was for a long time the tale of the two Timo's; Timo Tolkki - main songwriter
and guitarist, and Timo Kotipelto - vocalist extraordinaire. Things have off
course changed and you might call this Stratovarius 2.0. And with the
departure of their main songwriter Timo Tolkki, the focus point shifted quite
natural to the other Timo, and the band is today as strong as before mostly due
to his hard work and effort.
couldn't do it all by himself and together with long serving members Jorg
Michael (Drums) and Jens Johansson (Keyboards), he has brought in two great
musicians in Lauri Porra (Bass) and Matias Kupiainen (Guitars) to form a strong
unit. I think that they have put the past behind them and have begun to look at
the important thing for the band: the music.
And the result
is a good album; "Elysium" is clearly a better and more rounded album than
"Polaris" (2009), their first album without Timo Tolkki. Nine strong
compositions, a very good production by Matias Kupiainen and an album that is a
fine display of all of Stratovarius' trademarks and even see them moving
into untested waters, just wait 'till you hear the title track. I would put this
album just below their late 90s albums, which I consider to be their best
moments and above the Elements albums.
Stratovarius album is off course a mandatory purchase for any power metal
fan, but this time I really feel the music justifies a buy!