Stratovarius
Nemesis


4.0
excellent

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (196 Reviews)
February 18th, 2013 | 33 replies | 10,536 views


Release Date: 02/22/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Taking back the power metal throne after being toppled by the band’s own misguided issues and ultimately, displaying why Stratovarius are a household name of the genre.

Highly symphonic, well executed power metal; Stratovarius is at the top of their game on the back of some unpolarised releases. Built on the foundations of soaring chorus’ and typical guitar flamboyancy, Nemesis portrays a Stratovarius of old, despite a number of line-up changes over the years giving listeners’ a collection of tracks dripping in the typical cheese of the genre, steady in its construction, seamless from section to section showing that the cheese can indeed be tasty. At just under an hour, the band’s 2013 release never really outstays its welcome with barely any filler in sight, once again highlighting the fact that these veteran power metal-ers are back on the horse so to speak. This Finnish act is showing the world that they can still put successful hooks together, combining well with soaring vocals and up-tempo passages. For long-time fans of the band, Nemesis portrays a culmination, twisted into a display of bar raising song-writing, taking the band’s music to the next level. For first timers, this album will be far away from changing any minds, especially if the listener doesn't appreciate the typical stereotypes within the genre - but should be able to create a few repeated listens especially in the singles ‘Unbreakable’, ‘Fantasy’ and ‘One Must Fall’ all of which display that already mentioned solid song writing.

Noticeably, there’s a lot of solo work on this release, that’s not to say that other records in Stratovarius’ catalogue are neglecting the use of wankery, but Nemesis has a couple of ear-gasmic guitar solos and keyboard sections. Simply, the band is showing off a verbose talent in the field of flamboyant shredding and tasteful licks, this shows that the bands instrumental section can dance and soar just as much as the well-presented vocals that take centre stage. At times the tracks on the record can become a little predictable; the equal spaced vocal groupings especially display how the band can sometimes fall into a rut. Take ‘Castles In The Air’ for example, the chorus utilises a similar structure in rhyming patterns, but each line is finished by the same vocal note on the last word. This is not necessarily a negative thing, but after a while it does have potential to grate on the listener’s patience. In comparison to the band’s other releases, this attribute seems more out of habit than actual song writing choices, accenting the final word of a chorus line and therefore creating a memorable listen. The album ends on a high with the self-titled track. ‘Nemesis’ is the albums hardest hitting record instrumentally, but is balanced out by some mellowed vocals. That introductory riff especially should be sure enough to get the blood pumping just as much as the tracks chorus.

Maintaining a rather sing-a-long soundscape works well in Stratovarius’ soundscape combined with some interesting key work and even the occasional dabble in electronica. For the most part Stratovarius achieve what they set out to do; get back on top of the game with some of the strongest music the band has ever produced. Nemesis does it all with only a couple of features that mar this almost perfect, yes, almost perfect record. At this point it’s very easy to say that Stratovarius are back on the top of the power metal throne.



Recent reviews by this author
Mastodon Once More 'Round the SunMayhem Esoteric Warfare
Architects Lost Forever // Lost TogetherKauan Pirut
Miserable Failure HopeBong Stoner Rock
user ratings (99)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
King Henry VIII (4)
Nemesis is a stepping stone for Stratovarius that has center focus on experimentation....


Comments:Add a Comment 
NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 18th 2013



6937 Comments


Cheese. Would so 4.2 this given the chance : ]

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 18th 2013



5921 Comments


Stand My Ground - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KfAg_cRH9o

Track - and probably the whole album - is too melodic and over-produced for its own good...

Digging: Essence Beyond - Carnivalism

Calc
February 18th 2013



12024 Comments


waiting for eventual feature.

Digging: Kashiwa Daisuke - April. #02

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 18th 2013



8318 Comments


I'll point out some of your mistakes one more time so you could learn from them.

Highly symphonic, well executed power metal; Stratovarius is at the top of their game on the back of some unpolarised releases.
The two parts of the sentence don't run together at all. I see what you wanted to do there, but it doesn't work at all like that. "On Nemesis, Stratovarius are at the top of their game once more after a few disappointing releases" or something similar to that would read much better.
Built on the foundations of soaring chorus’ and typical guitar flamboyancy Nemesis portrays a Stratovarius of old, despite a number of line-up changes over the years giving listeners’ a collection of tracks dripping in cheese, steady in its construction, seamless from section to section showing that the cheese can indeed be tasty.
Nothing new under the sun here. You say that you're working on your writing, but honestly, I'm finding it a bit hard to believe as you're making the same mistakes you did 50 reviews ago, confusing plural and possessive - something that has been pointed out to you time and time again (it's choruses and listeners fyi). Aside from that, there should be a comma in front of Nemesis and this "despite a number of line-up changes over the years" should be cut out from the sentence it is currently in as it, again, doesn't work at all. If you want to add that bit of info, you need to integrate it better. Furthermore, the latter part of the sentence just isn't grammatically good. If you want to indeed include that sentence, it should read something like this: "...giving listeners a collection of tracks that are delightfully cheesy, steady in their construction, and flow seamlessly from section to section, showing that cheesy metal can indeed be real tasty. Stuff like "tracks dripping in cheese" just isn't grammatically ok.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 18th 2013



8318 Comments


This Finnish act is showing the world that they can still manage to put successful hooks together, combined with soaring vocals and up-tempo passages.
"they can still put" works better - do not bloat your sentences. Furthermore, it should be "..., combining them with soaring vocals and up-tempo passages".
For first timers, this album will be far away from changing any minds, but should be able to create a few repeated listens especially in the singles ‘Unbreakable’, ‘Fantasy’ and ‘One Must Fall’ all of which display that already mentioned solid song writing.
First of all, what exactly is it that won't change for first timers? Seeing as how they're first timers, I can't see how something could've stayed the same for them without them having previous knowledge about the band. Also, are you saying that the album possesses value for long-time fans only and is only decent/mediocre in general? Because that's the way it reads. Of and there are commas before especially and all. Oh and create doesn't work in that context.

And that was only the first paragraph. I mean, I like you, man, but you've gotten tons of constructive criticism during your stay here, and yet it seems like you haven't really taken any of it in. The mistakes you make are the same you made about a year ago, which makes me doubt that you take any of it seriously. I've been trying to help you improve for a long while now, but if I'm talking to deaf ears, you should let me know.

Dreamflight
February 18th 2013



1760 Comments


wooow a power metal review rated 4 on Sputnik and it's not Blind Guardian???????

jk, review is great, now I really want to check this.

FictionalFlames
February 18th 2013



1516 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Unlike you mr.ipod I was actually gonna put up a review when it was legally released. huh. I'm mad, good review!

PsychicChris
February 18th 2013



208 Comments


Still need to listen to this all the way through. Polaris and Elysium were absolutely amazing.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 18th 2013



6937 Comments


Track - and probably the whole album - is too melodic and over-produced for its own good...


Really? I thought it matched the album and band perfectly.

I'll point out some of your mistakes one more time so you could learn from them.


Magnus, am I really that much of a pain in the ass? As for wasting your time, I think you're being a little dramatic yeah? I think it's a bit rough to expect long life traits to just dissapear altogether.

For first timers, this ....


Fixed this up, yeah complete lack of reference to work with.


And i'll also add that this had been written a while back, and is not really one of my fresher works.



Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 19th 2013



8318 Comments


Magnus, am I really that much of a pain in the ass? As for wasting your time, I think you're being a little dramatic yeah? I think it's a bit rough to expect long life traits to just dissapear altogether.
1. You're not a pain in the ass, it's just that people have been giving you a lot of constructive criticism, I included, and it looks like you don't care at all to delve into it (and that's pretty frustrating). I might've sounded a little over-dramatic, but if you don't care for crit, you should say so and I'll stop wasting my time pointing things out and writing lengthy comments.

2. No, it really isn't unfair or unrealistic to expect you to improve your grammar and spelling, especially when: 1) you're a native speaker; 2) you've been reviewing for like what, 2-3 years now; 3) you're older and more experienced now than you were a year ago even, for example; 4) people have constantly mentioned you the things that need to be worked on, but you haven't either taken notice, or don't care to proofread.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 19th 2013



5921 Comments


Really? I thought it matched the album and band perfectly.

Listen to Dreamspace, Twilight Time or even Episode and you will know what I'm talking about.

Okay, power metal is about melody too, but last few power metal (last Helloween album, for instance) releases I listened to are taking it too far. I mean, the guitars are buried and compressed.

Listen to some Swedish power metal - Inmoria, Morgana Lefay, Pathos, Tad Morose, Fifth Reason, Memento Mori - to see where it is really at. Melody coexisting with a neck ripping power (and on several occasions, tech thrash) metal sound.

lostforwords
February 19th 2013



443 Comments


Is it really that good?? I should give it a listen, I have lost track of Stratovarius pretty much since Destiny.

@ Voivod
Morgana Lefay man, kudos
(we must be the two oldest guys in Sputnikmusic for sure)

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 19th 2013



5921 Comments


@lostforwords

haha I think so too.

Dreamflight
February 19th 2013



1760 Comments


while we're at it, Persuader is another great power metal band with balls.

(despite the obvious BG influence cof cof)

Tyrael
February 19th 2013



20740 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album's good, but I agree with Voivod on it being overproduced

lyrics are terrible too

oh and the misuse of keyboards in the beginning of 'Dragons', oh man

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2013



6937 Comments


You're not wasting any time dude.

NonApplicable
February 24th 2013



1930 Comments


I was watching an interview about Gojira and there was a snippet about the keyboardist from
Stratovarius. He talked about this album and sounded like such an unenthusiastic imbecile. He was
surprised by the people who liked it because he thought it sucked. He mentioned the half assed nature
of the songwriting and spontaneity of the re-recorded bonus tracks.

This can't be good.

Vakarian12
February 24th 2013



3640 Comments


shieeeeeeeet totally forgot about this. Must get asap

jet22
February 25th 2013



62 Comments


And this is why i stopped listening to power metal

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
February 26th 2013



1846 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hard to believe I haven't listened to this band before, since I've recently tried to direct my musical interests towards Power Metal. So this is obviously the first album I've listened to by Stratovarius, and I can honestly say that my impression is that of a good one. The sound in general is very consistent and solid, songs like 'Unbreakable' and the title track proving to be very concise and powerful in their approach. The unashamed balladry of 'If the story is over' works well, and the keyboard flourishes on most of the tracks keep my budding ears engaged. I'll be sure to check out the band's other albums!

Digging: Black Anvil - Hail Death



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy