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The Chosen Ones
Released: 1999, Noise Records
What can be more democratic than the fans of a band choosing the songs for a best of CD? This is exactly what happened in the case of the new Stratovarius disc "The Chosen Ones." The band even gives a heartfelt thanks to the fans on the Noise Records website "we thank everybody who helped to find the right songs and made every single person a part of this album. Well chosen guys!!!!" Who can argue with a CD chosen by the fans? Certainly not me. This is not a CD for the hard core fan who already has every Stratovarius release. This is for the listener who is new to the band or is just beginning to build their collection. Come to think of it. If you like metal in general this is a great CD to add to any collection.
Since this is a best of, a short history of the band is in order. Stratovarius was founded in 1984. The music of early Stratovarius was very different from what it is today. Back then it was heavily influenced by Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne. In 1985 guitarist Timo Tolkki was asked to join the band. It soon became evident that the band needed a new singer and Tolkki took over vocal duties as well as guitar. The debut album "Fright Night" saw daylight in May 1989 and the second album called "Stratovarius II" was released in Finland early 1992. Finally the third album "Dreamspace" was released worldwide in March 1994. As Tolkki began work on the next CD he realized the band needed a new vocalist. Enter Timo Kotipelto. He put his mark on the next CD, "Fourth Dimension". A new style emerged which, while different, was still Stratovarius! This union has released 5 more CDs: "Episode", "Visions" , "Visions of Europe" and "Destiny" and finally "The Chosen Ones."
How to describe this CD...let's see. Melodic power metal. I won’t go through this CD track by track as it clocks in at over one hour and seventeen minutes and contains 16 tracks. I can truly say that this is one CD that I can put in my player and be in metal heaven! Awesome stuff! The disc opens up with mid paced rocker "Twilight Time" This is an exceptional track which is followed up by ‘Father Time". This tune contains an awesome double bass attack and the other worldly vocals of Timo Kotipelto. I mean.. How does he hit those notes? Just amazing! One of the best tracks on the CD. Other stand out tracks include "Kiss of Judas", ""SOS", "Speed of Light", "4000 Rainy Nights" and "Black Diamond" The only criticism I have of this CD is that a couple of my favorite Stratovarius songs are not here. Those being "Cold Winter Nights" and "No Turning Back" But that is just a personal opinion.
Stratovarius came up with a winner with "The Chosen Ones" How can you lose when you let the fans choose their favorite songs? There is a bit of everything here. Old, new, fast and slow. If you don’t own any Stratovarius or if you are the type who must have everything that a band puts out, I suggest you run to your nearest CD store and get this disc!!!!!!
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