03. Stand My Ground
04. Halcyon Days
06. Out of the Fog
07. Castles in the Air
09. One Must Fall
10. If the Story Is Over
Review-Stratovarious there is no denying what they have brought to power metal in the past, they are one of the few bands that I think as their career goes onward it seems to feel that they rely more on their past accomplishments then their present ones. I for one when I heard the news about Timo Tolkkiâ€™s exit from the band and all the bizarre stories and rumors that made the rounds; I really did not know if that would be the bandâ€™s breakup like rumored or that they could carry on without his guitar playing and songwriting. Well I am assuming listening to their 3rd record without him Nemesis, I am supposed to know this answer and to tell you the truth, while this cd is ok to me like Elysium and the one before it, but again Timoâ€™s presence is missed a lot.
There is no denying Timo Kotipeto is a great vocalist, but this cd sounds too safe and commercial that I think he took it easy on this. For people who listened to early Queensryche and started to complain further down the line when Geoff and the band seem to make more mediocre records and that Geoff sounded like he just gave up on singing and coasted thru the songs, should listen to this cd and see if you see a pattern. I am not saying this is a bad record, I am just saying it is not up to par with what we expect from their history and past. This to me is safe and predictable metal, that you can listen to the first riff or lyric in each song and guess where the song is heading and how it will be.
I will admit I was a fan of Halcyon Days, Out of the Fog and a few others on here, but I wish they would have used more experimentation on this cd like they were rumored to be doing. I mean I heard that certain songs were supposed to be in a folk vein, and that they had other elements they were wanting to use. This cd just sounds like a band who is content on being who they are, and just coasting on their past achievements and hoping that their safe take on power metal gets more fans to dig them, but they are not thinking about how the old school fans may take to this direction. How many Stratovarius cds need to sound like the last cd, while offering nothing new to the listener or adventurous?
All in all, if you know what to expect you will get it here and more than likely be happy with it somewhat. This is the bandâ€™s bread and butter sound, I just wish they would change it up and go into new directions and bring more elements into this band.
6 out of 10