Jon Olivia’s Pain- Global Warning

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ever since Savatage went on hiatus in 2002, vocalist Jon Olivia has been steadily releasing material through his new project Jon Olivia’s Pain. Its first album, 2004’s ‘Tage Mahal wasn’t that much of a departure from Savatage but over time the group has begun to take on its own style and ideas. Now, nearly six years after they originally formed Jon Olivia’s Pain’s third album, Global Warning has been released and it is easily the group’s most ambitious effort to date. And although it may take a couple of listens to truly get into and appreciate, Global Warning is well worth the time.

Compared to previous albums, Global Warning’s instrumentals have a lot more variety. There is still a heavy metal base to many of the songs, but now there are quite a few more progressive rock and theatrical moments. At times it almost sounds as though Jon Olivia has attempted to make a rock/metal opera of sorts, and listeners will find out that this album has quite a bit of complex arrangements. Admittedly as this is not a pure heavy metal release it may take a little bit of time for listeners to truly absorb, but those with a taste for the more progressive side of the genre will find that Jon Olivia’s Pain’s latest has a lot of interesting material.

Anyone who has heard any of the other bands/projects that Jon Olivia has been involved in already knows what to expect from the vocals on Global Warning, but for those who don’t he has a slightly gruffer voice not all that different from Alice Cooper. This is a refreshing change, as many of the other bands in this genre tend to lean towards vocalist who overuse falsetto and other high pitched vocal styles. Global Warning is also themed around a lot of environmental issues, and it seems that Jon Olivia has used this album as a means to comment on a lot of important ideas. Overall it works quite well, and Olivia continues to stand out as a strong and energetic vocalist.

Global Warning isn’t an album for everyone, but those who like a little bit of progressive rock with their heavy metal will find that it has a lot to offer. Jon Olivia’s Pain has finally started to take on a life of its own, and stands out as much more than just a Savatage side project now. It’ll be interesting to see where things go from here, but if Olivia and his crew stay on this path there’s no doubt that the results will be stellar.

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