Saturday, December 5, 2009

Savatage & The Trans Siberian Orchestra - Believe

The Trans Siberian Orchestra:
I normally try to wait until January when I review the entire year by picking out what I thought to be the very best album of the year, but I don’t need to wait, I already know the best album of 2009 is “Night Castle,” by The Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I don’t believe 2009 was a great year for music, especially when compared to last year. 2008 had Avantasia’s rock opera extravaganza “The Scarecrow,” Kings of Leon had their biggest commercial success album which was very good, Frightened Rabbit broke onto the scene with one of the cleverest smart ass songs I’ve heard in years, MGMT come out of nowhere and made pop music enjoyable again, bloody hell even Pink had a good song in 2008, and I never thought I would be saying that.

But 2009... a little lacklustre. There is probably a lot of good music that came out, but it was too cult, too foreign, or I just missed it, but when I look over 2009 all I can think of is those gods among men The Trans-Siberian Orchestra came out with their best album to date.

Seems like every December I end up talking about the same group; the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Sure the holiday season contributes to me thinking a lot about the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, what with their whole rock and roll Christmas theme, but for me personally, the reasons run much deeper than that.

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra really speaks to me because it is a combination of the two genres of music I most revere, Rock and Roll and Classical. The new album “Night Castle,” is a brilliant showing of both genres meeting in harmony and creating something truly awe inspiring. The Trans-Siberian Orchestra tackles famous composers’ work such as Mozart, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, and my personal favourite Orff, but at the same time O’Neil and Oliva of The Trans-Siberian Orchestra have not forgotten their rock and roll heritage, and classic Savatage tunes come out in full force on this album, now dramatically done with an entire army of musicians. I couldn’t be happier about it.

It’s hard, very hard to pick out which song I should tell you about, I mean you really should hear the version of “Carmina Burana,” they have done, or what they have done with “The Hall of The Mountain King,” and of course there is their symphony based around the “Moonlight Sonata,” the whole album is bliss. But in the end, I believe I will do two version of the same song, so make sure you download both.

One of my favourite Savatage songs is redone on “Night Castle,” the song “Believe.” I think this is as good as a time as any to try to turn people onto both the awesomeness that is The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and the rock band behind it all, Savatage. So I give you both, Savatage’s classic hit “Believe,” and the modern retaking of the same song done by The Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Both versions are great, it’s a beautiful song, and I am certain you will agree.

Until next year, keep on rocking in the free world.

- Colin Kelly

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