(9/10) When Stratovarius mastermind Timo Tolkki put the band on hold, the future of the Finish melodic metal instition was more than doubtful.
After a while Tolkki left the band and the remaining members seized the moment and continued. That this decision was athe right one is something that's proven since a few years. Records like the latest one, called "Nemesis", presented the band in a top condition. Filled with great tunes the album was a gift for each power metal fan. That was two years ago and it was the question if the Finish five-piece could keep this high level.
"Eternity" shows that this isn't an issue at all. Actually the new longplayer of Timo Koltipelto and band mates is even better than the last longplayer, not least due to the great sound that supports the new metal anthems.
"My Eternal Dream" was selected to be the opener. This was a good choice since it's a typical Stratovarius tune. Opening with a keyboard fanfare the track builds up to a fast melodic rocker a la Stratovarius. The song comes with a lot of bombast that finds its continuance in "Shine In The Dark". "Rise Above It" rounds off a fantastic triple that is full of great hooks and catchy melodies. And since the hard riffs give each track the right level of heaviness there is at no point a risk that the music becomes cheesy.
Stratovarius pulls one great song after the other out of their hat. Each number in itself is an excellent piece of metal music that underlines the bands status of being a leader in this genre. Bombastic power metal needs to sound like this.
"Lost Without A Trace" is another composition I want to mention. Stratovarius reduces the pace and the track could be seen as power ballad (even though I don't like this word). It starts quite rocking before the verse is based on an acoustic guitar and Koltipelto's vocals - both in perfect harmony. The punch comes back with the heavy riffing in the chorus.
The best comes last. Track number ten is called "Lost Saga" which is an eleven minutes long cineastic epos that is pure symphonic power metal. Mighty riffs alternate with great melody lines; a furious neo-classic solo part in the middle is followed by an acoustic intermezzo before a midpace part brings back the bombast into Stratovarius new masterpiece. Tempo builds further up towards the end and leaves you with your mouth wide open.
"Eternal" is the best Stratovarius longplayer since "Elements I". I can highly recommend this record.
- My Eternal Dream
- Shine In The Dark
- Rise Above It
- Lost Me Withiut A Trace
- Feeding The Fire
- In My Line Of Work
- Man In The Mirror
- Few Are Those
- Fire In Your Eyes
- Lost Saga
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Release Date EU: September 11, 2015