Power of Metal.dk Review

Style: Melodic Power Metal
Release date: 23 February, 2013
Playing time: 57:42

After last months release of the 'Unbreakable' EP, the complete album spins rounds in my stereo. First track "Abandon" is a rather fast track, which immediately makes me very curious about the rest of the album. The drums are tight and gives the song a certain drive. Another positive point is the rather in front mix of the guitars. After the single "Unbreakable", "Stand My Ground" sets off. A fast track again, but with a choir singing part half way, which makes it rather heroic and commercial. The guitar and synth solo near the end are first class and show that the songs so far on this album are better than on their last two releases.

Another thing on this album is that the synths sound more modern, not a thing I prefer normally, but because it isn't overdone they just get away with it. Only the track "Halcyon Days" sounds a bit too modern for me, with a little too much modern electronic sounds. "Fantasy" is a softer track with a very happy refrain that gets a little too wimpy and sweet. Fortunately "Out of the Fog" is a more riff based track again, with the typical Stratovarius trademark: a very strong sing a long refrain.

After the piano start, the track "Castles in the Air" blossoms into an epic orchestral track with choir singing. "Dragons" has a more modern approach again, but has a nice tempo and a happy refrain that makes you smile. "One Must Fall" is a slower song with modern synths and with Timo singing in his typical Geoff Tate sounding style. "If the Story is Over" is a ballad with all the ingredients you can expect. "Nemesis" starts with very modern synth sounds and I hope for them that the more reserved fans can appreciate the more modern approach on this album. After that the happy sing a long style takes over again and turns the track into a typical Stratovarius song.

Happy, melodic, a bit heroic and easy to sing a long with. I think the fans of Stratovarius will be satisfied and the happy power metal fans will be glad about this album too.

01. Abandon
02. Unbreakable
03. Stand My Ground
04. Halcyon Days
05. Fantasy
06. Out of the Fog
07. Castles in the Air
08. Dragons
09. One Must Fall
10. If the Story Is Over
11. Nemesis
Label: EarMusic
Distribution: Playground Music (Scandinavia)
Reviewed by: Reinier de Vries
Date: 22 February, 2013
Website: www.stratovarius.com