Stratovarius - Stratovarius review


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Band: Stratovarius
Album: Stratovarius
Release date: September 2005

01. Maniac Dance
02. Fight
03. Just Carry On
04. Back To Madness
05. Gypsy In Me
06. Götterdämmerung (Zenith Of Power)
07. The Land Of Ice And Snow
08. Leave The Tribe
09. United

+ Maniac Dance (director's cut) [video] [Limited Edition bonus]
+ Stratovarius Rockumentary [Limited Edition bonus]
+ Photo Booklet [Limited Edition bonus]

Let's be honest, after all this fuc#$&% Stratovarius drama I was more than afraid for the most famous Finnish band ever. Really it was hard for me to believe in a new album and I was quite sure that the band was just… dead. My fault I'm sorry I was wrong, Stratovarius is back with their new album, the eponym "Stratovarius" and actually the result is not so bad…

Let's fix an important point first. No "Stratovarius" the album is not a new "Vision", no this album is not the best of the band and no it will probably never become one of their classics. But however when you know the whole story of the band, when you know all the mess that we got before (maybe even during) the writing of this album, that's not something so horrible.

The first thing that struck me with this new album is the important change in the compositions. Actually "Stratovarius" is probably the heaviest album of the band, don't believe that we're in front of Thrash Metal, no of course not, but in comparison of the two "Elements" it's radically different. A lot of songs of "Stratovarius" are Heavy metal and let the Finnish Power speedy metal that the band used to play in the past. This is not a radical turnover, we're still in front of Stratovarius's music but yeah it's a bit more Heavy and "Rock N Roll" this time and this is a good surprise for me.

The album is not so long with only nine songs but we can find all that we want on a Stratovarius album. A ballad (here "The Land Of Ice And Snow" not their best however…) the speedy songs with super singing choruses like "Fight!!!" or "Gypsy In Me" (with the classic Finnish Power spirit) and some heavier songs like "Maniac Dance" or "Götterdämmerung (Zenith Of Power)". Those two songs are definitely heavy and slow, this is a bit disturbing for a band like Strato, but it's easy to enjoy this new face of the band and for me those "differents" songs are probably the best ones of the album. It's not a real problem to listen to this album, for sure we don't maybe have some real masterpieces on "Stratovarius" but at least the album is entertaining and, I say it again, after the horrible years 2004 this is not a bad come back.

Evidently like each time with the band, we have a perfect production and at the end even if "Stratovarius" is not their best album, we are in front of something correct. When I listen to "Stratovarius" I find some good things on it and we have some good moments actually. Now I will finish this review with some simple words. Stratovarius is not dead yet and through this album I have the feeling that the band could become again in the future the great Finnish band that a lot of us love.

Written by Jeff | 22.08.2005



Comments: 16   Visited by: 204 users
19.06.2008 - 12:46
Just bought this album because I found on offer for only 3 Euros. I agree with the review. The album isn't that bad but it's not good either. A 6.2 from me I think

Dreams are made so we don't get bored when we sleep
24.12.2008 - 13:23
Stratovarius's worst album a 5 IMO
23.01.2009 - 13:18
I agree wiith the review after that drama we could not expect a good album. I was kind of feeling some problems in the band already in the Elements albuns, the music sounded clear and we can see some efford in trying to do something but they all are lacking the Strato essence.
02.04.2009 - 16:16
I give it a one. You can't make shit like this after setting a huge legacy of some of the most epic non-fantasy based power metal ever recorded. This album is a disgrace, and you can tell there's no soul to the music.
12.11.2009 - 00:19
Liver Failure
At least is better than Polaris. And ''Fight'' is a pretty damn cool song.

member of the true crusade against old school heavy metal, early 80s thrash, NWOBHM, traditional doom, first and second wave black metal, old school death metal, US power metal, 70s prog rock and atmospheric doomsludgestoner. o/
12.11.2009 - 00:44
"Evidently like each time with the band, we have a perfect production ".

OMG, I disagree with this statement. Production is one of the biggest flaws on Stratovarius' albums since "Destiny". The drums are so freaking loud (especially the snare) that everything is drowned under them. In fact, I find drums so annoying I can't stand this band at all since around the millenia because I have the impression I hear only the drums after a few songs.
You can't even follow the guitar riffs in your head because each time the snare comes in, you loose everything else.
"Why would we fear death, when life is so much more frightening?"
11.02.2010 - 03:03
Mountain King
K i K o
Polaris is a good album!
01.03.2011 - 16:34
It's ashame this album was self titled - couldn't have created a falser impression if it tried. Sometimes I feel like picking up Visions album and saying that should have been their self titled cd. Or at least an album that was good -Infinite, Destiny, Episode and the latest Elysium are on the list.
17.01.2012 - 00:46
Surely not a classic,not even close, but it's a good little rocker to listen from time to time ,a solid 7 from me
17.01.2012 - 19:26
Angelic Storm
Very probably Stratovarius' worst album, and sadly the final proof that they could only hope to regain some of their former glory if Timo Tolkki was out of the band. Whilst neither of the last two albums quite matches Strato's very best work, they are a lot better than this album, which is for the most part, dull and uninspired.
03.04.2013 - 20:18
Interestingly I actually really liked the album. Definitely not a Visions, Destiny or Episode but still it has a honorable place in Strato discography imo. "Back To Madness" is one of the best songs they have ever done since Destiny. Fight, and Just Carry On are also exceptional tracks, but I admit the rest is bleak. Anyway in short, I liked this record more than their recent ones (Polaris, Elysium).
23.10.2014 - 10:39
Burning Sun
The album is very good.
24.10.2014 - 15:34
I love black diamond by stratovarious but Alfa and Omega is so much better!
19.09.2015 - 02:42
This album was a big disappointment for me after first listen some 10 years ago. But now, after the dust had settled, I think it is not so bad at all. It's just different. More heavy, less power. Some tracks are really enjoyable: Back To Madness, Gypsy In Me, Fight!!!, The Land Of Ice And Snow...if you give it a chance and don't expect next Destiny or Infinite, you will get a load of fine metal dose. Every band has its highs and lows - and if this is the low of Stratos, I am not angry at all! However, I still cannot give more than 7 when comparing to their top works
12.10.2016 - 15:31
"the most famous Finnish band ever" Really? More famous than Nightwish or CoB?
03.01.2019 - 00:01
Mountain King
K i K o
I like "United", the only track with some epicness and good sense of songwriting. The album is the weak, the weakest from Stratovarius by far. 6.5 if I'm being nice.

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