Doctor Butcher - Doctor Butcher
Savatage frontman Jon Oliva and "in and out" member Christopher Caffery created the content on this debut album a short time after the tragic death of the greatest guitarist of all time Criss Oliva, also Savatage. Frustration and anger are key words in this extremely expressive collection of songs; it has a totally unique kick ass attitude and intensity.

After some short jamming, Jon's expressive voice makes its huge entrance and before you know it we are in the middle of The Altar. Just listening to his piercing vocals placed into an extremely powerful rhythm background makes the hair on my arms rise.
The production has been kept unpolished, liveish and raw which matches the music brilliantly, the rhythm section hits like a sledgehammer.

Highly intense comes way short in describing the anger-filled vibe found in Don't Talk To Me; Jon's singing almost scares me with his brutal and raw approach. Chris' riff arrangements are excellent and ultra heavy, I just love this song.

Season Of The Witch impresses with its mega slow, sombre and groovy rhythm path, on the other hand it gets a bit unstructured towards the end.

Reach Out And Torment Someone sees Jon perform some stunning technical vocal lines wrapped into a speedy headbanging structure that is bound to knock you off your feet.

Gentle guitar tunes and placid singing makes up the short Juice, setting the stage for the mid tempo The Chair, another fantastic and striking piece of hopelessness ending with a very dynamic section featuring some cool background keys, not an instrument used very much in this "stripped down and back to basics" album.

A heavy and creative bass approach is a really cool element in Innocent Victim, the melodic chorus line and the vivid guitar solo being other great stuff.

John Osborn's compact and forceful drumming skills are fully present in the heavy The Picture's Wild, not the most thrilling cut but powerful as hell. Lost In The Dark is another good song gaining a lot from Chris spectacular lead playing.

The main reason for these songs to work out the way they do is Jon's voice, this being one of the best vocal performances I have ever heard from anyone. He just sounds completely convincing and offers fantastic variations, just listen to I Hate, You Hate- We All Hate for a shocking example.

Things get slowed down as we enter the final cut All For One, None For All being raw, direct and dark shrouded.

Overall an incredible thrilling album with an astounding charisma and the music is just so well delivered.

A very important element in making this record so special is the excellent lyrics. They are filled with frustration, anger, misery, hopelessness, hate, betrayal, searching for sense and meaning and down right profound despair. These feelings are easy to identify with and I personally use them in a therapeutic way, looking the problems in the eye and dealing with them instead of trying to ignore them.

You not only get blown away by these tense moments, you feel this one deep inside.

Written by Tommy
Wednesday, January 5, 2005
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Tommy: 8.5/10

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RevelationZ Comments

Comment by Juice (Anonymous) - Monday, August 13, 2007
Good review, I agree with the score more or less. I absolutely love this album, Jon Oliva + Chris Caffery is a great combination. I only hope that some day we'll see Doctor Butcher part 2.

Review by Tommy

Released by
Gun - 1994

1. The Altar
2. Don't Talk To Me
3. Seasons Of The Witch
4. Reach Out And Torment Someone
5. Juice
6. The Chair
7. Innocent Victim
8. The Picture's Wild
9. Lost In The Dark
10. I Hate, You Hate- We All Hate
11. All For One, None For All

Heavy Metal

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