Hall of the Mountain King (album)

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Hall of the Mountain King
Studio album by Savatage
Released September 28, 1987
Studio Record Plant, New York City
Length 40:07
Label Atlantic
Savatage chronology
Fight for the Rock
(1986)Fight for the Rock1986
Hall of the Mountain King
Gutter Ballet
(1989)Gutter Ballet1989
Singles from Hall of the Mountain King
  1. "Hall of the Mountain King"
    Released: 1987[1]
  2. "Strange Wings"
    Released: 1987[2]
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[3]
Martin Popoff 9/10 stars[4]

Hall of the Mountain King is the fourth studio album by American heavy metal band Savatage, released in 1987 under the direction of producer Paul O'Neill. It is their first album produced by O'Neill, who was assigned to the band after the tour in support of Fight for the Rock. This album shows the beginning of Savatage's exploration of progressive metal, in their search for new forms of musical expression. Many fans consider this album the original turning point in their musical identity, distinguishing between the old and new Savatage. It is not a concept album, but it has a constant tone (of darkness, in this case) and is more complex than their previous albums, with two entirely instrumental tracks that go beyond simple guitar riffs and solos, namely "Prelude to Madness" and "Last Dawn". Through Paul O'Neill's connections, he brought in Ray Gillen of Badlands fame (credited as Ray Gillian) to perform a vocal duet at the end of "Strange Wings".

"Prelude to Madness" is an arrangement of Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King" from the Peer Gynt suite. Oddly, Grieg is not credited for this song, but for the following title track - which ironically, is an original song. The intro of "Prelude to Madness" features keyboards and guitar playing "Mars, the Bringer of War" from Gustav Holst's suite, The Planets.

This was the first album to feature the album cover drawn by artist Gary Smith, who was responsible for lead guitarist Criss Oliva's airbrushed guitars at the time. Hall of the Mountain King reached position No. 116 in the US Billboard 200 albums chart.[5]

In popular culture[edit]

The song "Hall of the Mountain King" appeared in the video game Brütal Legend.[6]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "24 Hours Ago" Jon Oliva, Criss Oliva, Johnny Lee Middleton, Paul O'Neill 4:56
2. "Beyond the Doors of the Dark" J. Oliva 5:07
3. "Legions" C. Oliva, J. Oliva 4:57
4. "Strange Wings" C. Oliva, J. Oliva, O'Neill 3:45
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
5. "Prelude to Madness" (Instrumental) Edvard Grieg, C. Oliva, O'Neill 3:13
6. "Hall of the Mountain King" C. Oliva, J. Oliva, Middleton, O'Neill 5:35
7. "The Price You Pay" C. Oliva, J. Oliva, Steve Wacholz 3:51
8. "White Witch" C. Oliva, J. Oliva 3:21
9. "Last Dawn" (Instrumental) C. Oliva 1:07
10. "Devastation" C. Oliva, J. Oliva 3:37


In the liner notes for the album, the band gave themselves roles instead of listing their instruments.


Additional musicians[edit]


  • Paul O'Neill – producer, arrangements with Savatage
  • James A. Ball – engineer
  • Joe Henahan – assistant engineer
  • Jack Skinner – mastering at Sterling Sound, New York


Chart Peak
Billboard Top 200 116


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[7] Gold 500,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Hall of the Mountain King (track listing). Savatage. Atlantic Records. 1987. PR 2097. 
  2. ^ Strange Wings (track listing). Savatage. Atlantic Records. 1987. PR 2201. 
  3. ^ Orens, Geoff. "Savatage Hall of the Mountain King review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2013-05-11. 
  4. ^ Popoff, Martin (1 November 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. ISBN 978-1894959315. 
  5. ^ "Hall of the Mountain King Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2013-05-12. 
  6. ^ Reilly, Jim. "Brutal Legend Soundtrack Revealed [Update]". ign.com. Retrieved 22 December 2011. 
  7. ^ "American album certifications – Hall of the Mountain King". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved March 28, 2014.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]