Great Metal Albums of 1985: Savatage-Power of the Night


Following on from my last post, I thought I would stay on the theme of band’s second albums released in 1985. While I had experienced Bon Jovi’s debut album and therefore had an expectation of what their second album would sound like, it would be another year before I had even heard of the band Savatage and I would only have hear their second album, “Power of the Night” in retrospect. Actually, it would be a very long time before I got the chance to listen to it. Long after experiencing some of the magnificent albums they would put out after.

I thought about trying to go back to that 24 year old me in 1985 and listen to “Power of the Night” through those ears. I find that’s impossible, there is too much interference from so many of their great albums after. One thing I will boldly declare is that if I did listen to this album back in 1985, I would have been definitely hooked because the album totally rocks.

Here’s where the interference comes in. “Power of the Night” reminds me so much of the great album which would come two years later, “Hall of the Mountain King.” In fact, I’m going to venture out onto the precipice and call “Power of the Night” a rough draft for that later iconic album. All the things that are present in “Hall of the Mountain King” are present on this second album. You get the shrieks of terror from Jon Oliva and the smooth finger board smoking of brother Criss. However and this might be what separates the two albums, Jon and Criss were displeased with the bass playing of Keith Collins and he was later dismissed from the band. They also corrected some of his mistakes on the final version of the album. So, it could be argued that the bass was what separates the two albums. Although I don’t hear it when I listen.

As for the tracks, there are many great ones. Since there are no weak tracks here, I will have to mention the two that stand out for me. Those are tracks three and four, “Warriors” and “Necrophilia.” Don’t ask me why they stand out, they just do. Possibly the former because it’s about street gangs and “The Warriors” happens to be my all time favourite film. The latter one probably on account of it’s title, although nothing in the lyrics comes right out and talks about sex with dead bodies. Which brings me to another amusing point. A few years later, Slayer was viciously attacked by religious zealots for a song with the same name. Savatage’s version was never mentioned in that frame. However, they did allow a PMRC type label put on their album because some objected to sexual references in “Hard for Your Love” and “Skull Session” and because the band thought a label would sell more records. Speaking of “Hard for Your Love,” this is the closest Savatage song I know of to being a genuine love song. It’s not a power ballad, the closing track is and a good one. This one is a straight forward powerful tune with the usual great guitar work from Criss. Still, the lyrics suggest that it is a love song. It doesn’t matter because the song rocks as do all the others.

Track Listing:

  1. Power of the Night
  2. Unusual
  3. Warriors
  4. Necrophilia
  5. Washed Out
  6. Hard for Your Love
  7. Fountain of Youth
  8. Skull Session
  9. Stuck on You
  10. In the Dream

Savatage I couldn’t find a photo of this lineup online so I scanned the back cover of the CD from their debut album “Sirens”

Jon Oliva- vocals

Criss Collins- guitars

Keith Collins- bass

Steve Wacholz- drums

Of all three bands whose second albums I’m going to visit, “Power of the Night” by Savatage is certainly the best. Maybe because back in 1985, I wouldn’t have had any expectations from them or because listening to it after listening to their fantastic other albums, I knew what to expect and though a little rough around the edges, “Power of the Night” delivers on it.

Next post: Ratt- Invasion of Your Privacy

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15 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1985: Savatage-Power of the Night”

  1. I have a deep love for Metal that could be ‘None möre Metal’. Just look at that album cover. At the same time it’s cheesy, cool, funny and serious. Just like all the best metal should be.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Amazing how often necrophilia came up in the eighties…I think. Probably. Hmm..

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I came late to Savatage and Mountain King and Streets are my only experience with them. I really like both of those though and you make a good case for going a little deeper!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, other albums I would definitely recommend besides this one is their debut “Sirens,” Edge of Thorns” and “Dead Winter Dead” but there really isn’t a bad Savatage album.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great review.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. One of their best. Definitely better than Fight For the Rock.

    Liked by 1 person

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