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Album Review

Released in 2011, Elysium was the second Stratovarius album released after the Finnish band's acrimonious split with founding guitarist Timo Tolkki (their driving force for ten-plus albums and twice that many years), and the fact that it promptly grabbed the number one spot on Finland's music charts pretty much answered all questions about the band's future viability. Familiarity is the key to this, of course, since Elysium‘s songs unsurprisingly dared not mess with the band's dramatic brand of technical, yet always accessible, power metal; so once the initial show of core fan support subsided (support that was perhaps intensified by the sobering news of drummer Jörg Michael's cancer diagnosis), there was no overlooking the creative stagnation at hand. Yes, Stratovarius' new material was, as always, impeccably arranged, recorded, and performed, and the individual songs spared no attention to checking off all the power metal essentials, whether exploding into controlled speed metal runs ("Infernal Maze," "Event Horizon") before wiping a tear during select power ballads ("Fairness Justified," "Move the Mountain") or flirting with commercially oriented simplicity one moment ("Darkest Hours," "Under Flaming Skies") and then indulging in prog-symphonic showboating the next ("The Game Never Ends," "Lifetime in a Moment," the title track) to satisfy their guitar institute-attending contingent. And with longtime frontman Timo Kotipelto's soaring vocals still virtually indistinguishable from those of every other singer in power metal (not to mention the Rob Halfords and Geoff Tates before them), what hope was there for Stratovarius to break new ground, harvest new supporters, etc.? Perhaps the point is moot in the hopelessly frozen-in-time and largely self-sufficient world of power metal, but one can still hope for change, right? Not here, anyway, which means that Stratovarius' biggest and blindest supporters will surely be absolutely satisfied, at least.

Customer Reviews

#1 (review) with a bullet

It's good not great in my opinion...well it's great for Stratovarius...I clarify that statement by saying I lean way more to the more extreme side of metal such as Mnemic, Trivium, As I Lay Dying, Soilwork (BEST band EVER), Disarmnoria Mundi, etc. That being said I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Stratovarius and it's way more soft (80's?) prog metal. Don't get me wrong I do love the Strat and the shredding guitars that you will always find on a couple of tracks no matter the album. All in all good effort from the unstoppable Stratovarius...these dudes have been making music almost as long as I've been alive. Good release...thumbs up! Still like Elements and Visions more...but to each there own. If you are new to Stratovarius I would recomend getting the Choosen Ones...great tracks on that album except they don't include "Learning to Fly" favorite Strat song....peace and chicken grease

Good stuff

The definition of “music”. This is some top-notch neo-classical power metal we’ve got here!! I mean, I’ve listened to a bit of Statovarius before, but WOW. If you don’t own this, your ears are missing out big time. All the songs are good, but my favorites have to be Darkest Hours, Under Flaming Skies, Infernal Maze, Event Horizon, and of course the masterpiece Elysium. Seriously, even if you hate all the other songs, buy the album just for the track Elysium. Despite it being 18 minutes in length, every SECOND is pure art. It combines every element you’d ever want in a song and puts it all together beautifully. Which takes a hell of a lot of talent to do. So, fans of the genre, BUY THIS.

Stratovarius for ever

Stratovarius made a new good CD and when is their next album?


Formed: 1982 in Helsinki, Finland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Although Helsinki, Finland heavy metal band Stratovarius were formed in 1982 by drummer Tuomo Lassila, the group did not record its debut album, Fright Night, until 1989. Released in 1992, Twilight Time established a fan base in Japan, becoming the biggest-selling import of that year; Stratovarius consolidated their Japanese popularity with an extensive tour of the country behind 1994's Dreamspace. Following 1995's Fourth Dimension, the lineup shifted to include vocalist Timo Kotipelto, guitarist...
Full Bio
Elysium, Stratovarius
View in iTunes
  • $7.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Metal, Jazz, Death Metal/Black Metal
  • Released: Jan 18, 2011

Customer Ratings

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