Savatage formed in Florida in 1978 while Avatar, led by brothers Jon (vocals) and Criss (acoustic guitar) Oliva. They transformed their name to Savatage in 1983, going after a highly Judas Priest- and Iron Maiden-influenced design of metallic. Their other people included Steve “Doc” Wacholz (drums) and Keith Collins (bass), who was simply later changed by Johnny Lee Middleton. They meandered between fundamental metallic and more industrial fare before adding second guitarist Chris Caffery and striking their stride in 1990 with Gutter Ballet. The music group demonstrated a flair for extreme, melodic hard rock and roll, dramatic balladry, and intricate, operatic concepts, that they pursued over their following few albums. Criss Oliva was wiped out in an car crash in 1993; he was changed by previous Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick, however the fresh lineup was ill-received. Deceased Winter Dead adopted in 1995, and following a three-year lack Savatage returned using the Wake of Magellan. THE ULTIMATE Bell made an appearance in 2000, and Poets and Madmen adopted it in 2001.