Stratovarius
Polaris


4.0
excellent

Review

by fireaboveicebelow USER (108 Reviews)
May 22nd, 2009 | 40 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist


During the multiple break-ups and handful of albums released all within a few years, Stratovarius was clearly losing momentum due to Timo Tolkki, their lead guitarist, lacking inspiration as the main writer for the band. So much so that when he ended the band for the final time, he waived the rights of the name to Jens Johansson, the band’s keyboardist. The remaining members decided to breathe new life into a dead tree, replacing Tolkki with upcoming guitarist/producer Matias Kupiainen and wrote a completely new record as a band within a year…so it probably fell on its face, yeah?

Based off just one listen you can take a shot in the dark and say Tolkki was the problem, because even amongst the myriad of useless power metal bands Stratovarius managed to put forth something not only listenable, but enjoyable. Yes, enjoyable power metal. This is huge, this hasn’t happened since Nightfall In Middle Earth, but just how did they do it? Firstly, Johansson’s eclectic use of keyboard effects is vital in the versatility of the record. Secondly, the song compositions are not nearly as typical as their recent outputs, as if they allowed a progressive edge to take form construction-wise. Kupiainen’s new blood is noticeable with his lead playing and the amount of feeling he is able to put into his parts, playing so fluid as if he was born to play these songs. Stratovarius just may be a force to be reckoned with once again…if only they’d find a more resourceful vocalist. They are beyond standard for the genre; at times they fit quite well, but when there’s less layers of music his voice is distinctly less strong.

Polaris as a whole isn’t power metal innovation but it certainly could be a stepping stone to that path. Not one track feels forced, and it seems that even though Stratovarius are not doing anything different than their previous works, let alone their very small amount of contemporaries, they have a vindication mindset allowing them to evolve without the limits of band member conflicts. Among the emotive piano progressions budding from chaotic and conscious shredding and the ever-changing tempos and sensations within the catharsis of a band reborn, even a casual power metal fan will find this a worthwhile listen.



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user ratings (112)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
rasputin
May 22nd 2009


14550 Comments


Ah you finally posted this, good work.

jingledeath
May 22nd 2009


7104 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

gonna get

Altmer
May 22nd 2009


5652 Comments


Gay, gay, gay band.

lostforwords
May 22nd 2009


446 Comments


Nice review!pos
I thought this band was a lost cause after "Visions", maybe I should give this a chance

rasputin
May 22nd 2009


14550 Comments


Gay, gay, gay band.

Coming from you this is a very big statement.

fireaboveicebelow
May 22nd 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I liked visions a lot too, but this is pretty much on par with that

Gay, gay, gay band.
riverside


Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
May 22nd 2009


8371 Comments


Great review, nice and fairly short. you definitely sparked an interest for this in me. So yaah now it shall go to my most wanted list next to Skyforger and D Creation.

fireaboveicebelow
May 22nd 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thank you

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
May 22nd 2009


8371 Comments


screw you hahaha you know i cant get it at the moment so you just made me even sadder

fireaboveicebelow
May 22nd 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you can't laugh when you're sad shut up

btw whenever you have time I have about 20 other recs for you

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
May 22nd 2009


8371 Comments


recs are nice, but hold them for next week, I should have shitloads of time then.

Willie
Moderator
May 22nd 2009


16049 Comments


Nice review but power metal isn't my thing. Well, I guess I like a few but my favorite is probably this old album from Vicious Rumors called "Welcome to the Ball". You should listen to it.

Digging: Skrew - Universal Immolation

fireaboveicebelow
May 22nd 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've got that

Willie
Moderator
May 22nd 2009


16049 Comments


It's kind of 80s rock, power metal. It's probably actually crap but I've heard it so many times that I love it now.

jingledeath
May 22nd 2009


7104 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

riverside

that was uncalled for

KYZAR
May 22nd 2009


513 Comments


Eh still don' like power metal

Poet
May 22nd 2009


5935 Comments


Yes, enjoyable power metal. This is huge, this hasn’t happened since Nightfall In Middle Earth


Big fail. The two best Power Metal albums ever were released after 98 and from the same band.

fireaboveicebelow
May 22nd 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm guessing one is A Night at the Opera, but after that what?

Poet
May 22nd 2009


5935 Comments


wrong band, but that album does rule. Lost Horizon is the band. I fap enough about the band on this site.

fireaboveicebelow
May 22nd 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you said they were from the same band though lol

oohh now I get how you meant





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