Stratovarius - Eternal review



Reviewer:
8.9

301 users:
8.25
Band: Stratovarius
Album: Eternal
Release date: September 2015


01. My Eternal Dream
02. Shine In The Dark
03. Rise Above It
04. Lost Without A Trace
05. Feeding The Fire
06. In My Line Of Work
07. Man In The Mirror
08. Few Are Those
09. Fire In Your Eyes
10. The Lost Saga
11. Endless Forest [Japanese bonus]
12. Giants [Japanese bonus]


Few bands could hope to release a 16th studio album and fewer bands still could even dream that their 16th effort would be an album that could stand with some of their best. While the likes of Helloween, Gamma Ray and Rhapsody seem to have reached a stage where they sound completely uninspired with a lack of passion for their music, Finnish power metal juggernauts Stratovarius sound as good as they have done in many years.

Founding member and main songwriter Timo Tolkki attempted to disband Stratovarius back in 2008 and thankfully that never happened. Since then, Stratovarius songwriting duties have fallen to long-term members Timo Kotipelto (vocals) and Jens Johansson (keyboards). This was a fresh start and everything they have released in this new era has been impressive and way above average. It's hard to think of many bands in the power metal genre that could sound this inspired and passionate after so many albums.

Of course originality isn't the focus here; this certainly sounds like Stratovarius. The surprising thing is how varied it is when it comes to obvious songwriting inspiration. I was reminded of Cain's Offering and early Sonata Arctica on many occasions; "Shine In The Dark" certainly sounds like a mix of the above influences mixed with the sound of Stratovarius present on the likes of Polaris and Elysium. This track and "Man In The Mirror" are songs that are perfect for a live performance: infectiously catchy and melodic. "My Eternal Dream" opens the album and sounds a bit like Freedom Call if they weren't so average. This track also screams classic Stratovarius and fans of the golden era of the band in the '90s should love this one.

The performances are as good as you would expect with the talent available and it's crazy how good Timo Kotipelto sounds on vocals after so many years. Jens Johansson is still as impressive as ever on keyboards. Writing this review has finally given me the opportunity to praise Matias Kupiainen on guitar. I think his playing has been more varied and interesting than most of Timo Tolkki's work with the band. Kupiainen definitely deserves his share of praise and he sounds great on Eternal.

It would be futile to go through this album track by track and explain that it sounds like Stratovarius, what should be taken away is that Eternal continues from where Nemesis left off, but with some influences that still make it sound relatively fresh. Instead of becoming stale, they seem to improve their songwriting with each release and are so confident in their ability to write good power metal. Eternal is power metal done to expert levels, with mid-tempo numbers, fast tracks with bouncy keyboards, ballads, the long epic to close the album and very few dull moments. Guardians Of Time have probably released the best power metal album of the year with their Rage And Fire release, but Stratovarius are close behind with this album and are becoming the most reliably consistent band in the genre.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 9


 



Written on 11.09.2015 by Try not to my review score personally.


Comments

Comments: 23   Visited by: 482 users
11.09.2015 - 03:48
Gopherhawk
Cant fucking wait, i hate being in the US where all the good finnish bands stuff comes out way after in europe
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Follow your heart, not trends.
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11.09.2015 - 08:44
qlacs
"The Quaker"
It's just the 15th isn't it?
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11.09.2015 - 12:28
Kais
Still not falling for the idea Eternal will somehow overrun Cain's Offering's Stormcrow, but we'll see.
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11.09.2015 - 13:42
Enemy of Reality
Been listening to it and i agree with your review. I could describe this album fairly easy: Stratovarius doesn't present anything new however it's very enjoyable to listen, it's well crafted and with great performances and most important, there's barely any dull moments in it. "Lost Without a Trace" is my fav song so far.
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11.09.2015 - 13:57
Sword_Chant
Yet again another great Stratovarius release. They already have so many awesome albums in their discography and Eternal is another to add to it.
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11.09.2015 - 14:16
Belegûr
Arise In Might!
Written by Kais on 11.09.2015 at 12:28

Still not falling for the idea Eternal will somehow overrun Cain's Offering's Stormcrow, but we'll see.


I only obtained Stormcrow a couple of weeks ago and have been very impressed with it. If I had been given it for review I'd probably rate it around 9 as well. I think it's a great album! Definitely check this one out though, I can hear some similarities with Cain's Offering and it's made the album better than Nemesis for me.


Written by qlacs on 11.09.2015 at 08:44

It's just the 15th isn't it?


16 as Intermission is counted as a studio album because of the 4 new tracks.
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11.09.2015 - 18:18
EmeraldSword
Great review and I'm def. looking forward to this release now. Stratovarius was one of my first intros into Power Metal genre and because of their talent and passion they remain at the top of my "top shelf" metal music. I also blown away by Cain's sophomore release this year and have more reasons now to look forward to Strato's Eternal. I'm amazed Stratovarius has the gusto to put out solid releases every few years on a polished scale like they do.

I hope they come to California so I have the chance to finally see them live somewhere soon in the future. For now their blu ray dvd will have to hold me over, heh.
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11.09.2015 - 18:24
Belegûr
Arise In Might!
Written by EmeraldSword on 11.09.2015 at 18:18

Great review and I'm def. looking forward to this release now. Stratovarius was one of my first intros into Power Metal genre and because of their talent and passion they remain at the top of my "top shelf" metal music. I also blown away by Cain's sophomore release this year and have more reasons now to look forward to Strato's Eternal. I'm amazed Stratovarius has the gusto to put out solid releases every few years on a polished scale like they do.

I hope they come to California so I have the chance to finally see them live somewhere soon in the future. For now their blu ray dvd will have to hold me over, heh.


They definitely keep surprising me. When they returned with Polaris I was impressed with how solid it was and every release since has been great. They have a nice mix of styles throughout all their recent albums and as I said in my review, I can't believe they are on their 16th studio album. I'm enjoying their last 4 more than the likes of Visions, Infinite, Episode and Destiny...something I never thought I would say.
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11.09.2015 - 18:24
There's some mistakes in the review, as you call the album by Eternity.
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11.09.2015 - 18:28
Belegûr
Arise In Might!
Written by AdrianoVieiraESilva on 11.09.2015 at 18:24

There's some mistakes in the review, as you call the album by Eternity.


haha good eye I missed that and the proofreader missed it too. Will see if it can be fixed
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11.09.2015 - 18:29
I love the Nemesis album, and the Cain's Offering' Stormcrow. And After listening Eternal for the first time, I can say that it is better than those mentioned before. I have been listening Eternal over and over again, and each time its get better. It's Stratovarius at its best, and I can't wait to listen these song Live.
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11.09.2015 - 18:38
Belegûr
Arise In Might!
Written by AdrianoVieiraESilva on 11.09.2015 at 18:29

I love the Nemesis album, and the Cain's Offering' Stormcrow. And After listening Eternal for the first time, I can say that it is better than those mentioned before. I have been listening Eternal over and over again, and each time its get better. It's Stratovarius at its best, and I can't wait to listen these song Live.


Review fixed, thanks again. Will be extra careful next time

They could play any of these songs live and it would be great, I'm looking forward to hearing them live when they go on tour
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11.09.2015 - 18:51
Quote:
Review fixed, thanks again. Will be extra careful next time

They could play any of these songs live and it would be great, I'm looking forward to hearing them live when they go on tour


no problem, glad to help.

By the way, great review, I agree with almost everything. I only put Fire in Your Eyes a little under the others Eternal songs. It isn't a great ballad.... but it is OK.
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11.09.2015 - 23:58
Bad English
Masterchief
Best huh only what is best ffrom this band is Fight Night
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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12.09.2015 - 01:20
Belegûr
Arise In Might!
Written by Bad English on 11.09.2015 at 23:58

Best huh only what is best ffrom this band is Fight Night


Fright Night*

I also never said Eternal was their best album. That wouldn't matter anyway, everyones favourite is their own.
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12.09.2015 - 01:28
Karlabos
Weirdo of MS
Are you correcting Bad English's English?
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2016
2017
2018
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12.09.2015 - 01:30
Belegûr
Arise In Might!
Written by Karlabos on 12.09.2015 at 01:28

Are you correcting Bad English's English?


Haha yes, I went there . Eventually he will be able to change his name to "Average English".
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12.09.2015 - 05:14
Stunning Cactus
I for one hated Nemesis, but loved Elysium. Is there any hope for me?
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"I always knew metal would live on. I was right."
~Me, 2013
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12.09.2015 - 09:44
atkmetal123
Written by Stunning Cactus on 12.09.2015 at 05:14

I for one hated Nemesis, but loved Elysium. Is there any hope for me?


I used to hate both, but gave them another try after awhile, now I love them more than Infinity.

Still digging Eternal, the sound of new Cain Offering's album is still in my head so its hard to get into this one.
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12.09.2015 - 17:54
Sword_Chant
Written by Stunning Cactus on 12.09.2015 at 05:14

I for one hated Nemesis, but loved Elysium. Is there any hope for me?


I would say this album sounds more like Elysium, give it a listen and see what you think, I would be surprised if you were disappointed
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15.09.2015 - 06:32
Stunning Cactus
Written by Sword_Chant on 12.09.2015 at 17:54

Written by Stunning Cactus on 12.09.2015 at 05:14

I for one hated Nemesis, but loved Elysium. Is there any hope for me?


I would say this album sounds more like Elysium, give it a listen and see what you think, I would be surprised if you were disappointed


I will certainly give it a good, honest listen. Thank you both for your feedback
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"I always knew metal would live on. I was right."
~Me, 2013
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16.09.2015 - 05:45
Teravolt_Danny
Good album. Not as good as Nemesis.
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I lift weights and listen to metal
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19.09.2018 - 01:59
IcePickLodger
After long & deep comparison I have to admit this record is a bit better than Nemesis. really awesome - almost each track is a top notch song!
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