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Elements, Pt. 2

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  • Elements Pt.2, which comes almost right out after Pt.1, is completely different from its predecessor. This album is more direct, in-your-face music. If you were unhappy with the heavy use of orchestration in Pt.1, then you should be pretty happy with Pt.2, as orchestration is not at the spotlight this time.This album sounds like a cross between the Stratovarius of old (namely Episode and Visions albums), borrowing some elements form more recent albums (such as Infinite) while still retaining the fresh sound that was found in Elements, Pt.1. One thing that may turn fans away from this album is that the ratio of fast to slow songs is the same as that found on Pt.1: there are two very fast songs, two mid tempo songs, three ballads and two slow, yet powerful and hypnotic songs.Another of the main complaints with Pt.1 was Kotipelto’s use of high notes, which could turn annoying some times. In Pt.2, high notes are used only in choruses and not throughout the song, and this time around they are done very well. There’s only one song, though, in which Kotipelto’s use of high notes can be annoying, and that song is Alpha & Omega.Let me give you a short review of all the songs in the album:1. Alpha & Omega (4.0/5.0) – This can be considered the epic of the album, but is not so much of an epic. The song starts with the sound of rolling waves, which would be the link between Pt.2 and Pt.1, because the latter ended with the sound of waves. Still, I think is a poor choice for an album opener. This is a very slow, powerful song with hypnotic drumlines. The bridge to the chorus is ballad-like. Overall a nice song, but Kotipelto’s voice can be annoying some times.2. I Walk To My Own Song (4.5/5.0) – The single of the album. Your classic mid-tempo Stratovarius song. The melody gets in your ears quickly, and the solo is amazing.3. I’m Still Alive (5.0/5.0) – An awesome fast song which could’ve belong to the Visions album. Great chorus, and the vocal performance is very good here. There’s a very good drum solo at the end.4. Season Of Faith’s Perfection (4.5/5.0) – If you’re a sucker for ballads, like me, you’ll love this song. This is an orchestral ballad (like Papillon from Pt.1, but only in style). The song starts very nicely until a very haunting keyboard interlude. The chorus is awesome.5. Awaken The Giant (5.0/5.0) – Soul of a Vagabound, Pt.2. Much more heavier and direct than Vagabound. Again, another hypnotic song with a very nice drum beat.6. Know The Difference (5.0/5.0) – A lightning-fast masterpiece. Sounds like a cross between Stratofortress and Find Your Own Voice, without the annoying high vocals of the latter. The chorus is excellent, and the use of keyboards is really good. Watch out for the cool solo.7. Luminous (3.5/5.0) – The weakest song in the album. A very peaceful ballad. If you’ve ever listenned to Into Deep Blue, Pt.1’s bonus track, then you know exactly how this song sounds. Great lyrics, but overall it doesn’t do too much to me.8. Dreamweaver (5.0/5.0) – A very agressive song. Easily the best one in the album. The song is mostly mid-tempo, but it can get fast at some points because of the constant time-changes. The chorus is one of the best for a Stratovarius song.9. Liberty (5.0/5.0) – A power-ballad and a fantastic finale for the album. This feel-good song is the complete opposite of Forever, and I predict it will become the official closer for Stratovarius concerts. All in all, a very good album which sounds very fresh. Personally, I found this album waaaay better than Pt.1, which was less-direct music because of the heavy use of orchestration. Pt.2 is more direct, and that’s what I like when listening to power metal.Heavily recommended.

    Posted on December 4, 2009