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Savatage is a heavy metal band that was started by brothers Jon and Criss Oliva in 1981. The original name of the band was Avatar. Under this name they have released a 2 track EP and an EP titled City Beneath The Streets. Avatar changes their name to Savatage and releases their first album titled Sirens.

In 1984 they release their second album The Dungeons Are Calling and are signed by Atlantic Records.

1985 marks their first major label release Power Of The Night and embark on their first tour.

Power of the Night, Savatage's Atlantic debut, is released. The band embarks on its first tour.

Savatge releases Fight For The Rock in 1986 and have their first European tour opening for Motorhead. Producer Paul O"Neill sees them on tour.

Paul O'Neil is hired by Atlantic in 1987 to be their producer. Savatage releases Hall Of The Mountain King. Savatage updates Grieg's Hall Of The Mountain King, renamed to Prelude To Madness, and adds guitar to it marking an important change in their style. At this point the band starts become a more textural band. The release their first video for the song Hall Of The Mountain King. Savatage tours with Megadeth for Dio. Talking with Jon once before a concert Dave Mustain and him were little helions on this tour and Jon's substance abuse was really getting out of hand. This leads to Jon's Divorce.

Gutter Ballet is released in 1989 and we really see Savatage start experimenting heavily with their sound. Songs like Gutter Ballet and When The Crowds Are Gone we se them playing with light and heavy sound with Jon sometime singing alone on piano and the band coming in. For me this album comes across as a huge experiment for the next album. I think Jon and Paul wanted to see was the band was capable of.. The CD comes with a bonus track titled Thorazine Shuffle which talks about Jon's experience in rehab. They release videos for Gutter Ballet and When The Crowds Are Gone.

1991 Marks the release of their first rock opera titled Streets - A Rock Opera. This is a musically diverse concept album with the band employing a childrens choir on two tracks and a gospel choir for an later release for the song of Jesus Saves. The band had originally planned for 26 tracks to tell the full story but Atlantic was scared that it would not sell so it was cut to 16 tracks. I find this be their greatest album. Jon steps down after the tour because of voals problems and Zack Stevens steps in.

1993 marks the release Edge Of Thorns. Criss Oliva is killed in October by drunk driver and Jon returns to active participation with the band.

Depressed by the death of his brother Jon writes Handful Of Rain in 1994. Alex Skolnick is brought in to play lead guitars on the album and goes out on tour. Chance marks the first use of Counterpoint by the band.

1995 Marks the release of Dead Winter Dead, their second rock opera. The albums dicusses the civil war in Yugoslavia. Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24) becomes an unexpected radio hit. The live album Final Bell is released in Japan.

The Wake Of Magellan is released in 1997 marking thir fourth Rock Opera.

Because of family reasons Zach leaves the band right before the recording of Poets And Madmen and Jon returns to record their 5th rock opera about Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Kevin Carter.

I have left out side projects such as TSO and Dr. Butcher.

Sources: www.savatage.com

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