Lyrically, the best way to describe this album is "bitter." In fact, Jon says so himself on track number 10; "Forgive me if I seem bitter. . ." I guess a certain amount of bitterness on Jon's part is more than understandable. There is a lot of good stuff to be said lyrically here, however.

Most of the songs on the album either remind me of a specific Savatage song, or at least have the "feel" of a certain album, and this is how I chose to categorize them.

  • The Altar (5:39)
    A very strong opening song. This one has a definite HOTMK feel to it. Very powerful guitars, and a very dark, gothic feel. (Actually, this song reminds me of "The Heretic", off of WASP's "Headless Children", which by the way is a great album - about a million times better than anything else WASP ever recorded) Overly sensitive Catholics might want to avoid reading the lyrics.

  • Don't Talk To Me (3:02)
    This one also has a strong HOTMK feel to it; the verses sound a lot like "Legions" - the rhythm/bass is quite similar. Very powerful group vocals. A very aggressive song, both musically and lyrically.

  • Season Of The Witch (6:19)
    After a slow intro, this has the raw, powerful guitar feel of The Dungeons Are Calling (the album, not the song), although the arrangement has the complex, layered feeling of later stuff like GB. It has several different tempos at different times. Very heavy, somewhat slow guitars. This is the first of several songs on the album that feature an interesting vocal style - a lot of the vocals have a "far away" sound to them, sort of like you're listening to them over a telephone. It works very well with the tone of this song, giving it a sort of dark foreboding sound that goes perfectly with the lyrics.

  • Reach Out And Torment Someone (2:28)
    The only 'tage song I can compare this to is "Taunting Cobras", since it is very much thrash-style metal. (Maybe Jon is hanging out with Alex a lot?) It would be a nightmare to transcribe the lyrics since they're just too fast to hear very well. A great song for anyone that's ever gotten so sick of the phone ringing that you wanted to throw the damn thing across the room. It features a solo that has several annoying phone calls in the background: "This is First National Bank calling. . ."; ". . . (female voice) why didn't you call me?"; "(can't catch the third one)"; "Mr. Osborn, this is your probation officer..." It also features some classic Jon screams.

  • Juice (1:43)
    This is essentially an intro to the next song; it reminds me a lot of "Last Dawn", which acts as an intro to "Devastation" on HOTMK. Mostly slow, sort of quiet instrumental, with a few lines at the end, ending in a classic HOTMK-style, evil laugh by Jon, leading into . . .

  • The Chair (6:13)
    In my opinion, far and away the best song on the album. In fact, one of the great metal songs I know. This is the only song on this album (and practically any other) that I ALMOST put in the same category as the song HOTMK. The first part features fairly slow, VERY heavy guitar and vocals that remind me a bit of "Devastation". The second part begins with the zapping sound of the electric chair in the background (a great effect), and it's a much faster, really cool guitar riff that reminds me a lot of the bridge part in Metallica's "Four Horsemen." The last 2 minutes is an excuse for Caffery to show off, and I think it's the best guitar work on the album. This is clearly the class of the album, and it may or may not be a coincidence that it's in the same spot on the disc that HOTMK is on that album - sixth spot, with an intro before it.

  • Innocent Victim (5:20)
    A nice change of pace after the driving intensity of the last 3 1/2 minutes of "The Chair". This is a strange song in some ways, about a mentally disturbed person. This is the second time we hear the "far away" vocal style first heard on "Season of The Witch", and here it does a good job of conveying the feel of mental instability; it brings to mind voices in the head of a deranged person. If this were on a Savatage album, it would almost certainly be Gutter Ballet.

  • The Picture's Wild (4:45)
    After another slow intro, this has the hard-driving, raw guitar sound of "Agony and Ecstasy" (Streets) and "Nothing Going On" (Handful of Rain). Another very aggressive song.

  • Lost In The Dark (4:52)
    This song has "Streets" writen all over it. In fact, if you slipped it between "St. Patrick's" & "Can You Hear Me Now" a lot of people probably wouldn't even notice. To me, the thing that distinguishes Streets is the vocal style - I think Jon sounds somewhat different on Streets than any other album - somehow more emotional. That same sound really jumps out at you when you listen to this song.

  • I Hate, You Hate . . . We All Hate (4:34)
    Probably the most bitter song on the album. The intro and the chorus simulate a nursery rhyme. I think this song would fit in very nicely on Power of The Night. I'm not entirely sure why, but about half the times I listen to it, it reminds me of "Skull Session."

  • All For One, None For All (4:41)
    A very good closing song. The outstanding feature here is a vocal duo - Jon with himself through the magic of electronics. This song has the "far away" vocal sound, but it's layered over Jon singing the same words in the more conventional style. It's a very cool effect. Overall, this song has a HOTMK feel to it, bringing the album full circle very nicely.
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