Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

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AAAAAAAAAA
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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by AAAAAAAAAA » Mon Aug 10, 2020 12:02 am

Pancio wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 9:09 pm
- I'm very aware that Tolkki's skills in composing were self-limited due to the fact that he knew how to write catchy melodies and progressions and he squeezed and recycled a lot of ideas from Dreamspace until now (Hold on to your Dream is basically the prototype of every catchy tune from him and you know where the song itself came from: "I want out" by Helloween) and a lot of stuff he composed was very much the same redundant "radiophonic" idea
Haha! I never realized how similar Hold On To Your Dream really is, to I Want Out.

There are many other similarities between the two bands. The chorus of Liberty is similar to Guardians from Walls of Jericho. The chorus to Learning to Fly is a lot like March of Time...

All that said, I don't think its a big deal. Bands are inspired by each other all the time, and its not like Helloween invented everything from scratch. A lot of their stuff is Maiden and Priest inspired, for example.

If we really wanted to be pedantic we could say all power metal is a rehash of Eagle Fly free, Run to the Hills, and Number of the Beast.
Pancio wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 9:09 pm
Songs are good, of course, but too predictable and linear and this clash against a perfect production and a perfect performance. - To sum up: I recognize the value of Elements as the highest point in production but, at the same time, I find it was a failed attempt to reach the maximum apex in everything, failed due to an excessively lean (is it the right term?) songwriting, saved by the performances, by the crystalline production and orchestrations. [...] The music itself is pretty easy while I prefer more articulated songs and ideas (hence my preference of Episode and Nemesis or the Elysium suite).
This is actually very true. Find Your Own Voice, Learning to Fly, etc, they are compositionally not masterpieces but its the way it all comes together on the album that makes it special.

But at the same time, lets not give the earlier material that much credit. Father Time and Speed of Light are not exactly 15 minute Dream Theater songs about Mike Portnoy's alcohol problems either. I don't see an incredible amount of complexity on Episode, but I agree the songs are looser and perhaps have more of a chance to breathe.
- The best song to describe the classic era is Destiny (it's not the strongest one but it's the song that can show almost every facet of the band)

- The best song from the classic era is, no doubt, Visions
I agree that Destiny is an incredible track, prepubescent choir boy notwithstanding. Visions I like too, (great guitar riffs) but maybe not quite as smooth as Destiny.
- The best top two songs ever from the band, imho, are: Elysium [...]
This song has SO much potential and there are a few passages I truly love. But instead of taking the early brilliant motifs, building them up and swiftly concluding them, it takes all kinds of twists and turns and devolves into a noisy cacophony that goes on at least five minutes too long. And yes, Elysium's substandard mastering (warm, noisy) does weigh down my impression of this song.

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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by ZenithMC » Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:52 am

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 12:02 am
Haha! I never realized how similar Hold On To Your Dream really is, to I Want Out.

There are many other similarities between the two bands. The chorus of Liberty is similar to Guardians from Walls of Jericho. The chorus to Learning to Fly is a lot like March of Time...

All that said, I don't think its a big deal. Bands are inspired by each other all the time, and its not like Helloween invented everything from scratch. A lot of their stuff is Maiden and Priest inspired, for example.

If we really wanted to be pedantic we could say all power metal is a rehash of Eagle Fly free, Run to the Hills, and Number of the Beast.
True. It's fun to find these similarities and point them out, though. :) I'm not docking any points for any of these similarities. It's just the natural way that art evolves (or devolves): through the inspiration of other's art, or through subtle derivation and augmentation (or diminution) of existing ideas.

Jens said it best:
http://www.panix.com/~jens/parse.cgi/faq-more.par (Who's the copy and who's the original?)
AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 12:02 am
This song has SO much potential and there are a few passages I truly love. But instead of taking the early brilliant motifs, building them up and swiftly concluding them, it takes all kinds of twists and turns and devolves into a noisy cacophony that goes on at least five minutes too long. And yes, Elysium's substandard mastering (warm, noisy) does weigh down my impression of this song.
For me, Elysium is the best song from Stratovarius, and perhaps, of all time (for now, anyway)! :shock: :D It's 18 minutes long and I'm hooked for its entire duration. I mentioned before (somewhere) that part 3 makes me tear up, due to the immaculately triumphant atmosphere, and that almost never happens to me.
AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 11:36 pm
In hindsight, it was too harsh to say Tomorrow is filler. I don't really like the song much though. If we want to talk about saccharine, this is it. Its kind of catchy but the vocal melody of the verses sounds awkward to me, and the lyrics are overdone. I also don't find anything musically interesting about it (e.g. an inventive passage or solo). Its a decent, inoffensive tune, but not quite to the level of the rest of the album.
I wouldn't describe Tomorrow as sounding saccharine, but the more I think about it, I guess you're right (particularly about the chorus). :? However, the song is still in a minor key, so it's not truly saccharine sounding to me. Maybe it's more like molasses? :lol: When I said that before, I was thinking about songs like Freedom, Liberty, Luminous, parts of Fantasia, etc. Oddly enough, I actually like the chorus of Freedom a lot because it reminds me of Kirby music. :lol: For some reason, I like music from bands to be serious and darker sounding (or dramatic), but if a video game soundtrack is bright, colorful, happy-go-lucky, and has catchy melodies, it's fine by me. :lol:
AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 11:36 pm
With Babylon, its 2 minutes too long, too slow, too tedious, doesn't go anywhere. Probably the weakest song on Episode.
Okay, fair enough. I'd take Babylon over Emancipation Suite Part I any day of the week, though. I liked Magic Carpet Ride's approach to the droning Arabic-sound more than both Babylon and Emancipation Suite Part I, probably because it is faster paced.

A bit of a tangent, but it's funny to me:
Tolkki: "Sonata Arctica's lyrics aren't very good." Meanwhile: "Allah is speaking us all with his mighty voice.", "Justice all gone.", etc. :rotflmao1: Or if he's complaining about the concept of SA's lyrics themselves, here's one from him (most likely inspired by John Lennon) that makes me laugh my head off every time: "Consider that this world could be free from all this hatred. There would be no borders no laws any kind." Talk about peak leftist idealism. :roll:

In all seriousness, I do wonder what specifically spawned the lyrics for Wings of Tomorrow. Was it due to the optimism felt after the collapse of the USSR and that "yuteemic (atomic) fear" was no longer present? Was it something else (purely idealism)?
AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 11:40 pm
I agree that the song is a bit all over the place and disjointed. But the individual "joints" themselves are so beautiful and well done. And it does come together in the end in a chorus that's just so beautiful and touching. But you aren't the only one who has criticized this song.
Yeah, the chorus is pleasant, I agree. I guess the problem for me is that I'm rarely in a mood for a chorus like that.
NeverendingAbyss wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 9:34 pm
Elements 1 brought simplicity to the table, and quite beautifully. If it were food, I will not be full but rather satisfied. Now with Eternal that's a buffet of musical direction, and while I may be full I will feel like it was too much to the point of getting heart burns. I hope this parallel makes sense. :lol:
I brought some pepto-bismol, so I'm ready for my gut-busting buffet! :lol:

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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by AAAAAAAAAA » Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:42 am

ZenithMC wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:52 am
In all seriousness, I do wonder what specifically spawned the lyrics for Wings of Tomorrow. Was it due to the optimism felt after the collapse of the USSR and that "yuteemic (atomic) fear" was no longer present? Was it something else (purely idealism)?
I wouldn't read too much into it. I think its just general John Lennon one world bullshit (Tolkki was always fascinated by these kinds of cliches).

With that said, "Wings of Tomorrow" is my favorite song on Dreamspace. I love the atmosphere and positive vibes. Dreamspace in general is a great album, and Tolkki actually sounds pretty cool on vocals. He's not a world class singer but he has his charm. My other favorite Dreamspace tunes are "We are the future" and "Hold on to your dream". The rest of the tracks are solid too, though I usually skip "Thin Ice", and perhaps "Magic Carpet Ride" or "Dreamspace" depending on my mood (I know, a lot of people like the title track but I can never get into it).

By contrast, 4th dimension is a step backwards because Kotipelto 's voice sounds a bit shrill and thin. He sounds much better in subsequent albums. Its also much more inconsistent from a songwriting perspective. There are some true masterpieces like "We Hold the Key" and "Twilight Symphony" at the end- strange placement for two of the best Stratovarius tunes ever! Certainly from a compositional standpoint. But the album is littered with substandard tracks like Winter, Stratovarius, Lord of the Wasteland, 030366, and Nightfall. You have to wade through a good 23 minutes of mediocrity to get to the two gems at the end .

The remaining songs ("Against the Wind", "Distant Skies", "Galaxies") are awesome tunes, but don't quite reach the incredible standard of the last two tracks.

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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by ZenithMC » Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:50 am

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:42 am
I wouldn't read too much into it. I think its just general John Lennon one world bullshit (Tolkki was always fascinated by these kinds of cliches).
Okay. Gotcha. :)
AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:42 am
With that said, "Wings of Tomorrow" is my favorite song on Dreamspace. I love the atmosphere and positive vibes. Dreamspace in general is a great album, and Tolkki actually sounds pretty cool on vocals. He's not a world class singer but he has his charm. My other favorite Dreamspace tunes are "We are the future" and "Hold on to your dream". The rest of the tracks are solid too, though I usually skip "Thin Ice", and perhaps "Magic Carpet Ride" or "Dreamspace" depending on my mood (I know, a lot of people like the title track but I can never get into it).
That's interesting. I like Tolkki's voice a lot, too. The final note he sings on We are the Future is pure bliss. I love everything on Dreamspace (including Thin Ice). I was always disappointed that Thin Ice faded out when it did. It sounded like it was building up into this early Black Sabbath inspired song... but it just ends. :lol: I like the quiet diminished acoustic guitar strummed sections because they remind me of a similar sounding section in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker's second dungeon's music. :crazy2:
AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:42 am
By contrast, 4th dimension is a step backwards because Kotipelto 's voice sounds a bit shrill and thin. He sounds much better in subsequent albums. Its also much more inconsistent from a songwriting perspective. There are some true masterpieces like "We Hold the Key" and "Twilight Symphony" at the end- strange placement for two of the best Stratovarius tunes ever! Certainly from a compositional standpoint. But the album is littered with substandard tracks like Winter, Stratovarius, Lord of the Wasteland, 030366, and Nightfall. You have to wade through a good 23 minutes of mediocrity to get to the two gems at the end .
I hear what you are talking about, with Kotipelto's vocal production sounding off. Another thing that urks the hell out of me about the vocals is that so many of the vocal deliveries come in slightly later than they should. >=( I love Stratovarius and, especially, Nightfall from this album. You can keep the other substandard tracks, though, because I do see flaws with them (Winter, Lord of the Wasteland, and 030366). :lol: Winter just plods on & on, Lord of the Wasteland's verses are too simple and uninteresting (and the vocal timing drives me insane) but I do enjoy the solo section, and 030366 is very avant-garde, not in a way that I necessarily appreciate. :lol: Stratovarius is an awesome instrumental that really demonstrates not only Tolkki's technical prowess well, but also Jari's. There are several sections where Jari mimics Tolkki's leads. Nightfall has an excellent atmosphere, chorus, and beautifully crafted solo section. I also like the subtle chorus effect on Kotipelto's voice.

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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by AAAAAAAAAA » Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:13 am

Since you really like the more dark, brooding songs- what are your thoughts on "When the Night Meets the Day"? I think that song is also incredible. I wish I could find other bands that even occasionally could record songs of this caliber.

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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by robocop » Tue Aug 11, 2020 4:49 pm

Since zenith mentioned this song:


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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by NeverendingAbyss » Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:38 pm

That was surprisingly well played!
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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by ZenithMC » Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:41 pm

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:13 am
Since you really like the more dark, brooding songs- what are your thoughts on "When the Night Meets the Day"? I think that song is also incredible. I wish I could find other bands that even occasionally could record songs of this caliber.
Yeah, that's a great song! Would you have preferred if they replaced Babylon (or another track) with it or would you keep it as a bonus track?
robocop wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 4:49 pm
Since zenith mentioned this song:
I remember watching this a while ago. :D

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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by AAAAAAAAAA » Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:28 am

ZenithMC wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:41 pm
AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:13 am
Since you really like the more dark, brooding songs- what are your thoughts on "When the Night Meets the Day"? I think that song is also incredible. I wish I could find other bands that even occasionally could record songs of this caliber.
Yeah, that's a great song! Would you have preferred if they replaced Babylon (or another track) with it or would you keep it as a bonus track?
Exactly. If they replaced Babylon with it, and moved Tomorrow to a B-side, that would elevate Episode to some godly level of perfection as an album.

If you think about it, Episode and Visions together is a really mind blowing density of incredible material written in a very short amount of time.

I think Destiny is still a great album, but a step down for various reasons.
- Overly bright production
- Kotipelto sings a bit too high at times. He can pull it off, but why? I prefer him singing in a more comfortable register.
- Several weak tracks (Venus in the Morning, Rebel, Playing with Fire, come to mind)

With that said, Destiny, Anthem of the world, and SOS are all killer tunes, and that in and of itself is 25 minutes of superb material.

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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by robocop » Wed Aug 12, 2020 4:34 pm

Dude, I love Tomorrow. I dunno what you’re talking about. :luv1:
One of my all time favorites.

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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by ZenithMC » Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:23 pm

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:28 am
Kotipelto sings a bit too high at times. He can pull it off, but why? I prefer him singing in a more comfortable register.
'Cause why not?! :err: :lol:

But seriously, I agree with you here.
AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:28 am
Several weak tracks (Venus in the Morning, Rebel, Playing with Fire, come to mind)
Now you're pulling my leg. :lol: Rebel is one of the stand out/iconic tracks, for me. It also has one of my favorite Jen's solos and an awesome intro lick. Playing with Fire is an interesting Strato song with rich diminished chords and a pretty good chorus. Venus in the Morning, I consider to be structured like a somewhat lesser version Season of Change, but I still like it.

The songs that don't do it for me, on Destiny, are Years Go By, Dream with Me, and... Destiny! :lol: Years Go By reminds me of Solitude, but I like Solitude more. The verses are really slow and boring to me, and the solo is a lesser rehash of Lead Us into the Light's solo. Dream with Me is okay. I like it more than Years Go By, but it's just okay... the solo's pretty good, though. Destiny is actually quite okay, but the repetitive vocal rhythms (during the pre-chorus & parts of the chorus) really bring the song down, for me. Dotted 8th note, dotted 8th note, 8th note; rinse and repeat... :roll: Also, repeating the intro vocals with the lead guitar really cheapens the atmosphere. I don't know... something about this song fails to hook me at all. The solo is arguably the best part of this song.

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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by NeverendingAbyss » Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:14 pm

:) I personally enjoy Venus in the Morning and Playing with Fire. Dream with Me is also pretty good, but I prefer Cold Winter Nights. No Turning Back is a prelude to Infinite.

Rebel doesn't get my attention as much as it should.

I'm split between Anthem of the World and Destiny. Even though they're the jewels of this album, it really depends on my mood if I want to listen to them.
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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by ZenithMC » Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:21 pm

NeverendingAbyss wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:14 pm
Dream with Me is also pretty good, but I prefer Cold Winter Nights.
Since I don't have Intermission, Cold Winter Nights is one of the few Strato songs that I still don't have. :(

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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by AAAAAAAAAA » Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:44 pm

ZenithMC wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:23 pm
Now you're pulling my leg. :lol: Rebel is one of the stand out/iconic tracks, for me. It also has one of my favorite Jen's solos and an awesome intro lick.
Its not a terrible song: it just doesn't hold up to the absurdly high standards of this era in the band's history. Its a fairly standard power metal track that just does not grab me. The singing in the chorus is too high and does not sound right to me. Overall it does not sound like an original or inspired song and the general delivery is underwhelming. I agree that the keyboard solo is cool and foreshadows JJ's solo style in the following few albums.
ZenithMC wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:23 pm
Years Go By reminds me of Solitude, but I like Solitude more. The verses are really slow and boring to me, and the solo is a lesser rehash of Lead Us into the Light's solo
I actually like Years Go By. I agree that the first half is a bit slow, with somewhat boring verses. But I really really love the guitar solo in this one and how the song closes. Incredible guitar work and wonderful melodies that really elevate this track for me.

PS: I didn't know there was a Stratovarius song named "Solitude", so I listened to Black Sabbath's "Solitude" song on their Masters of Reality album trying to find a connection. :lol: I thought, you lost your mind! Yes, they are similar. Its cool discovering a classic era song I didn't know about.
ZenithMC wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:23 pm
The songs that don't do it for me, on Destiny, are [....] Dream with Me,
I consider Dream with Me a decent tune elevated by a monster guitar solo. Overall, I like (but don't love) it.
ZenithMC wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:23 pm
The songs that don't do it for me, on Destiny, are [....] Destiny
Now, you messed up! This is one of the greatest songs of all time, period! A real magnum opus. I guess the verses are kind of repetitive but I like the general atmosphere and buildup. The solos are incredible, and the ending is perfect. A few minor grammatical gaffs but that can be forgiven.

Fun fact: I heard the phrase "led to astray" in a Place Vendome song and immediately deduced that Tolkki wrote it for Frontiers. I was right! :lol:
ZenithMC wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:23 pm
Playing with Fire is an interesting Strato song with rich diminished chords and a pretty good chorus. Venus in the Morning, I consider to be structured like a somewhat lesser version Season of Change, but I still like it.
Playing with Fire is musically interesting, and has a great chorus and strong solo. But the verses and pre-chorus are so corny that I find it simply unlistenable. I ALWAYS skip this song.

I listened to Venus in the Morning again, and its better than I remember. You are right that its like a "Season of Change-Light". I wish the singing wasn't quite so high in the "climax". Then again I don't mind the singing at the end of Season of Change so maybe its a production issue?

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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by AAAAAAAAAA » Thu Aug 13, 2020 12:10 am

ZenithMC wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:21 pm
NeverendingAbyss wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:14 pm
Dream with Me is also pretty good, but I prefer Cold Winter Nights.
Since I don't have Intermission, Cold Winter Nights is one of the few Strato songs that I still don't have. :(
You're missing out!

It sounds very similar to Infinite overall (in a good way).

Will My Soul Ever Rest in Peace is a top-notch Stratovarius song. Falling into Fantasy and Curtains are Falling are both pretty cool. Some of the covers (Bloodstone and especially Kill the King) are really cool. There are no bad songs on Intermission (OK: I don't really like the song I surrender lol, but other than that).

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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by ZenithMC » Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:09 am

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:44 pm
PS: I didn't know there was a Stratovarius song named "Solitude", so I listened to Black Sabbath's "Solitude" song on their Masters of Reality album trying to find a connection. :lol: I thought, you lost your mind! Yes, they are similar. Its cool discovering a classic era song I didn't know about.
EDIT: Whoops, read your post wrong. You found the song I was referring to after all.

I'm sorry! I meant this song:

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:44 pm
Now, you messed up! This is one of the greatest songs of all time, period! A real magnum opus. I guess the verses are kind of repetitive but I like the general atmosphere and buildup. The solos are incredible, and the ending is perfect. A few minor grammatical gaffs but that can be forgiven.
I just can't get into this one! :lol: I wrote a song with a kind of similar atmosphere and vocal rhythm once for my album, but now I can't stand to listen to it now because it's just too repetitive, so I dropped it completely. :( It felt underwhelming compared to the rest of my songs (and the thing clocked in at over 8 minutes, because what's a short song? :lol:).

"Led to astray" must be one of Tolkki's favorite phrases. I guess he hasn't yet pieced together that it sounds utterly ridiculous, eh? :lol:
AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:44 pm
I listened to Venus in the Morning again, and its better than I remember. You are right that its like a "Season of Change-Light". I wish the singing wasn't quite so high in the "climax". Then again I don't mind the singing at the end of Season of Change so maybe its a production issue?
Oh yeah. Kotipelto sings way higher during the climax in Venus in the Morning than in Season of Change. It's too high for me and it sounds strained and inconsistent. "Like the peeeeeenis in the mooooooooorning!" :rotflmao1:
AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 12:10 am
You're missing out!

It sounds very similar to Infinite overall (in a good way).

Will My Soul Ever Rest in Peace is a top-notch Stratovarius song. Falling into Fantasy and Curtains are Falling are both pretty cool. Some of the covers (Bloodstone and especially Kill the King) are really cool. There are no bad songs on Intermission (OK: I don't really like the song I surrender lol, but other than that).
I've listened to them all before. They're great! :) I just haven't gotten around to buying it yet.

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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by SentineLEX » Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:51 pm

I like Wings of Tomorrow because it always gives me the mental image of a down syndrome kid running through a field of flowers

Also Winter->Stratovarius->Lord of the Wasteland is one of my favorite sequences in the discography. I probably attach some strong memories to it since I first listened to that album when road tripping through the western US for the first time, but what a killer soundtrack that was. Very empty (in a good way) and dark compared to classic Strato

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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by NeverendingAbyss » Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:53 pm

SentineLEX wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:51 pm
I like Wings of Tomorrow because it always gives me the mental image of a down syndrome kid running through a field of flowers
Hey, I'm that kid. :lol:

Falling Into Fantasy is my favorite track from Intermission I. Overall a great compilation with neat tracks and covers.

Winter is great. Although it sounds like it should be in a Tolkki album (Classical Variations) rather than a Strato album.

Neon Light Child is also an under-appreciated track, imo, along with Into Deep Blue. The latter should have been in the original album instead of a bonus track. Run Away sounds lame, but I like the pace regardless.
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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by robocop » Fri Aug 14, 2020 5:57 pm

Don’t know if you guys remember the single of wings of tomorrow:

Image

Maybe it’s supposed to be a special Olympics song with them playing b-ball.

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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by SentineLEX » Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:02 pm

I've got the same issue with Neon Light Child that I do with Gypsy in Me and to a lesser extent Forever Free, which is that the chorus is anticlimactic compared to what comes before it. Otherwise would have been a stellar song in my opinion. Agree on Into Deep Blue, reminds me of Scorpions' Wind of Change.
robocop wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 5:57 pm
Don’t know if you guys remember the single of wings of tomorrow:

Image

Maybe it’s supposed to be a special Olympics song with them playing b-ball.
Wasn't it written for the Greek basketball team? Makes you wonder about the state of basketball in Greece

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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by robocop » Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:36 pm

SentineLEX wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:02 pm

Wasn't it written for the Greek basketball team? Makes you wonder about the state of basketball in Greece

Maybe. I was trying to make a cheesy joke. :oops:

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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by Tero-75 » Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:27 pm

SentineLEX wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:02 pm

Wasn't it written for the Greek basketball team? Makes you wonder about the state of basketball in Greece
It wasn't written for them but they just chose it to be their motivatinoal song. After word got around Stratovarius and/or record label desided to release it as a single. It was only distributed in Greece and Germany.

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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by Pancio » Sat Aug 15, 2020 3:31 am

Nice to read all your thoughts about "minor songs" in Stratovarius discography.
It's been a while since the last thread with "serious" talking and this is odd since this thread originally started as pure shitposting (and sometimes is): nice dichotomy :lol:

Anyway, my two cents about Stratovarius discography from my musical point of view instead of production are:

- Destiny is the most overrated album followed by Infinite, this doesn't mean they're not good but I don't consider them among their top-5 best works.
Destiny has a weird pace and a lot of songs sound rushed or unpolished.
The title track is good but worse than Visions and the lyrics are, well, idiotic at best.
Anthem of the World, on the other hand, is good but not strong enough.
Infinite is a solid album and their best selling album ever, maybe even slightly better than Destiny in some aspects, but way behind their peak.

- I like Twilight Time and Dreamspace a lot but both albums miss something: Dreamspace production is weird and there are a lot of overall weak songs with excellent ideas while Twilight Time is the same but I like the production and there are two tracks that I like a lot and two tracks I hate (Madness Strikes at Midnight and The Hills have Eyes are fabulous and underrated songs while I hate Break the Ice and Metal Frenzy a lot, both useless and dumb af).

- A lot of stuff from Fourth Dimension was composed years before the release (Winter and Nightfall, for example) and I bet some of the songs are leftovers from Dreamspace and tracks originally composed for Tolkki's CVaT (sessions for both albums happened at the same time, that's why there's Kotipelto on Solitude).
Fourth Dimension was my first album from Stratovarius and I remember how impressed I was by Twilight Symphony and We Hold the Key. This two ranks, even nowadays, among my favourite songs ever because of the mood (decadentism: "The spirits are calling me, I only wish to die, there is no question why, anymore" and hope "Suddenly sounds awake me, birds singing beautifully, maybe there is hope still left, in this world") and music as well.
But the album is not perfect due to weird production (Kotipelto is out of tune in Lord of the Wasteland, for example) and weak songs.

- Episode is my favourite album because of the mood and because of its heterogeneity: surely there are a couple of weaker tracks (Tomorrow is too generic, even if Kotipelto reach the famous A#5/Bb5, and Episode is good as a concert opening but pointless inside of the album) but the journey is so strong, overall, that I cannot skip a single track while songs like Father Time, Will the Sun Rise?, Eternity, Season of Change and so on are pure gold (time signature change in Eternity, the diminished or "strange" chords in Season of Change, the counterpoint excerpt for BWV 1041 between keyboard and guitar or the orchestrations across the entire album).

- Visions is a leaner and happier version of Episode, the perfect example of "modern" power metal.
It is the milestone, in terms of musical production and cohesion, of all the 90s.
There are very few weak moments and the album, although less elaborate and simpler than the previous ones, is perfectly balanced.
The weakest song is Holy Light and that says it all, being a song that many bands can only dream of.
Visions, the title track, is a masterpiece and the strongest song from the classic Era, imo.

- The two Elements are good albums, as I already said, and the highest point for orchestral power metal and production, a "refined" Infinite.
I like the first part the most, of course, but I don't like Tolkki's approach to the songwriting: everything seems to have been conceived with the intention of being the absolute pinnacle in terms of catchiness, speed and vocal range but forgetting the fundamental aspect, the music.
It is too gaunt and tends to repeat Tolkki's typical clichés too often, which makes it certainly appreciable even if it leaves the feeling of already heard.
Again, I admire the production effort and the quality of the album but I preferred the old less "bombastic" and exaggerated approach (Find Your Own Voice and Learning to Fly are still the best vocal performances ever, although I doubt that Kotipelto loves them).

- Among all the bonus tracks from the Tolkki's era, well, Blackout and Kill the King covers are the best :lol:
Apart from the covers, well, I like Full Moon, When the Night Meets the Day, Will My Soul Ever Rest in Peace and Ride Like the Wind but there are very few bad songs from the band really.


Maybe one day I will review the discography song by song, but I'll wait the new album :lol:

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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by robocop » Sat Aug 15, 2020 8:40 pm

Pancio wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 3:31 am
Nice to read all your thoughts about "minor songs" in Stratovarius discography.
It's been a while since the last thread with "serious" talking and this is odd since this thread originally started as pure shitposting (and sometimes is): nice dichotomy :lol:
Episode is my favorite too. I was going to post some Tolkki screen shots but the same ol’ bullshit is boring. :lol:
Off topic: did you ever try the Fortin nameless that has Matias presets? I bought it last night. Pretty damn neat.

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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by AAAAAAAAAA » Sat Aug 15, 2020 8:54 pm

Pancio wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 3:31 am
- I like Twilight Time and Dreamspace a lot but both albums miss something: Dreamspace production is weird and there are a lot of overall weak songs with excellent ideas while Twilight Time is the same but I like the production and there are two tracks that I like a lot and two tracks
Curious- what are the songs you don't like on Destiny and Fourth Dimension? Wondering if our 'list" is the same :lol:
I hate (Madness Strikes at Midnight and The Hills have Eyes are fabulous and underrated songs while I hate Break the Ice and Metal Frenzy a lot, both useless and dumb af).
Surprised that you hate The Hills Have Eyes, I think it kicks ass! I love the guitar riffs and the vocals.
- Episode is my favourite album because of the mood and because of its heterogeneity: surely there are a couple of weaker tracks (Tomorrow is too generic, even if Kotipelto reach the famous A#5/Bb5, and Episode is good as a concert opening but pointless inside of the album) but the journey is so strong, overall, that I cannot skip a single track while songs like Father Time, Will the Sun Rise?, Eternity, Season of Change and so on are pure gold
Totally agree here!

Curious- have you ever heard Holy Land by Angra? Its another album that in my opinion has no weak songs.
- The two Elements are good albums, as I already said, and the highest point for orchestral power metal and production, a "refined" Infinite.
I like the first part the most, of course, but I don't like Tolkki's approach to the songwriting: everything seems to have been conceived with the intention of being the absolute pinnacle in terms of catchiness, speed and vocal range but forgetting the fundamental aspect, the music.
It is too gaunt and tends to repeat Tolkki's typical clichés too often, which makes it certainly appreciable even if it leaves the feeling of already heard.
Again, I admire the production effort and the quality of the album but I preferred the old less "bombastic" and exaggerated approach (Find Your Own Voice and Learning to Fly are still the best vocal performances ever, although I doubt that Kotipelto loves them).
This is really well said! I totally agree.

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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by Pancio » Sun Aug 16, 2020 5:03 am

robocop wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 8:40 pm
Pancio wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 3:31 am
Nice to read all your thoughts about "minor songs" in Stratovarius discography.
It's been a while since the last thread with "serious" talking and this is odd since this thread originally started as pure shitposting (and sometimes is): nice dichotomy :lol:
Episode is my favorite too. I was going to post some Tolkki screen shots but the same ol’ bullshit is boring. :lol:
Off topic: did you ever try the Fortin nameless that has Matias presets? I bought it last night. Pretty damn neat.
His screen shots are always warm welcomed, of course, since he basically blocked every account I have.
And some laughs are good during this "dark" times, at least for me but yeah, the last months didn't give us the thrill we need 'cause he repeated his dumb theories and his spiritual bullshit and/or apologies.

Yes, I have four plug-ins: Nameless, Granophyre, Plini and Abasi.
Nameless is good but I mostly use it for rhythm/heavy guitar along with Granophyre, Abasi is not that good while Plini is excellent for smooth lead tone.
I'm planning to buy also their Quad Cortex as well to get rid of my Solid State amp :D

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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by Pancio » Sun Aug 16, 2020 5:37 am

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 8:54 pm
Pancio wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 3:31 am
- I like Twilight Time and Dreamspace a lot but both albums miss something: Dreamspace production is weird and there are a lot of overall weak songs with excellent ideas while Twilight Time is the same but I like the production and there are two tracks that I like a lot and two tracks
Curious- what are the songs you don't like on Destiny and Fourth Dimension? Wondering if our 'list" is the same :lol:
I hate (Madness Strikes at Midnight and The Hills have Eyes are fabulous and underrated songs while I hate Break the Ice and Metal Frenzy a lot, both useless and dumb af).
Surprised that you hate The Hills Have Eyes, I think it kicks ass! I love the guitar riffs and the vocals.
- Episode is my favourite album because of the mood and because of its heterogeneity: surely there are a couple of weaker tracks (Tomorrow is too generic, even if Kotipelto reach the famous A#5/Bb5, and Episode is good as a concert opening but pointless inside of the album) but the journey is so strong, overall, that I cannot skip a single track while songs like Father Time, Will the Sun Rise?, Eternity, Season of Change and so on are pure gold
Totally agree here!

Curious- have you ever heard Holy Land by Angra? Its another album that in my opinion has no weak songs.
- The two Elements are good albums, as I already said, and the highest point for orchestral power metal and production, a "refined" Infinite.
I like the first part the most, of course, but I don't like Tolkki's approach to the songwriting: everything seems to have been conceived with the intention of being the absolute pinnacle in terms of catchiness, speed and vocal range but forgetting the fundamental aspect, the music.
It is too gaunt and tends to repeat Tolkki's typical clichés too often, which makes it certainly appreciable even if it leaves the feeling of already heard.
Again, I admire the production effort and the quality of the album but I preferred the old less "bombastic" and exaggerated approach (Find Your Own Voice and Learning to Fly are still the best vocal performances ever, although I doubt that Kotipelto loves them).
This is really well said! I totally agree.
- From Dreamspace I don't like Chasing Shadows, Eyes of the World (sounds like a generical and poor rip-off from a 80s rock band, although I like some moments), Reign of Terror (the lyrics are simply retarded), Thin Ice and Wings of Tomorrow.
There isn't a really bad track but the aforementioned lacks in something or are poorly integrated in the album.

From Fourth Dimension I say Lord of the Wasteland and 030366 because of the production problems on the first and the silly lyrics and because it's a bad rip-off of Screaming in Digital from Queensryche.

From Destiny I can say that I don't like No Turning Back, Years Go By and Playing With Fire because, well, these songs are basically a sure skip after a couple of minutes in.
Can't stand them at all: good moments in some parts but clearly a sort of B-Side or recycled material.

- No, I don't hate Hills Have Eyes at all, I love the song and I think it's underrated just like Madness Strikes at Midnight.
Maybe I used a poor consequential logic while writing my thoughts down but I hate Metal Frenzy and Break the Ice :lol:

- Yes, I know Holy Land very well and I also have the physical copy but, even tho I like Angra, I never fully appreciated the band.
But yes, Holy Land is their masterpiece: nice year the 1996 :shock:
Last edited by Pancio on Sun Aug 16, 2020 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by AAAAAAAAAA » Sun Aug 16, 2020 6:24 am

Pancio wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 5:37 am
- Yes, I know Holy Land very well and I also have the physical copy but, even tho I like Angra, I never fully appreciated the band.
But yes, Holy Land is their masterpiece: nice year the 1996 :shock:
Thanks for the responses. Yeah, I agree with most of your sentiments.

Holy Land is a great album. I actually think its my favorite of all time. Another one I think is basically flawless is Fear by Royal Hunt. A total masterpiece BUT very symphonic and there aren't too many very heavy moments.

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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by robocop » Sun Aug 16, 2020 7:59 am

Pancio wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 5:03 am

His screen shots are always warm welcomed, of course, since he basically blocked every account I have.
And some laughs are good during this "dark" times, at least for me but yeah, the last months didn't give us the thrill we need 'cause he repeated his dumb theories and his spiritual bullshit and/or apologies.

Yes, I have four plug-ins: Nameless, Granophyre, Plini and Abasi.
Nameless is good but I mostly use it for rhythm/heavy guitar along with Granophyre, Abasi is not that good while Plini is excellent for smooth lead tone.
I'm planning to buy also their Quad Cortex as well to get rid of my Solid State amp :D
Ok:
Image

Plugins: I had about 1,000 before I reformatted my PC.
Started out with free ones with garbage tones. Eventually got the amplitube metal pack pirated torrent because I wanted the HM2 sound. Eventually bought it and it came with my interface too. They have tons of ones to add on. I had the demo of the fortin before and really liked it. I can’t afford the shit but bought it anyway trying to make a song better but it didn’t really help. :lol:
I bought the NTS and nameless if I’m not mistaken. I never looked to see if there’s pirated versions. I’ve always gotten screwed getting shit like that with viruses and Trojans. There’s lots of free shit out there. Making it sound good is a different story. If you ever download synth vsts, try the genesis pro. $1 synth and it’s really good.

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Re: Timo Tolkki's Avalon Pt. 3 and tour

Post by ZenithMC » Sun Aug 16, 2020 10:04 am

"This one belongs to a guy who said to me 'Mi Casa Es Tu Casa' which then turned out to be 'Mi Casa Es No Tu Casa' Unfortunately"

Hahaha! I can only imagine why... :lol:
AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 6:24 am
Pancio wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 5:37 am
- Yes, I know Holy Land very well and I also have the physical copy but, even tho I like Angra, I never fully appreciated the band.
But yes, Holy Land is their masterpiece: nice year the 1996 :shock:
Thanks for the responses. Yeah, I agree with most of your sentiments.

Holy Land is a great album. I actually think its my favorite of all time. Another one I think is basically flawless is Fear by Royal Hunt. A total masterpiece BUT very symphonic and there aren't too many very heavy moments.
Speaking of Angra, I went to go take a look at their Metal Archives page and was stunned to see so many 90+ rated albums! :shock: I've never listened to them before, but based on those reviews, I think I'm going to change that now.

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