Stratovarius
Nemesis


4.0
excellent

Review

by King Henry VIII USER (63 Reviews)
February 19th, 2013 | 13 replies


Release Date: 02/22/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Nemesis is a stepping stone for Stratovarius that has center focus on experimentation.

After two relatively successful albums, Stratovarius returns with Nemesis and aims at something expected and something totally unexpected. The issue of experimentation pops up, and just like any other band there will be praise and knee-jerk reactions. It’s no lie that Stratovarius has been on the bit of the frisky side with their electronics since their comeback on Polaris.For instance, look at the intro Jens Johansson plays in “Deep Unknown”. In Nemesis we see Jens expand his horizons with newly acquired use of electronics that, without a doubt, comes from direct influence from touring with Amaranthe to promote Elysium. In doing so, every band member is on board with this bold approach. However, the most surprising aspect of this bold direction of experimenting is that Nemesis is the most consistent album that Stratovarius has put out since Infinite!

I’ll be honest with you, I was skeptical after listening to the promotional single “Unbreakable” and its lack of a solo. Unfortunately, I experienced more skepticism after listening to “Halcyon Days” only a week or so later. Don’t get me wrong or anything, the two afore mentioned songs are without a doubt enjoyable and worth the listen, they also showcase Kotipelto at a career high too, but the songs have an unusual structure we hardly see from Stratovarius. For starters, “Unbreakable” has a ‘solo’ section but the song doesn’t have a melodic solo(s); instead it has a thrash-like riff that lasts for a while. Any first impression will probably register that one moment as “Oh, it’s just a single so it’s not that big of a deal”. On the other hand, “Halcyon Days” – which is not a single - shows Jens Johansson playing around with electronic backgrounds, as well as some sort of electronic voicing with Kotipelto in the beginning of the chorus. Any first time listener maybe thinking that this is pretty cool and all; that is until you hear the 1 minute section where there could’ve been a solo. Instead the listener will hear epic choirs and, dare I say, pseudo-dubstep in the replace of a solo. I know it’s difficult to get use to, but trust me they’re growers.

Despite there being some questionable moments such as the ones on “Unbreakable” and “Halcyon Days” we still see overwhelming positive characteristics on Nemesis. “Fantasy” and “Dragons” are instant classics; “Out of the Fog” is a 7 minute epic that has everything to love about Stratovarius; “Abandon” falls under the category of ‘superb album openers’; “If the Story Is Over” has a guest appearance of Jani Liimatainen (ex-Sonata Arctica); and the eponymous of the album, “Nemesis”, is yet another classic Stratovarius song. With every song practically being overwhelmingly catchy, upbeat, etc… there’s only one real problem with Nemesis that has nothing to do with some of the eyebrow raising moments on “Halcyon Days” or “Unbreakable”. That problem is “Castles in the Air”. The song itself is interesting and just like its sister songs on Nemesis it has Kotipelto performing another catchy chorus. The problem is Matias and Jens when they’re up to bat out a solo, but no one would’ve expected to hear solos… oh, what’s a good way of putting it?...that are… lazy and drunk and out of place.

In conclusion, Stratovarius creates a pretty solid effort that mainly focuses on Kotipelto and Jens’ newly acquired use of electronics. In fact, the album is so intent on focusing on Kotipelto’s vocals and Jens that any listener will completely forget that there’s a new drummer in town. Another thing is that most listeners jumping into this album shouldn’t expect anything amazing from Matias either; though he does have a lot of solid moments.

Disclaimer: there are four different bonus tracks that can be found on a Japanese, Limited Edition, and Vinyl release.

Recommended Tracks:
Unbreakable
Dragons
Fantasy
Out of the Fog
Nemesis



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Comments:Add a Comment 
FictionalFlames
February 19th 2013


1517 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well, I was gonna put it out on Friday (the release date), but I guess Sputnik doesn't care about that anymore. Enjoy!


FictionalFlames
February 19th 2013


1517 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

They're untouchable as of now.

FictionalFlames
February 19th 2013


1517 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The best way to describe it is Polaris and Elysium with drawn influences from Amaranthe after touring with them.


On a side note Out of the Fog, Nemesis, and Castles in the Air are probably the closest thing to the 18 minute epic on Elysium. but Castles in the Air (as my review stated) has a wretched solo from both Jens and Matias, besides that it's a good song.

Killerhit
February 19th 2013


5378 Comments


This is a pretty fine review in its own right, but there's some really annoying flaws.

"I'll be honest" / "Don't get me wrong or anything"
Look, unless this is a review on a personal blog, you really should refrain from using sayings such as this. As point of fact, the whole second paragraph just sounds incredibly awkward: never, ever use pseudo-dubstep: that's a downright crime. The 2nd paragraph just has a conversational nature, and saying such as the three I mentioned and others, like "dare I say" (you could have replaced this with I should even say, it would of looked better with an I) break the flow of the review and there are points when you invalidate other clauses, such as this:

"Any first time listener maybe thinking that this is pretty cool and all; that is until you hear the 1 minute section where there could’ve been a solo. Instead the listener will hear epic choirs and, dare I say, pseudo-dubstep in the replace of a solo. I know it’s a difficult to get use to, but trust me they’re growers."

Are you criticizing this or are you praising this for its epic choirs?

"Upon first consideration, the track does sound fine, but there is a nagging feeling that something is missing: there is a section (what section? The section at 1 minute time or a section that lasts a minute?) that would of done better with, say, an instrumental solo: instead of a lengthy, melodic solo, we are treated to epic choirs and a spaced, syncopated section that almost sounds like dubstep: the track is certainly a grower."

This is far from perfect, but it gets rids of the conversational nature, at least.

Other than that, there's nothing really, truly bad about this review. Really, it all feels like you're talking to me in real life, and I don't mean that in a good way. You've done fifty reviews, buddy, come on.

CaptainDooRight
February 19th 2013


30334 Comments


nice rev, pos

FrozenVain
February 19th 2013


2482 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"it all feels like you're talking to me in real life"

I don't necessarily see that as a bad thing. Good review, Flames. Always nice seeing you reviewing some power metal.

FictionalFlames
February 19th 2013


1517 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks for the feed back.

as for the "conversational parts" I really don't see it, and I really don't care. as long as I get my point across I'm fine. and don't worry I'm writing you off, in fact I thank you for your criticism.

FictionalFlames
February 19th 2013


1517 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

bonus tracks:

Fireborn http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2nZPh_KI38
Hunter http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mi7M1f9m3z4

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2013


7127 Comments


but I guess Sputnik doesn't care about that anymore. Enjoy!


It's not that Sputnik doesn't care, it's more to the fact of picking the right album to review. (I feel that this was a half shot at me- given that I put my review up a couple of days ago.), so the staffers/mods don't care as long as the front page doesn't get filled to the brim with leaked album reviews.
Jom especially is avid to the fact of not allowing leaked records to have reviews unless you're a priveledged staffer.

FictionalFlames
February 19th 2013


1517 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Lol it's a sarcastic statement, I'm just shocked really. I'm just use to seeing albums being purged with fire if they're out out before a legal stream. it's nothing against you I swear.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2013


7127 Comments


It's also got some issue to do with (and i use this term very loosely, bias. You have 59 reviews under your belt now, so it's easy to say you've established yourself here as a writer. You're not trolling or fishing for responses and I'm guessing you haven't gone out of your way to piss the mods off. Every so often they'll let it slide. (these of course are assumptions, just because I won't ever pretend I know exactly what Jom, Willie,and Dev are thinking)

NapalmCrusader
March 4th 2013


1737 Comments


Album was a pleasent surprise

YUJOS
March 25th 2013


954 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I prefer more the electronic parts here more than that in the new Amaranthe's album. Overall the album is good, although I prefer Elysium a little bit more. Nemesis is a killer track by the way.

Digging: Skaphe - Skphe



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