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By Martin Popoff
And which of your past catalogue would you compare this album to the most?
"Oh boy, that's tough, I would probably have to say the Streets, Edge Of Thorns type period. I don't know why; certain songs just do that for me, that they could be on Streets or Gutter or Edge Of Thorns."
The production of the album is of course, resplendent, exacting, Oliva joking to me that they spend more time on the hi-hat now than they used to spend on whole albums. "For me, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Savatage were getting a little bit too close," continues Oliva on the production question. "I think with Savatage, it allows us to play the heavier stuff we want to play and get away with it (laughs). With Trans-Siberian Orchestra, it's definitely a more wide-ranging audience; there are a lot of things you can't do. So on this record I toned down a little bit of the orchestration, just used it a little more the way we did it on Mountain King, not quite so bombastic as it's been on the last couple of records."
What was the hardest thing to do on this record technologically?
"Oh, the song 'Morphine Child' was definitely the nightmare song on this record to get done. It just had so much going on. The vocals took a long time to get right. That's how these things go. It's the longest song the band has ever done. It was cool because there were a bunch of different pieces of music that we put together to make this epic type of song. But it was a nightmare cutting the track because we played it kind of free-form. It's hard to explain but there are lot of little tricks and trinkets going on in there that were pretty hard to lock up with."
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