Reviewed: August 2008
Released: 2008, Frontiers Records/Zink Music
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Guitarist/songwriter Timo Tolkki is now releasing his first solo album since his departure from Stratovarius. According to Tolkki this album is a natural continuation on his work in Stratovarius where he wrote all the music. Tolkki has borrowed people from other bands and the musicians on this album are Heikkilä from 45 Degree Woman and Rantanen from Thunderstone. He’s got not one but three lead singers in Michael Kiske ex- Helloween etc, Tobias Sammett from Edguy and the other Pasi Rantanen from Thunderstone. All three share lead vocals.
Just like Stratovarius Revolution Renaissance delivers neat, polished and well played melodic power metal. The focus lies on the vocals and on sharp guitar excursions that Tolkki delivers with all his might. Believe me when I say that this is so damn good that I wonder if it isn’t the best thing Tolkki’s ever done so far. “Heroes”, “Glorious And Divine” and “Last Night On Earth” are fast and melodic power metal tracks in high speed tempo. Many sharp guitar riffs are thrown out and there is a lot of double bass pedal play. In “I Did It My Way”, “We Are Magic”, “Eden Is Burning”, “Born Upon The Cross” and “Revolution Renaissance” we have some more melodic power metal but at a slower pace. The songs are extremely catchy and Tolkki shows just what a magician he is on guitar. “Angel” and “Keep the Flame Alive” are two straight up ballads that include some heavy keyboards. The second track is a little better than the first one where Kiske sings like a god.
Kiske is also the most impressive one of the three lead singers. He sounds a lot better now than what he did 20 years ago. The saddest thing with Revolution Renaissance is that Tolkki is now searching for a permanent singer, so we can’t hear more of Sammett or Kiske in this formation. Tolkki has also produced the album and I guess he knew what he wanted it to sound like because this is a flawless production. It’s a varied and spacious production that lets every musician do their thing.
Tolkki and crew have delivered a truly strong debut album and if you’re into Tolkki or any other participant on the disc I suggest you run out and buy it right away.
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