Label: EarMUSIC RECORDS
Power Metal’s flagship, mighty Stratovarius, return after seven years of silence. After releasing their last album, ‘Eternal’, seems like the band needed a break. And that’s ok with us, as long as their new album is about to prove that they are true survivors! The title fits perfectly with band’s history, as through such a problematic period with global pandemic and all kinds of craziness around, they did return! Their comeback it’s a pleasant surprise, reminding us how powerful they can sound. “Survive” comes along with a wide range of emotions throughout almost one hour of power metal ecstasy. Defiance, hope and victory. Best way to reveal their intentions comes with the opener track, “Survive”. Stratovarius strong and bold, shed light to their absence. It’s been almost a decade that the current lineup has been together. No original members though, with vocalist Timo Kotipelto (1994) and keyboardist Jens Johansson (1995) staying the “old dogs” of the Finnish machine. Nearly 40 years of history, but yet the opening title track stands for survival in the best way possible.
BOOM! Raging drumming and intense vocals keeping the melodic parts right on place, making you sign along. Seems like there’s no rust for Stratovarius, aiming to reclaim their kingdom. Well, yes, there are catchy songs and moments within the album where it’s more than obvious the lack of bands’ past glimpse as they are mediocre in terms of innovation. But there are tracks like “Demand” and “Glory Days” that makes you forget about everything else. “Survive” opens the album with a melodic and atmospheric tune, a bit catchy though, while keeping bands’ heavy/power identity. Fast-paced track, “We Are Not Alone” has a more futuristic attitude and guitars are more melodic in a way. Kotipelto nails it though. The pace drops off with “Broken”, which is a mid-paced, keyboard-driven and a slightly more relaxed track compared to the first two. Streamlined and memorable is also “Firefly”. Yet again there is greatness in this album deriving from more epic songs such as “Frozen In Time,” and “Glory Days”, with the later standing out for its touch of orchestral magic. The lone ballad of the album, “Breakaway”, has a pretty dynamic chorus and strong, meaningful lyrics. Symphonic elements and heavy guitars along with clever keyboard passages characterize “Before the Fall”. Ending up Stratovarius’ comeback, “Voice of Thunder”, is not the greatest way to say farewell though. An 11-minute track that gets a bit tiring in the middle, having some moments of blast.
We ‘ve been anticipating for so long, but “Survive” worth it. The legacy goes on.