All music is composed by Timo Tolkkiexcept where noted. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Black Diamond Stratovarius song. Power metal neoclassical metal progressive metal. Retrieved November 6, Retrieved July 7, Rock Uncertainty - Stratovarius - Episode (Cassette in German.
Metal Hammer. Retrieved August 17, Oh, sure, Kamelot started doing that a few years after this, but this came from a time when most European Power Metal bands were just focusing on shallow hooks and catchy speed metal riffs, and it really stands out from that perspective. This album has much more depth than you'd expect, with some songs being fast speed-blazers and some of them being heavy, doomy stompers, with a few ballads thrown in between.
The songwriting is just ace, unfolding with multiple listens into the calculated, kingly masterpiece that it is. I don't think anyone else has quite captured this art of making verse and pre-choruses sound so damn good, not in the way he does. Stratovarius does atmosphere really well here, with a thick production and a sort of mystical aura around a lot of the songs here that makes them sound like they came from the lost city of Atlantis, or some equally mysterious land. It's very cool, and the band would never again utilize it to the same level as they do here.
Just listen to the eerie build-up of "Seasons of Change," for example, with its subtle melodies and delicate keyboards, exploding into a haunting mid-paced number in its last minutes. Or how about the towering "Babylon," with its Egyptian flavored melodies and long, elaborate leads.
Even the bonus track "When the Night Meets the Day" is good! So this album rules, with a lot of innovation that the genre hadn't seen since the glory days of Queensryche and Crimson Glory in the 80s and a songwriting talent great enough to shatter a supernova. This is Stratovarius' best album by far, with even the weaker songs having merit to them and generally being extremely well written.
They wouldn't have that luxury in the future as their sound streamlined into a more smooth, generic Power Metal groove, but that's another review. Episode is just superlative, and you should get it if you have any interest in Power Metal at all. Now, I also happen to not hate flower metal endless bass drums, synth ladden, high pitched vocals Now, there's Stratovarius.
I'm not gonna go into that whole "lawl flower metal r sissy gay" arguments that some detractors use, I'll try my best to explain why this album, band, and 'genre', sucks so much. But then the drums kick in, and they're the standard bass drum ahoy beats that plague flower metal; but that's actually standable.
I mean, at an instrumental level, this album is not bad, Tolkki is a pretty good guitarist, and has some really cool shred solos at times. The drums, even though they just do the same thing over the course of the album, are ok, at least at a structural level.
But the greatest problem is fucking Timo Kotipelto's voice; I can stand that fellow, it's like a nasal, high pitched voice, and it's worse when he hits high notes, because even though he DOES hit them, it sounds so annoying, if you want to use falsetto wails, try to sound like Geoff Tate, and put some goddamn vibratos on your voice. Kotipelto doesn't use them at all, so his voice sounds nasal and sterile, summarizing--Boring and annoying.
This doesn't do anything, since the bass drum is already doing 16th notes, and the one that gives a 'melody' to the bass drum is uh So I don't know why the fuck do they play that way, since we know Tolkki is not exactly a newbie guitarist.
When it's not the root notes on their own, they're just whole bar chords, and that's boring, specially when the whole song is done that way.
There are 12 tracks in here, and NONE of them manages to be good during it's entirety. There's "Eternity", which may well be the best song in here, since it doesn't have anything that makes the rest of the album annoying, even Kotipelto manages to not get on my nerves.
The intro to "Eternity" sounds pretty epic, like a heavy soundtrack to 'Pirates of the Caribbean' or something. It has riffs, and the chorus is pretty fucking catchy, I wonder why the whole album isn't this way, with riffs, catchy choruses, and exploiting Kotipelto's voice in a good way.
But it seems that Kotipelto forgot the "how to not suck" style of "Eternity". However, besides the cool main riff, there's nothing more to it. And talking about Queensryche, this album has that problem which I believe no album should have, the fact that if I'm hearing it I have the sudden urge to listen to something else that sounds similar, but that sucks far the fuck less.
Then again, most songs on this album sound the same, either they're short and fast flower metal songs, or cheesy and overlong ballads. But sadly, they decide that they should just keep it that way, they don't want to scare anyone, do they? The vocal melody is fucking awesome, but then, the whole music is just that--With a synth and an acoustic guitar, and you're just waiting for the song to move faster and explote in a fucking godly riff with the drums really goddamn loud But that moment never comes, and Kotipelto's voice fades away, and this is the last fucking track, the last chance that this album had of being great, and they wasted it.
Nice job, Strat, you managed to give power metal a bad name; taking everything that made Helloween so cool, and completely sterilizing it until there's nothing good remaining. But don't listen to this, say 'nono yuck' and run away. If somebody in the street offers it to you for free, get away, it's gonna give you herpes. This is another important album in the evolution of Stratovarius, and works logically as a stepping stone between what came before and after.
The band's musical evolution won't be complete until the following album, but still, in my opinion this ends up as their overall best work due to having the strongest song integrity, as well as being the ONLY Stratovarius album entirely devoid of a single total loser track. The first thing noticeable right off the bat when comparing this to the previous album is the production - major improvement here. This is melodic power metal we're talking about here, as opposed to raw atmospheric BM, so it's all for the good.
Damn, if it's one thing that has always been good about Stratovarius well, since this album - something you will NEVER see me complain about in any of my upcoming reviews of their works - it's the production; Timo Tolkii himself has an absolutely PERFECT ear for handling this.
Even on 'Elements Pt. So, of course, props to that Mikko guy for mixing everything just right too. Jens Johansson is given more space than that of the previous dude, and while he is not as essential to the band's sound as on the next album, Uncertainty - Stratovarius - Episode (Cassette, there is now a much greater deal of keyboard soloing to be found as Jens essentially functions as the second lead guitar here.
Uncertainty - Stratovarius - Episode (Cassette Fury or whatever you may wish to call him. This man can really do no wrong, and while his career highlight remains the album 'Black Hand Inn' with Running Wild, he gels in very well with this band too and this probably stands as the second greatest thing I've ever heard him star in anyway.
He has a tendency of giving every band he joins a healthy speed boost Saxon and Grave Digger both come to mind; I think his first effort with RW is a bit faster than what came before, too and Stratovarius is no exception.
At Album) three songs on here are faster than anything that appeared on the previous album another evolutionary process for the band, one could say. The songwriting here can be described as a little more straightforward and focused than a year ago, although the change here is more minor than that of the sound and performance. There's perhaps a little less experimentation and thus more rocking out Unlike future songs in similar vein, keyboards are only used here for soloing and the very occasional effect; otherwise this is pretty damn balls-out and ripping.
The riffs in these three remind me a bit of Rage, albeit with far more impressive vocals. Timo Kotipelto has really improved over the last album where he was still finding himself in with the band's sound.
Well on here he's being utilized to his absolute full potential, with his absolutely CRYSTAL clear voice rarely matched anywhere else in rock Europe's Joey Tempest comes to mind, though. Power, conviction, soul, range, precision - all you could possibly look for in a vocalist, if you can only get by that accent many can't, so beware. Just check out those verses in "Will the Sun Rise?
It may look a little basic and underdeveloped at just above three minutes, but even so it manages to lay down a lot of the foundations that we know our Black Diamonds, Rebels, Phoenixes etc. You have the typical solid speedy opening riff; the way the drums build it up and most importantly, the one thing that keeps appearing in nearly EVERY fast number read carefully now : how the verse progresses from its first half to its second half.
Even as the musical genius Tolkii may be, his creativity quite often lacks. On this album, at least he has not yet begun to directly borrow stuff from old songs - as for that, I'll point out a few examples in my upcoming reviews.
Stratovarius ballads have this nasty habit of being exceptionally boring, tedious, boring, drawn out, boring, filler-ish, boooooriiiiing and generally crappy, and while many of them have been trying to recapture the magic of this very song, equally many have failed.
No wonder, because this is just one them once-in-a-career type of things. Holy fuck, I don't even know where to begin, but ok let's keep this simple: The main melody owns you. Kotipelto's singing owns you. The acoustics own you. The violins own you. That little part at 1. Oh, and it owns you as well.
If this does not instantly send chills down your spine, something's just wrong Uncertainty - Stratovarius - Episode (Cassette you.
Also, at a mere 3. This song is just perfect on so many levels. Uncertainty - Stratovarius - Episode (Cassette ultimate "chill-out" song, and pretty a landmark and a great accomplishment for music overall. It's that fucking good. Other highlights include: the rest of it; the whole damn thing just about.
And with great variety displayed for further increasing the staying power and just general quality of the package. It's midpaced, and has a nice heavy and doomy?! That calm keyboard middle bit with the slow and "bluesy" soloing is cheesy as hell and just screams "porno flick", but I still like it. Even the weakest track on here, the slow and Egyptian-styled sounds boring already, doesn't it??
Oh yes. Holy mama this album is such a winner. This band actually used to be worth something; what in the fuck ever happened later? This has to be one of the most underrated album of all time, but it is amazing and stunning. Stratovarius has always been a great band, but too bad they have to split up. Timo Tolkki's leads are so damn fast on this record. The production is excellent because you could hear every instrument clearly.
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