If you call yourself a power metal fan, and aren't just posing,
then this band needs no introduction. This may just be the most melodic
metal I have heard in my life and I'm sure there wont be a whole lot of
bands around which can top these guys. Perhaps it's just all the caffeine
talking, but I really like this latest offering from Stratovarius. I have
been a fan of theirs for quite some time. With the release of
"Elements Part 1" however, my faith was a bit
shaken, as the masters strayed from their formula of perfection and began
experimenting. The inevitable sequel, as fans will be happy to know,
completely (almost!) does away with all the wayward experimentation of its
predecessor. The result? One of the most melodic albums this critic has
heard in QUITE a long time.
As with all Stratovarius albums, the production is top-notch.
Meaty enough guitars saw away at one amazing riff after another as the
drums set the pace of the entire album. Speedy intros give way to slow and
pounding, or fast and thrashy riffs, which eventually too are swept away
by the choruses. And what chorus sections! From the sway and crunch guitar
bridge on tracks like "Alpha and Omega" and "Awaken the
Giant" to the uplifting emotional acoustic on "Luminous",
"Elements Part 2" entertains.
This album gives you no choice but to get up and vow to live life
to the fullest, in the most productive manner possible. Relax. It's not
just a bunch of preachy songs thrown together unlike many new power metal
bands the world over. It may get a bit cheesy, (e.g. Know the Difference,
Luminous) but not enough to become a distraction. Overall, a brilliant
comeback (not that these guys needed one!) and a must own for any metal
Overall, if you know Stratovarius, you know what to expect. I
won't therefore, give a track by track review of the album. However, just
two gripes I have with the album. Firstly, vocalist Timo's voice sounds a
bit strained on some of the latter tracks. Luckily, its nothing
Secondly, the album is too short, clocking at a little over 50
minutes. Weaker tracks like "Luminous" and "Know the
Difference" could have been dropped in favour of something more like
the headbangable classic "Awaken the Giant". Headbangable? Yeah
right. I mean THE headbanger classic. Or is that "Dreamweaver"?
I guess I'll go spin the disc one more time to decide...
Well before I start rambling again, heed Timo's advice. Do
something productive with with your life. Regardless of your stand on
downloading, and Stratovarius' opinions on the matter, this album DESERVES
to sell. Don't believe me? GO BUY IT! STOP reading this review and GO BUY
"ELEMENTS PART 2!!!"