A Winter's Tale

from Metal Edge magazine, Jan '96, Vol. 40 No. 8, pg. 34
by Unknown
transcribed by Christopher "Toph" Morris


Call it a rock opera, concept album, whatever -- but call it excellent. Savatage's 11th effort, DEAD WINTER DEAD, is a musical odyssey through wartorn Sarajevo, seen through the eyes of three people (based on real persons) affected by the Yugoslavian civil war. Inspired by gruesome scenes of death and destruction on the news -- and the apparant indifference to it by those inured to it there and by the world at large -- Savatage and their producer Paul O'Neill set out to set these indelivle images to music on the record, released Oct. 24. The band, now comprised of vocalist Zachary Stevens, bassist Johnny Lee Middleton, drummer Jeff Plate, and guitarists Al Pitrelli (Alice Cooper, Widowmaker) and Chris Caffery (who played on GUTTER BALLET), plus former singer Jon Oliva, who still writes with the band and contributed keyboards and background vocals, uses blistering metal and haunting melodies, Mozart and Christmas Carols to tell their story, which ends on a hopeful note. Notes Savatage, "We realize that in all probability, this album will do very little to bring sanity to that region of the world, but maybe one day someone there will hear it and know that they are not entirely forgotten. After 30,000 deaths, mostly of innocent civilians, that at least would be something."

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