Metal Insider contributor Anthony Maisano is listening to a different metal album that was released on that day every day this year. Today, it’s Stratovarius’ Elements, Pt. 1.
Timo Tolkki strikes again with a brilliant Stratovarius album. I don’t know why so many people give the Elements albums so much flack. They’re great additions to the Stratovarius collection. They’re everything prior Strato albums gave, but I actually find them to be heavier, and have better riffs in general. Plus, they’re grander, and just have an overall bigger feel. I believe they’re both terrific albums. “Stratofortress” is my favorite instrumental piece, bar none. The harmonies between guitar and keyboard, and the amazing, yet beautiful melodies are mind-blowing to me. It’s so beautiful and so technical. I could listen to the first minute and twenty seconds of “Soul of a Vagabond” over and over again. The intro is stunning. The choruses on the album are killer, too.
I concede that the Elements albums are not the most consistent albums in the Stratovarius collections. There are songs that are more interesting than others for sure. In addition, the cheese factor in some of the lyrics are really apparent, and not in a good way. The album is slower than a typical power metal release, but I don’t think that makes it an instant bad thing. I can see why it would turn some people off, though.
Favorite Tracks: “Stratofortress,” “Fantasia,” “Eagleheart,” “Soul of a Vagabond.”
This is, by far, not the most consistent of Strato albums, as said above. At the same time, I don’t understand why it gets as much hate as it does. It’s a solid album, with some real, amazing highlights to it. It’s not perfect, and there are other Strato albums that are better, but it’s a damn good release. I think it’s worth listening to for sure. If you’re a power metal, or Stratovarius fan that passed this one up, I say give it another try, and see if it has grown on you anymore. I like it a lot.