If your a fan of bands that can actually play then Stratovarius is right up your alley. I’ve been told that Dream Theater are the masters of the Progressive/Power Metal arena but (even tho John is an insane guitarist) I think they’ve been ursurped. The problem I find with most of the progressive metal bands is that they are shred driven.. the guitarist seems to want to show that he can shred 24/7 which is great but it lacks the “soul” that makes great music (and yes I play guitar). Stratovarius doesn’t have this problem, even though Timo Tolkki can shred when necessary, their songs never seem to lack the emotional quality necessary. Soul of a Vagabond absolutly knocked my off my chair the first time I listened to it. The riff is great and that drum is absolutly intense, but when Kotipelto comes in and everything fades out except for the bass and drum lines… you just can’t help but feel the longing in his voice.And I’m not even going to get into the shredfest of stratofortress… my fingers hurt just listening to that.Excellent album by an incredible band… I can’t recommend either highly enough.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
I don’t think this is the best I’ve heard from Stratovarius, but it is quite good. Standout tracks are the Eagleheart (this is in the style of classic Stratovarius metal anthem), Learning to Fly, Stratofortress, and Elements. Timo Tolkki does a fantastic job on guitar here. Unfortunately, Timo Kotipelti is not quite up to par. He’s a very talented singer, but he’s really trying to hit notes so high that they just can’t sound right even in key. It really hurts the ears in some places in that regard. The addition of the orchestra is a plus on this album. This album also takes more of a progressive turn than their older stuff, using less of the same old steady beat power metal. One other thing worth mentioning is that it seems that a lot of this music is aimed at being a stab against concepts of religion and God. I won’t get into the specifics; read the lyrics if you need to know. While this doesn’t bother me at all, readers who are strongly religious may want to take this into consideration.
Straovarius can only be sumed up on one word…origional. While the world of heavy metal music is pretty much on the verge of death, Stratovarius steps in to say “Hell No!” Stratovarius shows the listener that metal does not have to be dark and depressing and does not need to include graphic content. The lyrics and vocals as well as the amazing musicianship fills you with motivation and hope in a time where it is needed the most. Strat has come a long way from “Fright Night” taking a one of a kind blend of blood pumping guitar and mixing it perfectly with a beautiful classical score. The album includes great concepts from political messages towards the war on terror, to a song dedicated to the movie “The Neverending Story.” My only dissapointment was the fact that the song “Run Away” which is included on the “Eagleheart” single was not included on the actual album. I recommend this album to anyone who is looking for a sound with depth and meaning rather than pointless bubble gum pop. Their sound is truthful and wholesome, but very very loud! Elements Pt.1 ranks up there with Strat’s other masterpieces such as Visions and Infinate I highly suggest looking into those albums as well I am eagerly awating Pt.2.
I’am finnish music fan and I have been fan of Stratovarius for many years. This album left me simply breathless yes it is little proge for the band but how cares it works. My favourite track is Learning to fly and weaker tracks were Papillon and Stratofortress, but after listening to them they were also good songs. The theme of the album Elements is big and powerful so the music’s have to be also big and powerful. There’s lot’s of Orchestra and choir arrangements and this time they really are beautiful and big especially in songs Soul of a vagabond(this is a geat tribute to old Dio and Black Sabbath), Fantasia, Papillion, Elements and A drop in the ocean(simply a daydreaming this will light up your day). Stratovarius has used Orchestra and choir arrangements since Episode(1996) and that is the one of the many things which gives this band so unique sound. If you are trully a friend of this kind music this album you must buy. But also people how havent listent this kind of music add this album to your record collections it is a classic.
Few CDs, if any, have such a large percentage of songs on it that I love. You know that feeling? How many of your CDs do you spend most of your time listening to just waiting for your 2 favorite songs? I do that a lot. Not on this CD (or any of Stratovarius’s CD for that manner). The album is about 62 minutes long, also.
It is important for you to know that I own 12 Stratovarius CDs (Fright Night, T.T., D., Fourth Dimension, E., V., Visions of Europe, D., I., Intermission, Elements 1, and Elements 2), the DVD Infinite Visions, and a shirt for this band. Only one other band do I own more than 3 albums by. And that band is Nightwish. Needless to say, I enjoy Stratovarius a LOT. About 45 of my about 400 favorite songs are by Stratovarius – far more than by any other band. Off this album, those songs include Find Your Own Voice, Fantasia (fav. of the album), Papillon, Stratofortress, Elements, and A Drop in the Ocean. Get that? 2/3 of the songs! Sorry – I don’t find Eagleheart that great. Its also the least Strato-like song I think they’ve ever recorded, musically.
What most people hate about this album is what I love – orchestration, Timo’s wailing, 2 epics, and the instrumental Stratofortress. What I don’t like is the no double-bass songs. Well… at least `not enough’ of them. I know we’re never gonna get another Father Time since the band’s no more, but it would have been nice to have another song to be similar to that. It seems that the really fast songs were only on their older albums.
The funny thing with this album is the atmosphere. The cover art really does make you feel like you’re in the sky! Just give Elements or A Drop in the Ocean one listen and try to tell me different. The solos on Stratofortress also give that feeling. The whole album does, but it’s the strongest at the end of the album.
The albums “real” opener is Soul of a Vengabond, which I am not too fond of at the time. Find Your Own Voice is the closest to older Stratovarius you’ll hear on the album. Fantasia’s a lot like Mother Gaia and The Power of One in the sense that its like “what would our world be like if there were no wars or religion?” Learning to Fly is semi-filler to me, but Papillon is one heck of a powerful song. Its wicked slow, but in-your-face loud. Lots of wailing in that song, and in the title track. I recently looked at the lyrics to Elements (the song) closely – it looks like its simply a guy (Timo) asking “why are humans so selfish?” and such, and the answer he gets is 8 elements in 2 sets: wind, water, fire, earth, and then fear, anger, sorrow, joy. That song should give you chills, even though its not quite as good as it could have been. I’ve read that A Drop in the Ocean is Celestial Dream, Part II (from Infinite), but I’m not sure about that. They’re both drumless ballads, but I don’t see the relationship.
Seriously – for any fan of euro metal of any kind (or if you like Rammstein for the orchestration), you just gotta give this album a (2nd, in some situations) try. As a whole, this is my favorite Stratovarius album. Visions, Fourth Dimension, and Infinite are in a close 2nd. Then probably Twilight Time and Destiny. Episode and Elements 2 are next, and I don’t wanna go further than that.
I hope I helped you in deciding whether to or not purchase this (wonderful) album. If I helped, please say so! I have a lot of other reviews (and now, I have my own list here on amazon!), so read them when you get a chance. Type in “Tunnelvision” and you should get to the list.