Well I bought this album strictly on the recommendations of the prior reviewers on Amazon. Was it a good decision? A month after buying “Dead Winter Dead” I now own the following Savatage albums “Handful of Rain”, “A Ghost in the Ruins”, “Wake of Magellan” and “Edge of Thorns”. “Dead Winter Dead” is definitely the best Savatage album of the bunch listed above. Although I like them all. Contrary to a prior reviewer I really think “Handfull of Rain” is an Excellent Album. A must buy.Well, on to the matter at hand. “Dead Winter Dead”, although a concept album all the songs stand very well on their own. No need to follow the story to enjoy the album although the story is very poignant and adds an extra dimension.There is only one song I would consider weak in comparison to the rest of the album and that’s “This Isn’t What We Meant” but that’s because all the other songs are first rate. This is an album that spans the spectrum of the Heavy Metal/Hard Rock genre from the heavy and intense “I Am”, one of the better song on the album , to the very melodic “Not What You See” also one of the albums highlights.The songs all build to an emotional resonance that peaks in the beutiful track called “Christmas Eve”.The whole album is very symphonic sort of Heavy Metal meets Broadway.The vocals of Zak Stevens, the lead singer, are sublime and contrast very well to Jon Oliva gruffer vocals. All the instrumental are first rate the synergy between the 2 guitarists is terrific. Too bad Pitrelli left for Megadeath.If you are only into head banging and nothing else stay away. If you like diversity in your music then buy “Dead Winter Dead” it will become a main stay in your collection.