Savatage release Poets and Madmen
Poets and Madmen is a heavy metal album released in 2001 by the band Savatage, the band's eleventh full-length release overall and as of 2011, their last studio album.
The album has a loose concept based around real life journalist Kevin Carter, but has much less narrative in the lyrics than the previous two rock operas (Dead Winter Dead and The Wake of Magellan) penned by Paul O'Neill. Everything said in the album is fiction, except with regards to what is sung about Carter. The album is also noted as it is the only Savatage album to not feature a title song from the album, although the title was taken from lyrics to the track "Symmetry" from the band's 1994 album, Handful of Rain.
The album was the first since Streets: A Rock Opera in 1991 to feature the band's original vocalist Jon Oliva on lead vocals for all songs after the amicable departure of Zachary Stevens. It is also the first Savatage album to have guitarist Chris Caffery playing the majority of the guitar solos. This is partly due to the departure of Al Pitrelli, who left to join Megadeth prior to the album's release. However, Pitrelli was credited with the outro of "Stay With Me Awhile," the main solo of "Morphine Child," the main solo of "The Rumor," and the first part of the main solo and the outro of "Commissar." The United States bonus track "Shotgun Innocence" was originally a bonus track on the Japanese release of Edge of Thorns in 1993 and features Zachary Stevens on lead vocals, and the late Criss Oliva on guitar.
The album cover was drawn by Edgar Jerins, who was responsible for the covers of Dead Winter Dead and The Wake of Magellan.