Style: Power Metal
Release date: 17 January, 2011
Playing time: 56:51

Stratovarius 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.

Sure, he 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.

Any Stratovarius album is off course a mandatory purchase for any power metal fan, but this time I really feel the music justifies a buy!

01. Darkest Hours (4:11)
02. Under Flaming Skies (3:52)
03. Infernal Maze (5:33)
04. Fairness Justified (4:21)
05. The Game Never Ends (3:54)
06. Lifetime in a Moment (6:39)
07. Move the Mountain 5:34)
08. Event Horizon (4:24)
09. Elysium (18:07)
Label: Ear Music
Distribution: Playground Music (Scandinavia)
Reviewed by: Kenn Jensen
Date: 18 January, 2011