Thumbs up: +2
I guess I'm just liking the idea of making lists on the internet. Metal gives me a nice thing to focus on. Now, for my favorite metal band!!

I'm sure you'll notice that I have not included Polaris or Elysium on the list and that is intentional. I don't hate the albums, I just find them hard to compare to the rest of Stratovarius' work, like apples to oranges. Timo Tolkki might not have been the greatest of guys, but I think he was pretty essential to the Stratovarius sound (at least for me). The new Stratovarius just sounds like a different band to me. Maybe in the future I'll include the newer stuff, but not now.

Created by: bj_waters | 17.10.2011



1. Stratovarius - Episode
Absolute giant of an album. While not every song may be a winner (sorry, I've never liked "Forever"), they are more than out-shined by monster songs like "Eternity," "Speed of Light," "Season of Change," and "Babylon!" Most everything else is great power metal.
2. Stratovarius - Infinite
Another album dominated by great songs that make up for the weaker ones. I love "Phoenix" and "Infinity," and "Hunting High and Low" is just plain catchy. The rest of the album works out pretty well, too, especially the surprising "Celestial Dream."
3. Stratovarius - Stratovarius
What can I say? I like this album!! Those first four tracks are pure power metal awesome, and then you have "Gotterdammerung (Zenith of Power)." Seriously, don't get me started on "Maniac Dance." I think the song is awesome!!!
4. Stratovarius - Visions
The classic. Trust me, this isn't that far behind number three. This is probably the most complete album of all Stratovarius, but the songs don't stand out as much as the higher album's do, especially "Visions." Of all of the longer songs, "Visions" just seems weaker.
5. Stratovarius - Destiny
Things get a bit murkier down here at these ranks. Destiny is still a great album though. "Destiny" was one of the first songs I heard by Stratovarius ("Speed of LIght" being the other) and I still love it. Then there's that dual solo on "No Turning Back" that's just amazing. Unfortunately, this album suffers from two very weak power ballads, "4000 Rainy Nights" and "Years Go By," and that brings this album down. I guess I'm just picky when it comes to power ballads.
6. Stratovarius - Fourth Dimension
The first album that really has the beloved Stratovarius sound and it's full of great tracks. I even like the quirky "030366." However, the weaker production kind of brings this one down. Still a very close tie with Destiny.
7. Stratovarius - Elements Part II
Ah, the Elements albums. I really struggle with these, but Part 2 is definitely the better album. It has more stereotypical Stratovarius stompers like "I Walk to My Own Song," the Helloween inspired "I'm Still Alive," and my favorite of the album "Dreamweaver." While not as classic as their later 90s material, it's some all right stuff.
8. Stratovarius - Elements Part I
This one is probably the weakest of the classic Stratovarius line-up. I simply feel that this album just over-ambitious. I understand that adding an orchestra was kind of a hip thing to do and can add an interesting dimension to a band's sound (see Yes's Magnification), it just didn't work that well for Stratovarius for me. That being said, there are some good songs, particularly "Eagleheart" (of course), "Soul of a Vagabond" works for me, and I actually quite like the title track. It's a shame the rest of the album didn't turn out the same.
9. Stratovarius - Fright Night
Now we get to the early stuff. I do feel a little hesitant to include the first three albums because, again, they sound like a different band, but I can still hear Tolkki's influence, so here they are. Obviously, this doesn't get played as much as the normal Stratovarius songs, but I like "Fright Night" and "Future Shock."
10. Stratovarius - Twilight Time
Fright Night and Twilight Time are basically tied for me. They sound very similar and have a much bigger Iron Maiden feel than the rest of Stratovarius' discography. While nothing really stands out on this album, nothing really detracts from it either. It's just kind of interesting to hear Tolkki doing the vocals.
11. Stratovarius - Dreamspace
Every band has a stinker and for me, Dreamspace is Stratovarius'. I think the main problem is that it struggles by being between the two major sounds of Tolkki's Stratovarius, leaving it with little identity of its own. While I can hear the familiar sounds of the later albums, they get jarring next to the older style, making a kind of inconsistent album.



Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
[ More lists by bj_waters ]



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bj_waters - 13.03.2012 at 06:13  
I don't know if people just aren't seeing this list or if nobody likes it. I would have figured SOMEBODY might have said something by now (five months later).
Troy Killjoy - 13.03.2012 at 12:46  
I think "Band - Top to Bottom" lists are pointless to be honest.
bj_waters - 14.03.2012 at 02:03  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 13.03.2012 at 12:46

I think "Band - Top to Bottom" lists are pointless to be honest.


To be honest, I find that perspective to be a bit perplexing. I admit that I come from a pretty nerdy background. I could easily give you a Top 5 list of my favorite Anime series, a Top 5 Bands Overall, and a Top 5 Video Games (for each console, even). I could narrow them down even further, ranking all of the Ghibli films, Pink Floyd's albums, or Zelda games, from best to worst. For me, it just seems natural for people who like things as passionately as this to put them in lists or ranks or something like that. And I know that I'm not the only one who does it. I'm certain that people have put together lists about all sorts of things, from Atlanta Braves pitchers to Harry Potter books and from Beatles songs to Metallica albums. I think the people generally like to have things organized as a metric for understanding. By comparing the albums within a band's discography helps me (at the very least) understand what I like about the band and why I like it, thereby creating a standard from which to judge other things. At the very least, I would imagine that such lists would be decent conversation starters. To say that such a thing is "pointless" raises my eyebrows, compelling me to ask you to expound upon your ideas.

Unless, of course, you're just being a killjoy.
Troy Killjoy - 14.03.2012 at 02:16  
Holy paragraph, Batman!

Far be it from me to live up to my name; I actually find these lists pointless. Because they're completely individualistic.

Sure, "best and worst of [year]" isn't universal, but at least users can interact and compare and even learn some things. There is more to discuss and more to debate. Yes you've seen other people create best band lists, but how many of those lists honestly receive much attention? Not many. And that's what I was responding to. You wanted thumbs up... but because this isn't Iron Maiden or Metallica, not many people are gonna bother paying attention to this.

In fact, I'd venture more people looked at this list after seeing me comment on it. And you still haven't received any thumbs because nobody else is really interested. :/
EW - 14.03.2012 at 02:40  
Wow the self titled came 3rd. I always avoided this one due to the negative reviews but maybe I will go check it out now. I agree with the list but would rate Elements Pt 1 higher.
R'Vannith - 14.03.2012 at 07:15  
I find Strato to be generally bland. Visions (it being a great one) is their best for me, then Destiny. The rest is really meh, although I haven't heard their full discography.
bj_waters - 14.03.2012 at 09:01  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 14.03.2012 at 02:16

Holy paragraph, Batman!

Sorry. Bad habit. I'm not very good at being concise with my words, so I kind of don't bother.

Written by Troy Killjoy on 14.03.2012 at 02:16

Far be it from me to live up to my name; I actually find these lists pointless. Because they're completely individualistic.

Sure, "best and worst of [year]" isn't universal, but at least users can interact and compare and even learn some things. There is more to discuss and more to debate. Yes you've seen other people create best band lists, but how many of those lists honestly receive much attention? Not many. And that's what I was responding to. You wanted thumbs up... but because this isn't Iron Maiden or Metallica, not many people are gonna bother paying attention to this.

In fact, I'd venture more people looked at this list after seeing me comment on it. And you still haven't received any thumbs because nobody else is really interested. :/


For what it's worth, getting a thumbs up isn't the highest priority for me (though I did get one; neener-neener ). I like creating discussions; look at some of the other threads I've posted in (just look for the walls of text) and note that I like shaking things up a little, instigating responses and such. Perhaps ranking a band's discography isn't the MOST thought provoking in regards to metal as a whole, but in my lurking, I've realized that I kind of have a pretty unique opinion of things and I want to share my thoughts for the sake of criticism and debate.

I know I've said this before in another thread, but I'm new to metal (six years-ish) and I'm interested in participating in parts of the community. Metal Storm has shown to be a good place to try and do exactly that. However, being the nerd that I am, I tend to dig into the "lore" and history and such. However, I feel that my ideas and theories won't hold any weight unless I test them by sharing them with other people. I also think it's important to look at things from a different perspective. For example:

Written by EW on 14.03.2012 at 02:40

Wow the self titled came 3rd. I always avoided this one due to the negative reviews but maybe I will go check it out now. I agree with the list but would rate Elements Pt 1 higher.


(Forgive me for using you as an example to support my arguments. I've always thought that the s/t album was underrated, even by Tolkki himself.)

Anybody who might look over the boards (or the ratings here or at Metal Archives) would probably just skip the 2005 Stratovarius album, thinking it wasn't worth their time. But I've also learned that just because a majority says something is the best, it doesn't necessarily make it the best (I personally think Master of Puppets is overrated; go see my Metallica list). By saying something that goes against the popular opinion, not because I'm trying to hard to be cool, but because it is my honest opinion, I've opened up a gap where something can happen (like with Edgewalker). I'm not saying that any one opinion or idea is better than other, but if we didn't consider to work against the grain of popular thought, we'd still be banging rocks together to make fire.

Perhaps I'm taking this all to seriously. Perhaps people around here just like loud music, so they throw it in and don't think about it too much. And that's fine. To each their own. But I've found that I simply cannot be a "casual" fan. I get into things. I dissect them and analyze them to understand what makes them tick, what makes me drawn to them. I read up on history and criticism in an effort to place myself and my opinions in context of the community around me. In the end, I want to poke and prod and stir things up a little, just to see where they settle. I'm just exploring for the sake of understanding (Essentially, I'm saying that I do all of this with the other interests that I have).

Maybe it's arrogance. Maybe I'm standing on the shore, explaining that this part of the beach is unique because I've kicked the sand with my feet, despite the fact that the waves do a perfectly fine job of rearranging the sand. But maybe I'm the type who can't sit still and just enjoy the beach as it is. Maybe I'm the type that just needs to work over the sand, coming up with something that feels my own and not just copying other people, then I can understand what it is that I like about the beach and share it with others in message boards with massive paragraphs and bizarre metaphors that bog down moderators and the other forum users until they feel like they, too, have sand in their pants. (Can you tell that I am an English Major?)

In essence, I'm just testing my opinions to see what other people say, and perhaps to get an alternate perspective on them. I hope that's not too much to ask.
Milena - 14.03.2012 at 12:11  
Written by R'Vannith on 14.03.2012 at 07:15

I find Strato to be generally bland. Visions (it being a great one) is their best for me, then Destiny. The rest is really meh, although I haven't heard their full discography.

Mmm, same here.
Pankar95 - 31.07.2012 at 14:00  
Well if I was to make Stratovarius albums ranked list there is no way id leave Twilight Time out of the top 3.
Idk why im the only one, but this one sounds excellentt o my ears. All songs are memorable and the sound is heavier and darker with melody too.
I like Tolki's vocals too.
bj_waters - 01.08.2012 at 00:16  
Written by Pankar95 on 31.07.2012 at 14:00

Well if I was to make Stratovarius albums ranked list there is no way id leave Twilight Time out of the top 3.
Idk why im the only one, but this one sounds excellentt o my ears. All songs are memorable and the sound is heavier and darker with melody too.
I like Tolki's vocals too.

I admit that I came into Stratovarius through Episode/Visions/Destiny, so going back and listening to Fright Night and Twilight Time felt rather quaint. The sound is definitely different, more Iron Maiden-y IMO, but I do like them (though I prefer Fright Night over Twilight Time as I posted).

I think Tolkki's volcals are just okay. While I will concede that Kotipelto's voice is a bit tinny and needs getting used to, I think it does a better job of soaring with the music than Tolkki's ever did.
Stunning Cactus - 15.07.2013 at 11:49  
I can generally agree with the list. My biggest complaint (or disagreement, I suppose) would be how low Elements Pt. 1 is on the list. With long, symphonic songs like Fantasia, fast, brutal instrumentals like Stratosphere, or headbanging, uplifting leaders like Eagleheart, it would be impossible for me to put this album anywhere below the top 5.

Check out my list of My Favorite Songs From Various Power Metal Bands when you get the chance. I would love to hear your opinion on what I have posted. Thanks!
bj_waters - 16.07.2013 at 06:51  
Written by Stunning Cactus on 15.07.2013 at 11:49

I can generally agree with the list. My biggest complaint (or disagreement, I suppose) would be how low Elements Pt. 1 is on the list. With long, symphonic songs like Fantasia, fast, brutal instrumentals like Stratosphere, or headbanging, uplifting leaders like Eagleheart, it would be impossible for me to put this album anywhere below the top 5.

Check out my list of My Favorite Songs From Various Power Metal Bands when you get the chance. I would love to hear your opinion on what I have posted. Thanks!


The Elements albums certainly aren't bad (I consider Dreamspace to be the only "bad" Stratovarius album), but I felt that they didn't quite have the same level of power and majesty as the others. Elements Part 1 especially felt like they were trying too hard to be symphonic and epic and progressive, and I felt some of the songs fell flat as a result. Not a bad album, but one where they tried to do too much, leaving the songwriting to suffer somewhat.

I haven't listened to as much Power Metal as others, but I'll definitely check out your list and let you know what I think.

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