Savatage’s 1985 album was the band’s first major label release, following two independent releases in 1983 and 1984.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: Power Of The Night
SERIAL: 781 247-1
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Jon Oliva – vocals, keyboards * Criss Oliva – guitars * Keith Collins – bass * Steve Wacholz – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Power Of The Night * 02 Unusual * 03 Warriors * 04 Necrophilia * 05 Washed Out * 06 Hard For Love * 07 Fountain Of Youth * 08 Skull Session * 09 Stuck On You * 10 In The Dream
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Savatage’s 1985 album was the band’s first major label release, following two independent releases in 1983 and 1984. Signed by Atlantic Records, ‘Power Of The Night’ was released in May 1985 and given a Max Norman production, though to my my ears the whole thing sounds a bit thin. Surprisingly so as I played this album a few times back to back versus their 90’s material which by comparison is much fuller and heavier.
Throbbing synths introduce the title track ‘Power Of The Night’, it’s coupled with some digital effects but Criss Oliva’s guitars soon kicks in with his six string attack to put things back on course. This is an anthem for 1985 that’s for certain (‘raise the fist of the metal child’), not unlike Armored Saint‘s Can You Deliver’. ‘Unusual’ prowls the soundscape, it’s a very cool understated track with a hint of a gothic edge given the spooky keyboard backdrop and dark vocal providing the right atmosphere.
Savatage deliver a war song next with ‘Warriors’. There’s the galloping guitars and big chant laden vocals. It’s not quite Manowar, even if the chorus ‘Warriors, warriors of the world’ is straight out of the Eric Adams playbook, but it is heading in the right direction. If you like dead things then maybe ‘Necrophilia’ is for you. Actually it’s about a woman who literally has the touch of death about her. Every man has known a woman like this in their lifetime, right?
Gotta love the fast and furious ‘Washed Out’, chugging guitars while the MXR phaser pedal effect permeates this track. ‘Hard For Love’ is perhaps the album’s most commercial track, certainly by Savatage’s standards this is more hard rock rather than out n out metal. One for the mainstream. ‘Fountain Of Youth’ is a return to the Savatage template we’re all familiar with. Grinding guitars, shrill vocals from Jon Oliva amid the fantasy based lyrics.
‘Skull Session’ rollicks away in typical Savatage fashion, though I’m not really sure what the lyrics are about. ‘Stuck On You’ is another one for the highlights reel off this album. I’d put it in the top 5 tracks. To finish up, the band close it off with the ballad ‘In The Dream’, mostly with the electrics downplayed throughout, apart from the solo which Criss reels off with aplomb.
I think Atlantic Records were happy with their acquisition and investment into Savatage, and as history would show, the band and record label would continue their business arrangement into the mid 90’s. As a first major label debut it was a good recurs, but Savatage would improve with each release, though admittedly their next effort ‘Fight For The Rock’ was a bit of a head scratcher.
Power Of The Night
Hard For Love
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