Review Summary: An underrated classic within Stratovarius's catalog.
Stratovarius’s engines started to pick up pace when Timo Tolkki decided to quit vocal duties to focus more on his guitar virtuosity in the early/mid 90’s, and pick up a lead vocalist. The new vocalist, Timo Kotipelto, was the WD-40 that helped lube up the gears that rolled their success slick, and smooth. Only until the Element albums which showed signs of rust in the groups song writing ability. Until their self-titled album which showed their audience the corrosion that started to form after the Infinite
Well, it’s safe to say that Infinite is an underrated classic in Stratovarius’s catalog by all means. It’s also obvious to the listener that this is also the last album until they started to hit the plateau affect. I hope my rust analogy proved my point earlier based on their lag in the early/mid-2000s.
Some may be wondering, “Why is this album a classic, dear sir"” For starters Tolkki shows his awesome neo-classical shredding abilities, which are more prevalent after the epic ballad, Mother Gaia
. On a side note, Mother Gaia
seems to be a bit of disappointment with the lack of any sort of amazing solos from either Timo or Jens. It seriously could’ve had more improv to the epilogue solo to conclude a song that clocked in at 8:18, because they really built up a climax that had a downfall on an ending, but instead we get a very small idea that's dragged into an extensive repetitiveness.
Like I was saying before Timo and Jens pick up after Mother Gaia with their signature sound in their solos that have influenced many bands today. Surprisingly enough there’s a bass… that’s audible… to a degree. Another great contributor that also steps up the beat in a lot of songs is Mr. Jörg Michael himself. His drumming is seriously overlooked and passed around like Aletta Ocean. Onward to Kotipelto’s vocal performance… well, to be honest, it seems to me like some of his vocals can be a mixed bag for the listener if they're not used to the high pitched power metal vocal ranges; songs like Freedom
can show you what I mean. Don’t get me wrong or anything Kotipelto executes his vocal duties very well; no off key singing. It just depends on how you personally feel with power metal vocals. And if you do enjoy Infinite
after the first listen or so, you’ll sooner or later start singing along to the choruses of Hunting High and Low
, Glory to the World
, and A Million Light Years Away
Before you know it you’re at the end of the album. This closes the album off with the epic self-titled that ultimately finishes with a ballad, Celestial Dream
. With the could’ve, would’ve, should’ve epic ballad that was Mother Gaia
, the listener should be pleased with the finale of an epic that is Infinite
that draws the listener in with extensive solos from both Timo and Jens, a powerful chorus that will be echoed through your memories when listening, and overall song writing that is hard to compete with. Which really made up for the lack of anything interesting that came from the previous epic.
Unfortunately, this is Stratovarius's truly last album that is completely worth the listen as a full. Thankfully, ever since 2009's Polaris
got these guys back on track even with the absence of Timo Tolkki, the sole musical genius that helped Stratovarius differ from so many other power metal bands. As a conclusion Infinite
is at least a solid 4/5.
*remembered song writing/catchy songs
*excellent solos from Timo and Jens
*A Million Light Years Away!!!!!!!
Negatives: There weren't really any, but Mother Gaia could've been better.