|Review: Stratovarius - Elements Pt. 1|
|Elements Pt. 1|
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2003
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: January 23, 2003
Reviewed by: Christian Renner
for:Elements Pt. 1
Rated 3.41/5 (68.21%) (39 Votes)
One of the undisputed champs of power metal return with a new album after quite a layoff which fans of the band (myself included) thought was entirely too long. To say that I was eagerly awaiting this new album would be an understatement. So was all this waiting worthwhile? DEFINITELY!
The new album just screams quality all the way through. The little vacation of sorts I believe really helped them out and let them recharge their creative batteries. From beginning to end this album is filled with some of the strongest material they have written in some time. Most Stratovarius fans like all of their releases but I thought their last one was a little sub par when you consider some of the brilliance they displayed on other albums. I felt as though the last album seemed forced or rushed. There were undeniably some really great songs on them but it also had some filler as well. Well everything that I didn’t care for on the last album has been eliminated on this one. Every single song is well written, catchy and expertly performed. There are more faster songs on this one than the last but even the faster songs show a real variety with tempo changes that work seamlessly to add more to an already excellent song. Everything about the album seems recharged. The vocals are the best I have ever heard from Timo. The keyboard playing is simply amazing. Where the album seriously makes a statement is the incredible guitar work of Mr. Tolkki. His leads are simply a shred fest at times and you sit back and wonder how the hell his fingers are moving that damn fast. The leads not only display a lot of speed but even while going this fast they still show an immense amount of feeling. Not all the leads are 1000 notes a minute and when he chooses to slow down the leads are no less jaw dropping. You want to hear some absolutely killer guitar playing listen to the Instrumental track "Stratofortress" to see what I am talking about (just remember to pick your jaw off the floor when its over…heh).
Overall this is an album I had very high hopes for and Stratovarius certainly delivered with possibly the best album of their career. Fans of the band and of power /pure metal in general will absolutely be ecstatic when listening to this new album. Pretenders to the elite levels of power metal take notice…Stratovarius just raised the bar for everybody!!! HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!
Favorite Tracks – All of them…I can listen to this album multiple times and still just keep hitting repeat. I will say though that the instrumental "Stratofortress" made me hit repeat in itself four or five times just to make sure I actually heard what I thought I heard. I swear sometimes Timo Tolkki must have at least 6 hands.
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Interview with Jörg Michael (drums) on February 1, 2003 (Interviewed by Christian Renner)
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