1995) (Live, recorded 1987-1990)
Poets and Madmen (2001)
Zak Stevens-era (1993-2000)
Edge of Thorns (1993)
Handful of Rain (1994)
Dead Winter Dead (1995)
Japan Live '94 (1995) (Live)
The Wake of Magellan (1997)
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