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Music / Handful of Rain

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Handful of Rain is a 1994 album by Savatage.

The first album produced after the death of Jon Oliva's brother, founding member, and lead guitarist Criss Oliva. The band's future was in question and the members uncertain of what to do next. It was decided to continue Savatage in his memory though the line-up was uncertain, "Handful of Rain" being something of an transitional album between the original members and those who would carry on until the band's hiatus in 2002.



  1. "Taunting Cobras" (3:21)
  2. "Handful of Rain" (5:01)
  3. "Chance" (7:50)
  4. "Stare Into the Sun" (4:43)
  5. "Castles Burning" (4:39)
  6. "Visions" (1:25)
  7. "Watching You Fall" (5:20)
  8. "Nothing's Going On" (4:09)
  9. "Symmetry" (5:04)
  10. "Alone You Breathe" (7:30)

This album provides examples of:

  • Album Single: "Handful of Rain" in '94 and "Chance" a year later.
  • Author Catchphrase: The verse "I am the way, I am the light-" from between "Believe" (Streets: A Rock Opera) returns on "Alone You Breathe".
  • Badass Bureaucrat:
    • "Chance" is about Chiune Sugihara, Japanese consul in Lithuania during World War II. He issued thousands of travel visas allowing Jews to flee Nazi Germany for safety in Japan. The song portrays his inner turmoil between risking his life and career, doing the right thing, and whether negligence in acting is the same is as complicity.
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    • "Castles Burning" is about Giovanni Falcone, an Italian magistrate who dedicated his life to opposing The Mafia, eventually being murdered by them.
  • Badass Pacifist: Per the above, both men risked their lives to oppose evil and they were paper-pushing government officials rather than traditional badass fighting men.
  • Counterpoint Duet: "Chance" is the first time the band performed a vocal counterpoint, something that would become a trademark on later albums. The final minute of the song features Zak Stevens overdubbed five times as Sugihara has an intense internal debate between doing the right thing and ignoring evil to save himself.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: "Handful of Rain" is about the sad and lonely patrons at a bar drinking to ease their pain. They all know there is something missing from their lives that alcohol can't replace.
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  • Epic Rocking: "Chance" and "Alone You Breathe" are both complex songs that change their pace and tone.
  • Grief Song: "Alone You Breathe" is dedicated to Criss but it's not literally about him or his death.
  • Instrumentals: "Visions" is a short minute and a half track between "Castles Burning" and "Watching You Fall".
  • Music Videos: A video was made for "Handful of Rain".
  • One-Word Title: "Chance", "Visions" and "Symmetry".
  • Title Track: "Handful of Rain", the second song on the album.


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