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At first glance, the Edge of Thorns album will completely leave fans wondering why John Oliva was not singing on these tunes, but after a good and careful listen you will figure out. This album was way too progressive and ambitious for John's screech and squeals. The album also features some of the best guitar work ever by Mr. Criss Oliva and would cement his legacy as a criminally underrated guitar player/shredder in an era where alternative/grunge had forsaken great solos.
Zakk Stevens proved to be a great addition to this band as his vocals not only sound mature and to the point, but give the music a more contemporary '90s feel. Tracks like "He Carves his Stone", "Degrees of Sanity", "Skraggy's Tomb", and "Edge of Thorns" expose the dynamics of Mr. Stevens' vocals and how the band sounded much like classic Savatage, but in a different and more professional level musically.
Fans of old Savatage will probably still feel a bit of hesitation calling this album "Savatage's best", but it's undeniable that this band was looked at differently after this album came out, like I mentioned before, in an era that metal was almost an afterthought. This album proved to be a true gem musically and sadly historically with the passing of Criss Oliva. One can only wonder where this line-up would had taken Savatage had it recorded another album and how Savatage would had survived the '90s and became the flag bearer for metal.