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Weekly Rare Track: Avatar – “Do You Want Me Now”

**I do not own any of the rights to this material. All writing, recording, production, publishing, and distribution rights are that of their respective owners**

Vocals: Jon Oliva
Guitar: Criss Oliva
Bass: Keith Collins
Drums and Percussion: Steve “Dr. Killdrums/Doc” Wacholz

Avatar was a curious and extraordinary band. You may not have heard of this Clearwater, Florida Metal crew, but I certainly hope you’ve heard of the band they would become: Savatage. Much of what would come from that band is already present on the collection of demo tracks known as Beyond the Doors of the Pit. One of the tracks displaying the hallmarks of early Savatage is “Do You Want Me Now”.

Even though it would still be a couple of years before signing with Par Records, merging “Savage” with “Avatar”, and creating one of the most pulverizing, classic Metal albums of the 80’s, you can already hear the songwriting and technical chops of the Oliva brothers and co. Criss Oliva and bass guitarist Keith have fantastic interplay (best witnessed on the second pre-chorus) and Criss is already displaying that shred-tastic soloing that would make him one of the most beloved guitarists of the 80s Power Metal scene. Jon’s vocals are spot on and showing much of the medieval menace (check out the scream at 2:54) the man would become famous for, as well as his more tender side. One of the most unique, powerful drums sounds in metal is already present from “Doc” Wacholz as well.

Even the lyrics to this piece are some of the most intelligent I’ve ever heard on this subject matter (a love-triangle type situation, told from the perspective of the rejected man) and despite that subject matter that, the song is able to retain much of the band’s hallmark dungeon-esque creepiness. Jon Oliva really is one of the best vocalists in Metal, even at this early stage in his career.

It’s no surprise that this exact line-up would go on to create Savatage’s first three epic calling cards. R.I.P. Criss Oliva

Left to Right: Keith Collins, Steve Wacholz, Criss Oliva, Jon Oliva

To check out current acts involving Avatar/Savatage members, visit JonOliva.net, Trans-Siberian.com,  ReverenceMetal.com and ChrisCaffery.com

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