Stratovarius Community
 FAQ   Search   Memberlist   Usergroups   Register 
 Profile   Log in to check your private messages   Log in 

Stratovarius: Definitively Ranked and Reviewed (1989-2013)

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Stratovarius Community Forum Index -> Stratovarius and related bands talk in English
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
SentineLEX
Sr. Member
USER_AVATAR_REMOTE

Joined: 10 Nov 2012
Posts: 391
Location: United States

PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 5:43 am    Post subject: Stratovarius: Definitively Ranked and Reviewed (1989-2013) Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Dedicated to Flavio

I fucking love Stratovarius. I've probably listened to every song at least 50 times, and most songs I've listened to hundreds of times. They've had a profound effect on my musical style, and pretty much opened the door for me to the wide world of power metal and metal at large.

So why not go through every Stratosong and talk about them? I'm not going to count Eternal since the release is too close for me to stand back, wait a while, and really soak in the content. Unless I want to do this thread next year. But I don't. So here's what albums I'm judging:

Fright Night
Twilight Time
Dreamspace (w/ Full Moon)
Fourth Dimension
Episode (w/ When the Night Meets the Day and Future Shock '96)
Visions
Destiny (w/ all three bonus tracks)
Infinite (w/ Neon Light Child and the 4 bonus tracks on Intermission)
Intermission (first 7 songs, rest are on their proper albums)
Elements, Pt. 1 (w/ Run Away, Into Deep Blue, and French Papillon)
Elements, Pt. 2 (w/ Ride Like the Wind and Vapaus)
Stratovarius
Revolution Renaissance (the Stratovarius-recorded demo)
Polaris (w/ Second Sight)
Elysium (w/ Castaway, Hallowed and Last Shore)
Nemesis (w/ Fireborn, Hunter, Kill It With Fire and Old Man and the Sea)

That's a grand total of 181 songs! Now I could just rank their albums like any sane person and move on, and in fact I'll do that:

16. Fright Night
15. Stratovarius
14. Twilight Time
13. Revoultion Renaissance
12. Destiny
11. Elements, Pt. 2
10. Visions
9. Polaris
8. Elysium
7. Fourth Dimension
6. Dreamspace
5. Infinite
4. Intermission
3. Episode
2. Nemesis
1. Elements, Pt. 1

But that doesn't tell the full story. Some of the albums have songs that go very nicely one after the other, but the songs themselves aren't as good as they could be. Some of the albums are the other way around and have amazing songs but they go in completely different directions without any order so the album doesn't sound too good. So instead I'll go song by song. Hopefully you'll find both things to agree with as well as things to disagree with as you look through my rankings. Enjoy! Cool Very Happy

181. 030366 (Fourth Dimension)
I like the solo, and that's about all I like. It's long, it's boring, the pan is headache-inducing in earbuds, and it's littered with Tolkkinglish that takes away your attention from any meaning the song might have and makes you focus on the stilted lines instead. This is the only song out of the 181 that I ever skip when I have a Strato album running on my playlist.

180. Glorious Divine (Revolution Renaissance)
The demo had some raw sounds that were arguably more awesome than the actual album. This song does not contain any of those sounds.

179. False Messiah (Fright Night)
Each part of this song doesn't flow into the next. Also boring.

178. Metal Frenzy (Twilight Time)
Why is the one with the word "frenzy" in it so slow? It's the fourth or fifth fastest song on the album. Not particularly memorable.

177. Witch Hunt (Fright Night)
Same problems as False Messiah with a bit faster guitar work. Meh.

176. I Did It My Way (Revolution Renaissance)
From 2000 to 2008 you see Timo Tolkki strip away each element of his single that makes it worth listening to and by the point of this demo you can't get any more bland. At least the Chaos Magic single is catchy. This one is just... forgettable.

175. Just Carry On (Stratovarius)
Just carry on and get to the next song.

174. Maniac Dance (Stratovarius)
It's a nice song when played live, but since TT is long gone and the lyrics are a bit dated, the song's lost its point.

173. Revolution Renaissance (Revolution Renaissance)
It's Soul of a Vagabond plus United minus the things that made both of those songs so unique. The opera singer doesn't sound like she belongs either. And Kotipelto can't pronounce "renaissance". Guess his French from 2003 disappeared in five years.

172. We Are Magic (Revolution Renaissance)
This is higher than Just Carry On and I Did It My Way despite sounding just as boring as those two because Tolkki managed to find a way to stretch this song for six minutes on the demo without it sounding overly drab, which is a pretty cool feat.

171. Neon Light Child (Infinite)
Takes the award for the most disappointingly anticlimactic chorus in the Stratovarius discography. It starts out like Nightfall though which is pretty cool.

170. Black Night (Fright Night)
It's meant to wake you up after listening to False Messiah only to have you go back to sleep after listening to Witch Hunt. The weakest of the FN songs that have "night" in them.

169. One Must Fall (Nemesis)
Maybe it's just how powerful the songs before and after it are, but this song seems a bit weak and forgettable for me. I'll still usually sing along to it.

168. When Mountains Fall (Polaris)
This song tries so hard to be Forever without realizing what made Forever successful.

167. Falling Star (Polaris)
I usually like Lauri's poppy songs but this wasn't particularly ear-catching. Still wondering why they threw it in on the Unbreakable EP.

166. I Surrender (Intermission)
Timo announcing the song has more emotion behind it than the actual cover.

165. Kill the King (Intermission)
The other Timo singing. I like his voice but he doesn't do the original Rainbow song justice.

164. A Drop in the Ocean (Elements, Pt. 1)
I like the atmosphere but goddamn does this song not want to end. This song is 6 minutes and 50 seconds long and the last line is uttered at 3:26. The outro is a few seconds shy of being longer than the rest of the fucking song.

163. Gotterdammerung (Zenith of Power) (Stratovarius)
Timo's inconsistent pronunciation of "zenith" and another long outro make this song sound more boring than it otherwise would be. But hey, guest appearance by Hitler!

162. Born Upon the Cross (Revolution Renaissance)
A bit ploddy, but this is the closest Tolkki comes to making a song that actually develops on this album.

161. Magic Carpet Ride (Dreamspace)
This song is actually two songs that could've otherwise been good if they weren't chopped into pieces and unnaturally stitched together. There's progressive and there's abomination.

160. What Can I Say? (Infinite)
Both Timos showing us they can write anticlimactic songs for this album's bonus tracks.

159. Hunter (Nemesis)
It's short and doesn't sound particularly flattering. Weak.

158. I'm Still Alive (Elements, Pt. 2)
I like the speed! But this song could've been so much more with some proper orchestration and development.

157. Future Shock (Fright Night)
Surprisingly a good listen. Even in 1989 Timo was already finding ways to make catchy singles.

156. Night Screamer (Fright Night)
I actually like this one. It's showing us a bit of the genius we'll see on Twilight Time.

155. Eagleheart (Elements, Pt. 1)
I'd kill to have another Elements song performed live again. All 17 of them and the bonus tracks would sound so, so, so much more interesting than this Hunting High and Low clone. That said, I like how they took HHAL and made it sound more Elements-y.

154. Somehow Precious (Polaris)
My time is somewhat precious, and I'd rather spend it listening to another song.

153. Requiem (Intermission)
They should've made this the intro to Intermission. Or re-record it with a full orchestra and switch places with Eagleheart.

152. Fire Dance (Fright Night)
This song in 2 minutes manages to be more interesting than some of the songs on the album are in 5.

151. It's a Mystery (Infinite)
So saccharine it would give me diabetes.

150. Madness Strikes at Midnight (Twilight Time)
This song would be perfect if the intro was split away as its own song. The rest sounds amazing if that intro didn't set up a completely different vibe before jumping into the middle of things without warning.

149. Angel (Revolution Renaissance)
Kiske did it better.

148. Call of the Wilderness (Fourth Dimension)
I do like this song's atmosphere, but it seems a bit weak after listening to We Hold the Key and Twilight Symphony back to back.

147. Fight!!! (Stratovarius)
This song actually sounds pretty cool, if not Stratovarius-y. After the first chorus, the changed chord makes everything sound more boring though. Otherwise I'd bump this song up 10-20 places.

146. Gypsy in Me (Stratovarius)
A few songs are more anticlimactic but the way this one builds up and then cuts to that awful chorus is the musical equivalent of blue balls. I'll rank it this high for the sick intro.

145. I Walk to My Own Song (Stratovarius)
Great guitar and solo, but the lyrics are atrociously cheesy. Also this song doesn't belong on this album.

144. Higher We Go (Stratovarius)
People like this song. I'm not one of them. I think it's unresolved and not too interesting.

143. Paradise (Visions)
Boring and preachy. I wish they'd stop playing it at concerts but I guess there's enough demand for them to keep it in.

142. Lifetime in a Moment (Elysium)
Takes a bit to get off the ground, but when it does it's fantastic.

141. The Game Never Ends (Elysium)
I wish there'd be a little more power behind this song, but I still love it. Jens has his own style of catchy songs separate from Lauri, and it's definitely exemplified here.

140. United (Stratovarius)
Bittersweet but still a great listen. The trumpets actually make this song more fun to listen to.

139. Galaxies (Fourth Dimension)
This song gives me a pretty big ABBA vibe for whatever reason.

138. Glory of the World (Infinite)
I'd almost wish they'd have taken this song out and put Why Are We Here? in the #5 slot, but then we would've had 3 anticlimactic songs out of 5 in the bonus tracks of this album.

137. Darkness (Fright Night)
Could we have had more of this? This is a solid song. Antti gets an audible part, the transitions are on point, Tuomo's precision drumming, and the melodies are captivating. Still suffers from the production issues and undeveloped style of the entire Fright Night album, but a re-recording of this song would be amazing.

136. Episode (Episode)
Nice and baroque. It's a nice reprieve before continuing on with some of the heavier songs on Episode.

135. Darkest Hours (Elysium)
I love the optimism, but it's overshadowed as a single by the next song on the album.

134. The Hills Have Eyes (Twilight Time)
I like this song. It's a textbook example of the cool things Tolkki did in his early years, with lots of shredding, unresolved progressions that flow into each other, and still managing to be catchy. Relatively.

133. Fright Night (Fright Night)
Fast, powerful, and atmospheric. It's about 1/5 of the album as well!

132. Abandon (Nemesis)
It's chuggy by nature of its theme (trains), but still fresh, and opens the Nemesis album fantastically.

131. Nightfall (Fourth Dimension)
I really like the Zelda vibe on this song, but I don't like the sudden shift from the E-flat minor intro to the C-sharp minor on the rest of this song.

130. Goodbye (Fright Night)
This is a very cute and relaxing song, a bit Diablo-esque.

129. Hold On To Your Dream
This is the Dreamspace version of Just Carry On and all those other songs on the s/t and demo I didn't like for being too generic. Here, the band sounds energized and the instrumentals are more adventurous, which is why this song works and those songs don't.

128. Mother Gaia (Infinite)
This song would be beautiful if it wasn't for another long outro. It seems to be a plague in Stratosongs.

127. Years Go By (Destiny)
Beautiful up to and including the chorus, but the instrumental bits break the sentimentality of the song. What a powerful chorus, though! The Timos both deliver here.

126. Chasing Shadows (Dreamspace)
The chorus has boring lyrics, but the other four instruments make up for it with some of the fast stuff we'd see on later efforts.

125. Heroes (Revolution Renaissance)
This song is way better than the one that was on the New Era album. No out-of-place intro, a keyboarder who does his own part, and some sick drumming. Nicer sounding solo too.

124. Stand My Ground (Nemesis)
Powerful and unexpected.

123. Before the Winter (Visions)
Drags on a bit too long. It's beautiful though, and I'm glad they brought this song back.

122. Atlantis (Dreamspace)
Oddly bright in the middle of the darkest section of the Dreamspace album. I don't know if I like that or wish a more darker instrumental was inserted but it is what it is. The shortest Stratosong I believe.

121. Hallowed (Elysium)
Porra goes back and forth between catchy, poppy songs and progressive soul-searching numbers, and here he does both simultaneously and pulls it off really well.

120. Future Shock '96 (Episode)
I like this one better with Jorg on the drums. Timo Kotipelto's voice also makes it a bit more interesting. Now it sounds like a true Stratosong.

119. Fairness Justified (Elysium)
I didn't like this song at first, but I actually like how it's slow as sin yet manages to keep my interest going. Might have been a bit better if The Game Never Ends was sped up a bit for contrast.

118. Last Shore (Elysium)
Glooooooriaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Sounds like a pirate song in slow motion, which is a great sound!

117. Twilight Time (Twilight Time)
Pretty powerful and emotional. Could use a more interesting chorus though.

116. Dream With Me (Destiny)
Kotipelto writes some beautiful sad songs. This is very nice and goes right with his voice. Which isn't really surprising since he wrote it.

115. 4th Reich (Dreamspace)
Back when Tolkki could write good Nazi songs. Zenith of Power was a bit meh and Rise of the Fourth Reich on his Avalon album was an atrocity even the Nazis would think twice about committing.

114. We Are the Future (Dreamspace)
This is like Paradise except the power and energy of the song makes the message less preachy and more inspiring.

113. Kill it with Fire (Nemesis)
A bit weaker but more classical version of Ride Like the Wind.

112. Distant Skies (Fourth Dimension)
A nice mid-tempo song that doesn't do anything too adventurous but doesn't sound bad at all either.

111. Babylon (Episode)
I really like the quiet middle part.

110. Break the Ice (Twilight Time)
Lassila's lyrics and Tolkki's instrumentals combine to really flesh out the album from the moment you turn it on.

109. Millennium (Infinite)
The essence of Infinite condensed into a single 4-minute song.

108. Run Away (Elements, Pt. 1)
Guilty pleasure, but what a guilty pleasure it is. It's almost like FullMoon for Sonata Arctica, you want to sing along but you don't want to get caught by your friends while you're doing it.

107. Forever Free (Visions)
The opposite problem I have with a lot of Stratosongs. The verses are crap but what a powerful chorus. Great intro too.

106. Holy Light (Visions)
This song should end at the 3-minute mark. The rest isn't necessary.

105. Will the Sun Rise? (Episode)
This song introduces the guitar-keyboard duels we'll be hearing for the rest of the discography, but the song as a whole is overshadowed by the much catchier and more powerful Father Time before it.

104. Lead Us Into The Light (Twilight Time)
Proper ballad for once in early Strato. I really like it. The ending especially.

103. Luminous (Elements, Pt. 2)
I think I was walking around a wintry forest in Skyrim when listening to this song for the first time, and by god that was a beautiful experience. A lot of people shit on this song for showing all the problems they've come to have with Elements 2 - too layered and overdeveloped, no raw energy, too much keyboards... I think all of that makes this song so amazing. It's calm, serene, and arcane. This is what Elements 2 should have been.

102. Find Your Own Voice (Elements, Pt. 1)
Those vocals are FANTASTIC! And Jens on the keys.

101. Season of Faith's Perfection (Elements, Pt. 2)
I would put this song in the top 20 if it wasn't for that pesky keyboard riff. The mystique, the orchestrals, all of it form a perfect song, and then that melody takes it in a completely different and unwanted direction.

100. Soul of a Vagabond (Elements, Pt. 1)
Some people say this is the only good song on Elements 1. It's very hard and preserves the orchestral elements you see on the rest of this album while still delivering a punch and some great guitar leading.

99. Playing With Fire (Destiny)
Sexy energetic song.

98. Rebel (Destiny)
Same as 99 but with a kickass solo to boot.

97. Tears of Ice (Dreamspace)
Tolkki's always been good at ballads, but this is where the ballads really grew the balls and became the awesome ones we know today.

96. Wings of Tomorrow (Dreamspace)
Am I the only one who imagines this as a soundtrack to a kid with Down syndrome running through a meadow?

95. Uncertainty (Episode)
Reminds me a bit of the Terran themes from the first StarCraft. One of Kotipelto's best songs.

94. Eden Is Burning (Revolution Renaissance)
Timo did it better than Pasi, although Gus could really make this song shine. I really like the drumming Jorg does in the outro though, really adds to the song in a good way.

93. Infernal Maze (Elysium)
Timo usually writes slow and mid-tempo songs, but his fast ones are great too, and this one is no exception.

92. Halcyon Days (Nemesis)
Poppy yet original. Great synths by Jens.

91. Bloodstone (Intermission)
Out of the three covers on Intermission I'd argue this is the only one that sounds better than the original song. Timo's voice fits it so well.

90. Eyes of the World (Dreamspace)
Some powerful 80's era rocking going on in 1994. Great workout music.

89. Blackout (Destiny)
Pretty loyal to the mood of the original.

88. Full Moon (Dreamspace)
It's funny because the more famous song of this name done by a Finnish power metal band is one of the most cheesy songs ever, and this is like the complete opposite. Sounds a bit like Thin Ice, and definitely fits the rest of this album.

87. Dragons (Nemesis)
Strato doesn't really go into that part of power metal, but they've made it work without sacrificing their style of this album!

86. No Turning Back (Destiny)
I heard Learning to Fly first and I can't help thinking this is a weaker version of that song.

85. Venus in the Morning (Destiny)
Quite progressive and really moving. It's a song that doesn't really sound that provoking when listening, but after turning off the music the gravity of it all really sets in.

84. Hands of Time (Twilight Time)
Quite an amazing song. Done really well by the current lineup too.

83. Stratosphere (Episode)
A beautiful, powerful, wonderful riff that an 8-year-old girl can easily play. But it's a wonderful opening and the reason this instrumental does so much better than Holy Light when the two are compared.

82. Reign of Terror (Dreamspace)
I really like that "hwa hwa hwa" effect they throw in towards the end. This is where things really start to get scary on the album.

81. Blind (Polaris)
The first of a one-two punch of Jens awesomeness on Polaris. Well three with King of Nothing, but that's beautiful in its own way.

80. Under Flaming Skies (Elysium)
It's the only song that gets airtime anymore, but it's well deserved. This is a great song from start to finish, with just a little bit of that progressive air that makes Elysium so good.

79. Emancipation Suite Part II: Dawn (Polaris)
A great song and a great outro to the Emancipation suite. Very emotional and powerful (albeit simple) lyrics. The simplicity makes them even more powerful in my opinion. The nursery-rhyme style lyrics really contrast with the dying man in stark and appealing ways.

78. Move the Mountain (Elysium)
Powerful and tragic.

77. Tomorrow (Episode)
Possibly the most underrated song on this album. It's got power rivaling Father Time, but none of the exposure.

76. Falling Into Fantasy (Intermission)
A really sad song. The Timos really know how to get tears from their audience.

75. Cold Winter Nights (Destiny)
The best of the three bonus tracks on this album. Powerful, catchy, and complete. With the usual dum dum dum dum dum by Jens to make the Destiny concept really stick to this song.

74. Visions (Southern Cross)
What a closer! I don't know how to feel about the transitions though. Some of them are really good, like the middle where all the instrumentation ceases and it's just the acoustic guitar and the vocals. But I feel like the ending isn't as powerful as it could be. It slows down, and while the narration shines on some other parts, here it doesn't quite fit the ending for some reason.

73. Out of the Shadows (Twilight Time)
Love the drumming on this song.

72. Abyss of Your Eyes (Visions)
Probably the most underrated Visions song. Drop Paradise, play this instead, I will be eternally grateful. When I was wondering "Why play the Visions album in full for the 2014 shows when there's like 6 Visions songs in the regular setlist?" I realized that Abyss of Your Eyes would finally see some love and my opinion of the Visions setlist was improved!

71. Twilight Symphony (Fourth Dimension)
After the bombastic We Hold the Key forming the "Strato", this neoclassical song supplies the "varius".

70. Phoenix (Infinite)
Powerful, fast, and doesn't get boring. The outro is a bit long but it's pretty cool they finally hold a note like that on a studio album instead of a live show. And they hold it even longer in the live shows!

69. Speed of Light (Episode)
What can I say? Great riff. Great everything. Passes at the speed of light too.

68. Fireborn (Nemesis)
God I love this song and its mix of Lauri's songwriting enthusiasm and Matias's guitar power.

67. Against the Wind (Fourth Dimension)
Sounds much better live with the current ensemble, but the album version is still fantabulous in its own right.

66. Stratofortress (Elements, Pt. 1)
I put this above Stratosphere and Holy Light. Travesty, right? I love how streamlined this one is from start to end, and as a keyboarder I fucking love the 3 minutes of nonstop keyboard action leading the way. Much more enjoyable listening experience than those two.

65. SOS (Destiny)
A bit overshadowed by Black Diamond and Hunting, but still a single which is unique from the other singles of the time, and quite possibly all of the other singles Stratovarius has ever done. I can't quite explain why though.

64. Liberty (Elements, Pt. 2)
I love this song. I love its chorus, the orchestrals, the bittersweet tone. This was the last song of the true classic lineup before drama took over and the band disintegrated, and marks the end of Timo Tolkki's consistency as a songwriter. Beautiful in every way.

63. 4000 Rainy Nights (Destiny)
Consistent and atmospheric. When I look at the cover of Destiny, I think of this song.

62. Deep Unknown (Polaris)
The beginning of a new and powerful era in Strato history. The raw emotion and ambition of the things to come from the new Tolkki-free lineup is encapsulated in this song.

61. Emancipation Suite Part I: Dusk (Polaris)
I love how perfectly progressive this song is. It's almost 7 minutes long but doesn't feel nearly that long.

60. We Hold the Key (Fourth Dimension)
The first truly epic song from Strato, and the last purely epic song until Infinity. Visions and Destiny were a bit too cerebral to be "true" epic songs. Great to sing along to.

59. Shattered (Dreamspace)
Another powerful song that makes you forget that Dreamspace came out in 1994, not 1984. Too bad the 80's weren't in style in 1994, otherwise this song would take Dreamspace to the top of every chart ever.

58. Out of the Fog (Nemesis)
A song reminiscent of the bit in the Witcher 2 where you recreate the battle where shit happens and everyone dies. It really encompasses that sort of plight of being a medieval footsoldier.

57. Legions (Visions)
It took everything good from Speed of Light and made it better. Except slowed down a fraction.

56. Back to Madness (Stratovarius)
I'm actually going to say I love this song dearly. It's like a setup to Elements 3 after three mediocre songs. I love the method to the madness, I love the way Timo does his lyrics, I love the "Have you ever been hurt?" section of the song, I love it all and the way Timo stitches it all together.

55. Last Night on Earth (Revolution Renaissance)
What could've been. The live version with the more intricate guitar riff was even better.

54. A Million Light Years Away (Infinite)
At one point in time this was my favorite song ever. Still great.

53. Castaway (Elysium)
Sounds like Black Diamond? Sure! But it's still amazing. Doesn't have a long outro either.

52. Curtains Are Falling (Intermission)
Vit-tu.

51. Event Horizon (Elysium)
Can this song be played live at least once? It's amazing and takes the old school Strato sound and gives it the Elysium treatment. Especially when followed by the title track.

50. Keep the Flame Alive (Revolution Renaissance)
I love the wind intro. Such a sentimental song. I'd actually put it at the end of the album to really make it stick.

49. Forever Is Today (Polaris)
The first of many YOLO songs by Lauri. Starts out in a minor key, but we know better than that, and by the point of the chorus, there's no use hiding anymore as the catchiness jumps out in full force.

48. Hunting High and Low
First Stratosong I ever heard. I still love it, and usually when I'm introducing the friends that are more into pop/modern stuff, I make this the first Stratosong they hear as well.

47. Vapaus (Elements, Pt. 2)
All the stuff I said about Liberty, with some funny Finnish lyrics thrown in. You can hear that the Stratoguys are having fun on this song, and considering what came next, it adds to the bittersweetness of the whole song.

46. Winter (Fourth Dimension)
A powerful ballad that pushes Timo to his vocal limits for the first time.

45. Freedom (Infinite)
TT doing what he does best, write fun catchy songs.

44. Eternity (Episode)
A slow 7-minute song with no major twists that still sounds incredibly interesting from start to finish. Very well done.

43. King of Nothing (Polaris)
Heavy mithril! This is like Sonata Arctica's "Ruins of My Life" except this song is actually good.

42. Stratovarius (Fourth Dimension)
Best instrumental. Goes all over the place but in a natural way that builds up over time. Not like Stratosphere and Holy Light which blow their load halfway through.

41. Black Diamond (Visions)
The most famous Stratosong (maybe now second behind Hunting) and the one that perfectly describes what the band is about. Keyboard/guitar duels, a blend of traditional power metal with classical themes, and high demanding vocals. Love it. A small complaint about the album version is how long the harpsichords go on for.

40. Abyss (Dreamspace)
The best 80's sounding song on Dreamspace. Dark and inviting.

39. Thin Ice (Dreamspace)
After the title track and Reign of Terror, this song really hammers home the Dreamspace emotion. Scary song.

38. Destiny (Destiny)
Written in the baroque-style binary format, this song is sorrowful from start to end, yet manages to end on a relatively happy note.

37. Castles in the Air (Nemesis)
Progressive while still maintaining the catchy atmosphere of Nemesis and the heavy mithrilesque theme of Out of the Fog.

36. Fantasy (Nemesis)
Lauri doing what he does best.

35. Into Deep Blue (Elements, Pt. 1)
Stratovarius's answer to the Scorpions' Winds of Change.

34. Awaken the Giant (Elements, Pt. 2)
One of the few Stratosongs with the drums as the primary instrument. And it works wonders.

33. Will My Soul Ever Rest In Peace (Intermission)
Sounds a bit pop-punk. I kinda like it.

32. Why Are We Here? (Intermission)
This is a beautifully sweet song. And the lyrics are nice too.

31. Night Time Eclipse (Episode)
It goes everywhere and has some haunting lyrics.

30. Second Sight (Polaris)
Gives a bit of foreshadowing where they'd go on Nemesis and Eternal. Great song that gets better with each successive listening.

29. Ride Like the Wind (Elements, Pt. 2)
Keyboards go above and beyond here. Especially the solo.

28. Leave the Tribe (Stratovarius)
I actually think that is the highlight of what Timo Tolkki wanted to accomplish with the self titled. It's still in the vein of the more rock-oriented songs while having all the elements of a mid-tempo Stratosong and doing them well. The intro is beautiful too.

27. Lord of the Wasteland (Fourth Dimension)
Probably the best fast Stratosong where Antti has a significant part. I always felt he had a lot of unseen brilliance as a keyboarder and this song proves me right.

26. Celestial Dream (Infinite)
It's the greatest way to end an album after the power of 9 minutes of Infinite while still being an awesome song in its own right.

25. When the Night Meets the Day (Episode)
Quiet but powerful.

24. Father Time (Episode)
This song needs no explanation. Simply beautiful.

23. Dreamspace (Dreamspace)
The highlight of the album, my only complaint is that it's too short.

22. Unbreakable (Nemesis)
Stronger than ever, always together, forevermore!

21. Fantasia (Elements, Pt. 1)
Imagine "Imagine" but 10 minutes long, much more bombastic and inspiring rather than soothing. That is Fantasia. Each listen reveals some new instruments you might've missed the first time.

20. Keep the Flame (Infinite)
By far the best of the Infinite bonus tracks, I've always loved how Jens can convey such emotion in such a short song.

19. Winter Skies (Polaris)
And in a regular length song, he does it even better! The piano interlude into the guitar solo works wonders.

18. Alpha and Omega (Elements, Pt. 2)
This song shows what could've been. Elements 2 is a super inconsistent album, but the opener is perhaps one of the greatest vocal performances Timo Kotipelto has ever done, and brings back everything awesome about Elements, Pt. 1 back again before throwing it all away with the single and "I'm Still Alive".

17. Know the Difference (Elements, Pt. 2)
More superb vocals from Timo and soloing from Jens. A very arcane song based on the Serenity Prayer.

16. Anthem of the World (Destiny)
Again, how to convey a message without being preachy. A great way to end the album, short of having this song switch places with Destiny.

15. The Kiss of Judas (Visions)
The best Stratosong to have sex to.

14. Coming Home (Visions)
The contrast between the verses and chorus really make this song the masterpiece it is. It was an underrated gem for a few years before becoming a mainstay of the setlist.

13. Nemesis (Nemesis)
Timo holds that first "power" for nearly 10 seconds. I think that's a record. Tried it live too!

12. The Land of Ice and Snow (Stratovarius)
The way this song builds is just perfect.

11. Old Man and the Sea (Nemesis)
Unlike some other ballads, this one doesn't even build. It's perfect to stay where it is. And so it's not sacrificing any of its beauty. Lauri's finest work right here.

10. Dreamweaver (Elements, Pt. 2)
Usually I'm mad a song takes too long to finish, but I'd argue this song's ending was a bit too rushed. Either way, it's one of the few "dark" songs on Elements 2 and stands out for its moody chorus and orchestral backing. And we finally get to see Strato play around with the pans a bit. It really works here in its simplicity.

9. Learning to Fly (Elements, Pt. 1)
This song is the perfect fast song. I think the reason Tolkki ran out of ideas and became so wildly inconsistent is that after a song like this, there was nowhere left to refine it. It starts out strong, gets bigger through the verses, and slams out a powerful choral line. The guitar riff is bouncy yet simple, the drums are standard yet varied, the bass chugs along at breakness speed, and the keyboard caps out the whole mess. And unlike Find Your Own Voice where Timo's voice jumps up and down into sometimes incomprehensible words, here, everything gradually ascends until in the end Timo is singing the highest notes he's ever sung. In fact the final chorus might have the highest notes I've ever heard a man sing in a serious song. And at six and a half minutes, the fun lasts long enough to make you appreciate it all.

8. Infinity (Infinite)]
Powerful. I'm pro-gun and I'll still sit there and listen to gun control for 9 minutes simply of because how breathtakingly the drums combine with the orchestra.

7. Forever (Episode)
TT's heart at its purest in a song about his father. It's a simple yet emotional song that conveys all it needs to and nothing more to make you shed a tear for your own loved ones. The second-best Episode song.

6. Papillon (Elements, Pt. 1)
Everything I love about the Elements albums combined into one package. It's otherworldly. Just sit down, close your eyes, and let the music take you to a world of magic, light and purity.

5. Papillon (French) (Elements, Pt. 2)
Timo's vocals manage to become even more serene when sung in French. If you want to download a copy of this song, make sure to get it in the highest possible quality. It'll be worth the search.

4. If the Story Is Over (Nemesis)
Jani managed to nail down what Tolkki could only achieve once - how to get that perfect buildup in a ballad. The music video cuts down the six minute song down to 4, but the pacing is done superbly in the original, and makes the only ballad on the Nemesis album proper resonate in your head even after you've listened to the title track.

3. Season of Change (Episode)
Fifth ballad in a row. I promise it'll be the last. What this song does is get each member of the band to shine on their own section of the song without making anything sound too disjointed or like it doesn't belong. You listen to this song and hear five voices have a conversation with each other and build to a crescendo. This is the only time where I've been 100% satisfied with the way Tolkki paced a ballad, and it works wonders here.

2. Elysium (Elysium)
This song deserves every bit of praise it gets. It's a rollercoaster of emotions and even though it sometimes sounds like (and originally was) three songs glued together into one, the natural transition, an even more natural transition than what they had with the Emancipation Suite, makes this song the elephant that overshadows the rest of this album. What "A Day in the Life" is to Sgt. Pepper, "Elysium" is to Elysium.

1. Elements (Elements, Pt. 1)
This is it. This is my number one. And as number one, I’ll explain it with a long, personal, rambling story.

Power metal was the very first genre of music that I could listen to and actually <enjoy>. I’d listen to other stuff - my older brother’s Queen collection, my parents’ random eurodance CD’s, whatever pop/rap was on the radio. Did I like some of it? Hell yeah! I love 80’s Queen to this day. But I wouldn’t go out of my way to listen to music for the sake of listening to it.

That all changed when my friend linked me to Sonata Arctica’s “False News Travel Fast” in the middle of a StarCraft match. Two listens later, I felt something I’d never felt before. I didn’t just like this kind of stuff, I loved it. It was fast, mildly epic - it’s one of the few songs that will, without a doubt, give me shivers. So I quit the match and started checking out other Sonata stuff.

Eventually I saw a lot of people calling Sonata “Stratovarius Lite”, and I began to check out what this mythical “Stratovarius” was. I looked it up on Youtube and found three songs: “Black Diamond”, “Hunting High and Low”, and “Infinity”. Black Diamond had the most views so I checked it out, but it didn’t really gel with me at that time. The harpsichord was a bit off-putting. I would fall in love with that song a few months later, when I bought and listened to the entire Visions album. “Hunting High and Low” was kinda cool, something I could listen to more than once. But it wasn’t the same as the Sonata albums I’d already downloaded and started putting spare change aside to buy later.

Infinity was different. I’d never heard anything quite like this. It hit far closer to the epic-seeking part of my brain, and I couldn’t get enough of it. Eventually I went through the entire Infinite album, with that song definitely being number one. Moved on to Polaris, which had come out recently, as well as the Darkest Hours single. Finally I decided to check out Elements Pt. 1, which Wikipedia promised me to be Strato’s “most ambitious album”. I got both Elements albums together, and checked out what I would be in for on Metallum. The most recent review at the time promised “an ordinary and bad copy of Infinity”, which set my standards pretty low at the start.

I want to thank the person who reviewed that in all honesty.

You know when you see a movie everyone says is crap, but then you go see it and it’s actually pretty decent? It’s a completely different experience if you see a mediocre movie that everyone says is fantastic, because of the standards you’ve set for yourself. I had my standards set super-low for the Elements albums, and when I heard the Elements song for the first time, I felt a chill I hadn’t felt since I listened to False News Travel Fast. It was literally a rediscovery of power (symphonic?) metal. It was Infinity on meth and rainbows. If my standards had been higher, I might have missed Elements in its fullest majesty.

200+ listens later (to the discography, not just this song), this is the only song I own that will deliver me chills regularly. I got into power metal because I was seeking epic music. This is as epic as Strato gets. And so I consider this to be truly Stratovarius’s magnum opus.

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
NeverendingAbyss
Sr. Member


Joined: 29 Sep 2008
Posts: 4468

PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 6:29 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Jesus.

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SatanicSmile
Member


Joined: 11 Jul 2011
Posts: 191

PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 7:10 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Shocked

Well done. I really enjoyed reading this.

Quote:
155. Eagleheart (Elements, Pt. 1)
I'd kill to have another Elements song performed live again. All 17 of them and the bonus tracks would sound so, so, so much more interesting than this Hunting High and Low clone. That said, I like how they took HHAL and made it sound more Elements-y.
100% agreed. Actually never liked this one.

Quote:
143. Paradise (Visions)
Boring and preachy. I wish they'd stop playing it at concerts but I guess there's enough demand for them to keep it in.
One of the first Strato songs I heard. Got pretty much tired of it, but I always loved it when played live. And I got tired of it much before the first show I went to.

Quote:
128. Mother Gaia (Infinite)
This song would be beautiful if it wasn't for another long outro. It seems to be a plague in Stratosongs.
Always liked it because of that long outro.

Quote:
123. Before the Winter (Visions)
Drags on a bit too long. It's beautiful though, and I'm glad they brought this song back.
Nothing bad to say about this,I would rank it very high.

Quote:
3. Season of Change (Episode)
Fifth ballad in a row. I promise it'll be the last. What this song does is get each member of the band to shine on their own section of the song without making anything sound too disjointed or like it doesn't belong. You listen to this song and hear five voices have a conversation with each other and build to a crescendo. This is the only time where I've been 100% satisfied with the way Tolkki paced a ballad, and it works wonders here.
Agreed, I would rank it very high too.

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
adrian9
Sr. Member


Joined: 04 Aug 2004
Posts: 1684
Location: VENEZUELA!!!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:44 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Black Diamond, the song that put stratovarius and maybe finland in the map, spawned millions of dopplegangers all over the world, provided the band with peak of his fame and most probably made them a lot of money...

that song ranked #41

Laughing

you are entitled to do your list and have your opinion, but dude...come on.

I didnt read it the whole thing I must say.

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Motha-faka
Sr. Member


Joined: 22 Aug 2015
Posts: 516

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:19 am    Post subject: Re: Stratovarius: Definitively Ranked and Reviewed (1989-201 Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

SentineLEX wrote:
Dedicated to Flavio.....



Dear SentineLEX, I'm glad that you dedicate this to me... but you need knows one point from me , included with my horrible english.

the obsessed manic man of stratovarius ins't me, was a memeber of angels warriors.

Im a complete full ignorant about stratovarius, included, in the Angels Warriors production, really sound as a fart with fake HD why my maniac keyboardist was fucked in sound copy as stratovarius

Really, i always do personal creations of all, i dislike copy, but angels warriors experience help me to my evolution.

if you dont understand, i will write in spanish and one friend of you can help you.

But you need understand that I got insanely metal punches in angels Warriors time when really i'm a Stratovarius Ignorant

greetings

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SatanicSmile
Member


Joined: 11 Jul 2011
Posts: 191

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:26 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

adrian9 wrote:
Black Diamond, the song that put stratovarius and maybe finland in the map, spawned millions of dopplegangers all over the world, provided the band with peak of his fame and most probably made them a lot of money...

that song ranked #41

Laughing

you are entitled to do your list and have your opinion, but dude...come on.

I didnt read it the whole thing I must say.


Reading honest opinions is more interesting I think. All the lists like "the best guitarists" all look the same and are boring read. But anyway, I would have put it number one because I personally still love it and always did. I do have some special respect for that songs for the reasons you mentioned, I've noticed. Doesn't happen often.

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
fuck
Sr. Member
USER_AVATAR_REMOTE

Joined: 08 Mar 2015
Posts: 661

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:51 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

You're a fucking madman! Laughing

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SentineLEX
Sr. Member
USER_AVATAR_REMOTE

Joined: 10 Nov 2012
Posts: 391
Location: United States

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:40 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

adrian9 wrote:
Black Diamond, the song that put stratovarius and maybe finland in the map, spawned millions of dopplegangers all over the world, provided the band with peak of his fame and most probably made them a lot of money...

that song ranked #41

Laughing

you are entitled to do your list and have your opinion, but dude...come on.

I didnt read it the whole thing I must say.


I'm a little biased against it because it was technically the first stratosong I listened to but I couldn't get into it after about 45 seconds, so I moved on. Hunting clicked with me though and that was the real beginning of my journey into Strato.

But I'd say maybe to 160 or 170 I like even the songs I criticize, and will listen to even #181 if I'm not in a hurry. So Black Diamond for me is great but not the greatest.

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
fuck
Sr. Member
USER_AVATAR_REMOTE

Joined: 08 Mar 2015
Posts: 661

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:47 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Here, this is for you for all your hard work: https://youtu.be/9ttfL7-BB7M

Laughing

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Southern_Cross
Sr. Member


Joined: 06 Jun 2013
Posts: 708
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:07 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Nice review! I kinda agree, Black Diamond took more time to grow on me. Destiny and Hunting High And Low are what got me into Stratovarius, and the song Nemesis (because I didn't start listening until around the time of Elysium and Nemesis albums, sorta worked my way backwards)
Maybe I'll do a review that's shorter... if I feel like if. And if you guys are ok with it. I don't wanna overfill the page.

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
AAAAAAAAAA
Sr. Member


Joined: 22 Aug 2008
Posts: 3145

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:06 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Quote:
That all changed when my friend linked me to Sonata Arctica’s “False News Travel Fast” in the middle of a StarCraft match. Two listens later, I felt something I’d never felt before. I didn’t just like this kind of stuff, I loved it. It was fast, mildly epic - it’s one of the few songs that will, without a doubt, give me shivers. So I quit the match and started checking out other Sonata stuff.


I was your teammate, your bastard! Rolling Eyes

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
AAAAAAAAAA
Sr. Member


Joined: 22 Aug 2008
Posts: 3145

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:13 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Geoff Tate reacts to "Lord of the Wasteland" outranking Destiny and Black Diamond :

[/img]

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SentineLEX
Sr. Member
USER_AVATAR_REMOTE

Joined: 10 Nov 2012
Posts: 391
Location: United States

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 3:21 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Geoff Tate reacts to "Lord of the Wasteland" outranking Destiny and Black Diamond :

[/img]

From left to right: Density, Lord of the Wasteland, Black Diamond



Lord of the Wasteland has a much more interesting riff and middle section in my opinion.

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SentineLEX
Sr. Member
USER_AVATAR_REMOTE

Joined: 10 Nov 2012
Posts: 391
Location: United States

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 3:22 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Southern_Cross wrote:
Nice review! I kinda agree, Black Diamond took more time to grow on me. Destiny and Hunting High And Low are what got me into Stratovarius, and the song Nemesis (because I didn't start listening until around the time of Elysium and Nemesis albums, sorta worked my way backwards)
Maybe I'll do a review that's shorter... if I feel like if. And if you guys are ok with it. I don't wanna overfill the page.

The longer the better! I enjoy some good literature.

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Motha-faka
Sr. Member


Joined: 22 Aug 2015
Posts: 516

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Stratovarius: Definitively Ranked and Reviewed (1989-201 Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

i think that after one insane version of "Holy Light" in Operatic super Mad ( Mad ) version as track 2 (Theme: Universe creation Theme in my album)

I will add as Track 3 - celestial Dream in a strange mix between stratovarius and Rhapsody of Fire

(Theme - Angels creation included Lucifer) (Errrr )

Thanks, mybe this helpme to listen more songs to my project

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Empathica1928
Sr. Member


Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 370

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 3:26 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

I think SentineLEX has some editing to do with the release of Eternal...

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SentineLEX
Sr. Member
USER_AVATAR_REMOTE

Joined: 10 Nov 2012
Posts: 391
Location: United States

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:29 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Empathica1928 wrote:
I think SentineLEX has some editing to do with the release of Eternal...

If I'm going to put the Eternal songs in there, I'll need to wait some time to see what grows on me and what gets old fast. The songs I liked the most in Nemesis aren't quite the ones I like now. If I redo this with Eternal, I'll do it sometime next year.

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
adrian9
Sr. Member


Joined: 04 Aug 2004
Posts: 1684
Location: VENEZUELA!!!

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:01 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

SentineLEX wrote:
Empathica1928 wrote:
I think SentineLEX has some editing to do with the release of Eternal...

If I'm going to put the Eternal songs in there, I'll need to wait some time to see what grows on me and what gets old fast. The songs I liked the most in Nemesis aren't quite the ones I like now. If I redo this with Eternal, I'll do it sometime next year.

I have the feeling eternal would be ranked as #1 Rolling Eyes

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
doc_holliday
Sr. Member


Joined: 11 Sep 2004
Posts: 715
Location: montreal, canada

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 6:27 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Black Diamond was the first song I heard from Stratovarius, and I really liked it.

edit: I was 14 when I first heard it. Now, Black Diamond is my favorite song ever. Followed by Destiny, and Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
InfernalMaze
Jr. Member


Joined: 26 Aug 2012
Posts: 16
Location: Belgium

PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 7:47 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Nice review! I think it would be an impossible job for me Smile Must be really hard to make a ranking out of so many songs. We all love Strato here but still one can love a certain song, while another person thinks it's not really too special. I'll give it a try to give my top ten without including Eternal because number one would be My Eternal Dream:

The Abyss in Your Eyes
Papillon
Seasons of Change
Night Time Eclipse
Falling Into Fantasy
Infernal Maze
Soul Of A Vagabond
Dreamspace
Lord Of The Wasteland
I'm Still Alive

Man this was hard: Strato just has too many good songs to choose from! Smile

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Empathica1928
Sr. Member


Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 370

PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 6:25 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

My top 10 Strato songs would change constantly but the top 5 are always some combination of Father Time, Black Diamond, Elysium, Will The Sun Rise... and Out of the Shadows.

I've been spinning the first four albums lately. Well, not so much Fright Night, but the other three. Dreamspace fucking rocks, but Twilight Time has Out of the fucking Shadows. I can't express in words how perfect everything about this song is. So damn good.

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
adrian9
Sr. Member


Joined: 04 Aug 2004
Posts: 1684
Location: VENEZUELA!!!

PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:49 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Empathica1928 wrote:
My top 10 Strato songs would change constantly but the top 5 are always some combination of Father Time, Black Diamond, Elysium, Will The Sun Rise... and Out of the Shadows.

I've been spinning the first four albums lately. Well, not so much Fright Night, but the other three. Dreamspace fucking rocks, but Twilight Time has Out of the fucking Shadows. I can't express in words how perfect everything about this song is. So damn good.


now we are talking!

I havent stop to think about a top 5 but I have no problem getting out of the shadows in there

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Stratovarius Community Forum Index -> Stratovarius and related bands talk in English All times are GMT + 2 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group