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Next review: » Stratovarius - Elements Pt. 2 (Special Edition)
Released: 1998, FAD Records
The newest CD from the Finnish power lords of classically influenced melodic metal has arrived. Even though I have given this CD a high rating I still have a few minor complaints. The main one being that some of the songs on here sound just a little too happy for my liking, and I'm not too much into the couple of ballads on this CD. Don't panic though, because there are still plenty of driving and aggressive tunes!! I played this CD for someone who’s never heard Stratovarius and his first reaction was "is that Yngwie?" Well let me tell ya, the comparison is justifiable. Stratovarius even has former Yngwie keyboardist Jens Johansson playing with them. In a few sections when Jens and lead guitarist Timo Tolkki break into a duel lead you’re thinking that’s cool, but am I listening to Malmsteen?
Even though there are similarities to Yngwie’s music and lead playing, Stratovarius do have their own identity, after all this is their 9th full length CD, so you’d have to develop your own style after all that work! One thing that really blows me away is that Stratovarius has yet to tour in North America, while enjoying sucesses in Europe (Destiny went #1 in Finland right after its release!). Maybe I shouldn't be too surprised as a lot of the stuff coming out of here is not metal, despite the fact that the corporate world tries to sell it to us as metal.
Probably my favorite song from Destiny is "No Turning Back." This one is a fine example of what I really like about Stratovarius – an up tempo driving song full of thundering double kicks and lots of melody. I also really like the first track on the CD (Destiny). It comes in at a close second with it's haunting female sounding vocals provided by the Cantores Minores Boy Choir on the intro...sure you’ve heard it before but it’s not done in a cheese-like fashion here. So check them out if you haven't already.
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