Your Heaven is Real
Release Date: September 4, 2015
Chris Caffery may be best known for his work with Savatage and Trans-Siberian Orchestra, but while you likely weren’t paying attention he has released a string of pretty great solo albums that lean towards the side of himself that Savatage fans loved. For Your Heaven is Real he once again taps that vein but also dabbles in King Diamond territory, particularly vocally. Per usual, Caffery plays almost everything himself, enlisting Brian Tichy to round out the rhythms on drums.
It’s funny because looking at the album cover and the album title, I thought we might get an emo album where Caffery explores life and the hereafter. Thankfully, we don’t as he amps up his unique sound to Savatage level both musically and lyrically instead.
“Arm and a Leg” is a standout track here for sure. It’s got a creepy, Oliva style vocal that couples with dirty guitars and gang vocals that make it feel purposeful and driven. “Sick & Tired” and “Just Fine” are lighter musically combining some nice groove with the gravelly vocal that Caffery is becoming quite good at. They sort of land midway between Savatage and Dan Lorenzo’s (Hades) solo albums, bringing it right to the border of seventies rock goodness without actually crossing into it.
While I enjoy almost everything about this album, it’s “2-26-15” that moves me the most. Despite it being less than two minutes long, and an acoustic instrumental, it’s absolutely gorgeous. It’s fluid and crisp mechanically but it’s tremendously soul stirring and shows the serious guitar chops we know Caffery has in a different context. It leads pretty well into the more anthemic “Too Soon To Be To Late,” which has a big, positive vibe and a lot of short guitar lead moments that remind me of what today’s music is so lacking of.
As a long time fan of pretty much everything Caffery has done, Your Heaven is Real is a standout album in his storied catalog. This album combines everything I love about his solo work with everything I love about his work with Savatage and you really can’t ask for much more. Fans of Alice Cooper’s trilogy of The Last Temptation/Dragontown/Brutal Planet, King Diamond’s more recent works, and, of course, Savatage will likely love this the most.
Reviewed by Mark 1340