Taking TSO a Little Deeper

In the 1980s and 90s there was a band that didn’t get much airplay. Their name was weird and their style was weirder. They were a strange mix of my style of metal and my dad’s style of classical. They recorded some albums and kinda hung around the bargain bins in record stores. Their name was Savatage.

In 1990, I heard Scatterbrain’s rendition of Mozart’z K545. No orchestra, just two guitars, a bass and drums. Sounded wonderful! I began to see what many had tried to show – classical and rock aren’t as strange bedfellows as we had once believed!

So when I began to explore symphonic rock in earnest, I fell in love with Yes, Metallica, Dream Theater and Jethro Tull. But Savatage, well, they are just plain weird.

The magic happened in 1996. I heard Christmas Eve – Sarajevo 12/24. I was HOOKED! I ran out and bought the cassette (yes, I’m showing my age….)! The love of TSO had begun in earnest. After all, who could turn down something that rocked like that?

But the liner notes told me that this was something much more than just another rock album. They did not shy away from mentioning our Lord and Savior. They sang about the birth of Christ. And the music felt much more real.

The second half brought a tear to my ear – and it still does 14 years later. So I bought The Lost Christmas Eve. And there is a story there as well. It will also make one weepy.

But the history of TSO goes back to that weird band called Savatage. In me research, I found that they are one in the same. And they are believers. The aforementioned Christmas Eve – Sarajevo 12/24 was originally released on an album titled “Dead Winter Dead”. On that album it sounds exactly the same.

I am now, twenty years later, a Savatage fan. Their music continues to bring a tear to my eye and a smile to my lips.

May God continue to bless this wonderful music-making effort. They give Him the glory, and they allow us to see Him.



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