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Review: Stratovarius - Elements Pt. 1
Elements Pt. 1

Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2003
Duration: 62:01
Tracks: 9
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 3/5

Review online: July 24, 2009
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Elements Pt. 1

Rated 3.37/5 (67.37%) (38 Votes)

Elements Pt. 1 is Finnish Power Metal band Stratovarius' 9th full length album and my first "real" experience with the band. I actually heard the self-titled Stratovarius first and it sucked so bad I almost never bothered with the band again. However, as a fan of bands that always quote Stratovarius as one of their major influences, like Sonata Arctica, Angra, etc., I thought I delve back into their catalog to see what I might be missing. In hindsight, Elements Pt.1 was probably not the best place to try for a second impression.

The album starts out positively enough with the very catch "Eagleheart." I dare you to listen and not find yourself singing the chorus hours later. "Find Your Own Heart" is slow, yet epic with an absolutely huge guitar sound from the infamous Timo Tolkki. "Find Your Own Voice" is a double bass burner while the nearly 10 minute "Fantasia" is kind of slow and ballad-y, but rocks anyway. "Learning to Fly" is rather generic, but enjoyable enough. It's at this point the wheels come completely off the wagon for Elements Pt. 1. "Papillon" is a lifeless ballad, while "Stratofortress" is an utterly pointless and annoying instrumental. Then comes the title track, "Elements." This bipolar track (it is occasionally good, more often not and generally dull) goes on for what seems like forever! The last time I begged the rock gods this much for a track to end was "Rivendell" from Rush's Fly by Night. The last track, "A Drop in the Ocean" is the most uninspiring ending to a Power Metal album I've ever heard. It is ballad that finishes with over 1 minute of the sound of waves on the shore. Snore.

Elements Pt. 1 is clearly hit or miss with the first half pretty good and the second half pretty crummy. Look elsewhere for your Stratovarius fix and I will be following my own advice.

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