New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

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AAAAAAAAAA
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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by AAAAAAAAAA » Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:30 pm

ZenithMC wrote: Yeah, those are some good ones. :-) Big shout out, also, to The Harvest for its awesome solo section. It's probably my favorite solo on Unia. I also enjoy listening to Fly with the Black Swan. I agree that there are some filler tracks on Unia. The one song that I really don't like is Good Enough is Good Enough.
Strangely I really like Good Enough. I hear a lot of people complain about it but I think its a great, sad little song. It leaves me with an interesting feeling.

Caleb, Under Your Tree, The Vice don't really do it for me. The others you mention are OK!
The song that inspired my foray into musicianship was 8th Commandment. When I heard that guitar riff in the intro, I just had to learn how to play it.
The first SA song I heard was Black Sheep. I loved it! Still do. 8th commandment is great too.

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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by ZenithMC » Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:32 pm

Something to note about myself: I'm a weird person who doesn't ever pay attention to lyrics in music. I get all of the emotional impact from the melodies, timbres, and chord progressions.

I think that Good Enough is Good Enough has nice melodies, but it somehow doesn't do it for me, and it's hard for me to understand why that is. Maybe I've become spoiled by their other ballads.

In terms of ballads, I think the Misery is one of SA's finest. All it takes for me are those first three synth notes, and it already has me going. Everything about it is simply beautiful.

My favorite Stratovarius ballad is Tears of Ice. It has a very dark and tragic atmosphere, and Tolkki's voice is very emotional. The flute and oboe sections have a very poignant melody, especially the former.

I also really like Angel from the R.R. demo. I consider that my second favorite Stratovarius ballad, even though it technically isn't official. The melodies really seem to move me. The chord progression during the chorus is somewhat reminiscent of Out of the Shadows, because of the inclusion of a diminished chord during the second iteration. Jen's synth timbre also gives the chorus a delicate glacial atmosphere.

I'll also mention that my favorite Labyrinth ballad is Miles Away. The melodies, chord progression, and overall ambience are excellent and really strike me. Second place goes to Falling Rain.

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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by AAAAAAAAAA » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:16 pm

ZenithMC wrote: I'll also mention that my favorite Labyrinth ballad is Miles Away. The melodies, chord progression, and overall ambience are excellent and really strike me. Second place goes to Falling Rain.
Those are both excellent choices!

My favorite Stratovarius ballad is probably Season of Faith's Perfection. Its such a touching song and the solo is just incredible. I think Elements Pt. 2. is actually underrated.

Another amazing ballad is Another Day by Dream Theater. Even Wait for Sleep on the same album is excellent.

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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by ZenithMC » Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:34 pm

Crap! I totally forgot about Love from Sons of Thunder. I don't know which one I like more, between that one and Falling Rain.
AAAAAAAAAA wrote:My favorite Stratovarius ballad is probably Season of Faith's Perfection.
Yeah, I like Season of Faith's Perfection too, it's just too bad that the outro is completely out to lunch, for some, presumable very silly, reason.
AAAAAAAAAA wrote:Another amazing ballad is Another Day by Dream Theater. Even Wait for Sleep on the same album is excellent.
I've actually never listened to a Dream Theater album before, believe or not. Perhaps I'll go give it a listen.

Would you consider Nightfall a ballad? Power ballad maybe? Regardless of that, the solo on that song is my personal favorite of Tolkki's solos. There's just so much emotion behind it.

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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by AAAAAAAAAA » Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:50 pm

ZenithMC wrote: I've actually never listened to a Dream Theater album before, believe or not. Perhaps I'll go give it a listen.
:shock: I highly recommend Images & Words. Its a masterpiece and one of my top three albums of all-time. Highly, highly recommended! Check out the song Surrounded: it might be the greatest tunes of all tune.

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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by AAAAAAAAAA » Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:51 pm

ZenithMC wrote:Crap! I totally forgot about Love from Sons of Thunder. I don't know which one I like more, between that one and Falling Rain.
Great pics! I would go with Falling Rain from those two. Did you like Return to Heaven Denied Pt 2? It wasn't as good as the original but I still loved it. Sailors of Time \m/

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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by ZenithMC » Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:14 am

Yeah, I like Return to Heaven Pt. 2. I especially like the solos on that album. While I really like the solos of the older albums, they reach a new level in the later ones. Also, I'm a bit critical of the production on Pt.2. The rhythm guitar sounds boxy and overly smooth/mids heavy. The keyboard solo patch just doesn't have the correct level of treble compared to other elements, so it sounds very out of place in the mix. The lead guitar tones sound excellent to me, however.

I will agree, I overall prefer the first part. Sailors of Time is a good one, but my favorite is probably The Morning's Call.

I also really like Architecture of a God. I might actually prefer that to Return to Heaven Denied Pt. 2. I also like the mix more on that one, except for the vocals, which sound a bit muddy. My favorite songs here are Take on my Legacy and Stardust and Ashes. Bullets also sounds really cool, as well.

Quick question, does Roberto Tiranti sing differently than he used to? There's something about the way he sings on the later releases that seem a bit off-putting to me, and I don't really know what it is. I know on Return to Heaven Denied Pt. 1, his voice was often chorused, which sounded really cool, but it wasn't chorused on Sons of Thunder, so I don't know. Maybe it's the way he plays with or exaggerates his voice? Either way, there's definitely something different about it, and I prefer his older style of singing.

Have you listened to Amazing Maze?

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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by Empathica1928 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:17 pm

I'm not a huge Labyrinth fan but I saw them play Return To Heaven Denied in full at ProgPower last year and Roberto was incredible. He sounded even better the next day at the private acoustic show, and when he sang Purple Rain, holy shit. Got me wet.

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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by AAAAAAAAAA » Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:18 pm

ZenithMC wrote:Yeah, I like Return to Heaven Pt. 2. I especially like the solos on that album. While I really like the solos of the older albums, they reach a new level in the later ones. Also, I'm a bit critical of the production on Pt.2. The rhythm guitar sounds boxy and overly smooth/mids heavy. The keyboard solo patch just doesn't have the correct level of treble compared to other elements, so it sounds very out of place in the mix. The lead guitar tones sound excellent to me, however.
I have no major production complaints about Return to Heaven Denied Pt. 2 but I don't have your ear. I think the vocals sound better than they did on Pt. 1 where at times it sounded like it was in the background too much. Overall its a great record, almost (but not quite) as good as the first.
I will agree, I overall prefer the first part. Sailors of Time is a good one, but my favorite is probably The Morning's Call.
That is great! A Midnight Autumn's Dream is also a great tune. There are some more boring songs there too, but overall its a job well done.
I also really like Architecture of a God. I might actually prefer that to Return to Heaven Denied Pt. 2. I also like the mix more on that one, except for the vocals, which sound a bit muddy. My favorite songs here are Take on my Legacy and Stardust and Ashes. Bullets also sounds really cool, as well.
That's a great album too. A few of the songs sound formulaic and forgettable to me, and not every chorus is memorable. But there are some awesome tunes there. For me the big highlight is the song "Someone Says". It's really beautiful and moving. I admit Stardust & Ashes isn't one of my favorites but I can give it another spin and maybe i'll change my mind.
Quick question, does Roberto Tiranti sing differently than he used to?... Maybe it's the way he plays with or exaggerates his voice? Either way, there's definitely something different about it, and I prefer his older style of singing.
I did not notice any major difference on his studio performances, but again I don't have your ear. When it comes to his live performances, I hate to say this but he comes across as inconsistent and I think he doesn't always do a great job. His crazy falsetto is actually a bit annoying and overdone at times.

With all that said I still consider him one of my favorite vocalists. He has a very unique timbre to his voice and overall does a great job.
Have you listened to Amazing Maze?
I have not. What do you think about it? Actually it would be helpful if you would rank the Top 5 Labyrinth albums, including Amazing Maze. :)

For me:
Return to Heaven Denied Pt. 1
Return Pt. 2.
Architecture of a God
Labyrinth
Maybe a tie between 6 Days to Nowhere and Sons of Thunder.

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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by AAAAAAAAAA » Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:25 pm

Empathica1928 wrote:I'm not a huge Labyrinth fan but I saw them play Return To Heaven Denied in full at ProgPower last year and Roberto was incredible. He sounded even better the next day at the private acoustic show, and when he sang Purple Rain, holy shit. Got me wet.
:lol: I was also at that show. It was so great! I wasn't at the acoustic show though.

I didn't really like a lot of the other bands I saw though. Redemption, Bloodbound, etc. Even Sons of Apollo I think is mediocre.

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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by Empathica1928 » Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:15 pm

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Empathica1928 wrote:I'm not a huge Labyrinth fan but I saw them play Return To Heaven Denied in full at ProgPower last year and Roberto was incredible. He sounded even better the next day at the private acoustic show, and when he sang Purple Rain, holy shit. Got me wet.
:lol: I was also at that show. It was so great! I wasn't at the acoustic show though.

I didn't really like a lot of the other bands I saw though. Redemption, Bloodbound, etc. Even Sons of Apollo I think is mediocre.
Wait what? Are you going this year? This is blowing my mind. :lol:

Redemption is like the epitome of 'boring prog metal' imo. Bloodbound I thought was really fun despite not knowing anything about them, and Sons of Apollo (along with Soen) was the only band I did not see a single minute of, because I wasn't at the venue. Soen I strongly dislike and was tired so I took a nap at my hotel; Sons I just have zero interest in and went to the Artmore party instead.

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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by AAAAAAAAAA » Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:31 am

Empathica1928 wrote: Wait what? Are you going this year? This is blowing my mind. :lol:
I was near the front in the standing area during Labyrinth's set. That was my second time at Progpower- the first being when Angra headlined a couple years prior.

I'm not going this year though. The only band I was really excited about was Threshold. How about you, are you going? Which other Progpower's have you attended?
I just have zero interest in and went to the Artmore party instead.
Did you meet any bandmembers there? I never checked that out.

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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by Empathica1928 » Thu Aug 29, 2019 5:17 pm

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Empathica1928 wrote: Wait what? Are you going this year? This is blowing my mind. :lol:
I was near the front in the standing area during Labyrinth's set. That was my second time at Progpower- the first being when Angra headlined a couple years prior.

I'm not going this year though. The only band I was really excited about was Threshold. How about you, are you going? Which other Progpower's have you attended?
I just have zero interest in and went to the Artmore party instead.
Did you meet any bandmembers there? I never checked that out.
Aww. Yeah, I'm going. Last year was my first one. I was given a VIP badge for last year's days 3 and 4, and I've got another for this year too. I can't wait. This year I'm mostly excited for Galneryus, Demons & Wizards, Subsignal, and Caligula's Horse, but the last minute additions of Theocracy and Paladin are really cool too. I don't really care about Seventh Wonder and Threshold and Evergrey unfortunately.

Yeah, I met plenty of band members actually. Peep the photos:

Me and Fabio holding my Rhapsody flag: https://i.imgur.com/dH0nZgr.jpg
Me and Danny from Voyager (he liked my Zelda-themed phone case lol): https://i.imgur.com/ORxzGb4.jpg
Me and Bill Hudson: https://i.imgur.com/mkRTVYp.jpg
Hanging out with half of Labyrinth downstairs in the band-only area: https://i.imgur.com/SmKKFku.jpg

I also got to meet Vikram from Redemption (I'm more a fan of his piano playing, I don't like Redemption), and spent an hour or so bullshitting with Olaf from Labyrinth in the courtyard hearing some really cool stories about past tours. We also got Bill Hudson stoned as fuck which was hilarious :lol:

I think it was Saturday night after Alestorm finished their set, I went outside of the venue and talked to some friends. Chris Bowes walked up to us and said, "Hey, you guys seen a bus around here? ... Oh. Well, cheers mates" and it turns out he missed his bus by like 2 minutes so he just took off walking down a few city blocks :lol:

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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by ZenithMC » Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:15 pm

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:I have not. What do you think about it? Actually it would be helpful if you would rank the Top 5 Labyrinth albums, including Amazing Maze. :-)

For me:
Return to Heaven Denied Pt. 1
Return Pt. 2.
Architecture of a God
Labyrinth
Maybe a tie between 6 Days to Nowhere and Sons of Thunder.
I was going to post this huge review of every Labyrinth album and song ever, but then I thought, "who's going to sit there and want to read all of that." So I'll just list my Top 5 Labyrinth albums like you asked. :D

1. Return to Heaven Denied Pt. 1 (Masterpiece.)
2. Sons of Thunder (The drum work is absolutely phenomenal. Mattia Stancioiu became one of my favorite drummers after hearing this. the only reason this is in the #2 slot is because of the drums. The songs are still very good, but some aren't very interesting at times.)
3. Amazing Maze (Really inspired album. Its songs sound closer to the classic labyrinth albums. Great melodies, solos, keyboard arrangements, and songwriting. Very obsure. Production is not the best. Come Back to Me, The Struggle, and Wounded Heart are a little boring.)
4. Labyrinth (I like most of this album. The Prophet, Just Soldier, Terzinato, Slave to the Night, Synthetic Paradise, Hand in Hand, are awesome! A couple of the tracks are a bit boring. Some are really different and interesting sounding, which is a plus. If they wanted to write more in a more progressive style, this is the direction they should have continued in after Olaf left. Nothing sounds disjointed and every section transitions smoothly.)
5. Architecture of a God (This album is slightly more interesting to me than RtHD2. Mostly excellent!)

(I can't resist)
6. Return to Heaven Denied Pt. 2 (Olaf's back. Really awesome album.)
7. No Limits (I love Mortal Sin, Dreamland, Miles Away, In the Shade, and Red Zone. The outro of No limits, the song, is my favorite moment on this album).
8. Freeman (Not a big fan of this one, but it has some faster songs on it which sound good to me, which is why I placed it higher than 6 Days to Nowhere. It still has a disjointed arrangement style.)
9. 6 Days to Nowhere (Some of the songs here are seriously disjointed in their arrangement. I'm not a fan of this style of prog. Lost is just completely annoying sounding, to me. The solos are still pretty cool, though.)
Empathica1928 wrote:Yeah, I met plenty of band members actually. Peep the photos:
...
Cool photos, Empathica1928! :-)

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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by Empathica1928 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:51 am

Thanks!!

No Limits is actually my favorite Labyrinth album -- but because I didn't grow up with Labyrinth, and I ADORE Fabio Lione, there's just something about that one that resonates with me. Glad to see Architecture in the top though, that album rocks.

Speaking of No Limits, at the acoustic show they did at the end of the fest, they played an acoustic version of Piece of Time and I might have shed a tear like a little girl because of how beautiful RT's voice is

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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by AAAAAAAAAA » Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:46 pm

Empathica1928 wrote: Me and Fabio holding my Rhapsody flag: https://i.imgur.com/dH0nZgr.jpg
Me and Danny from Voyager (he liked my Zelda-themed phone case lol): https://i.imgur.com/ORxzGb4.jpg
Me and Bill Hudson: https://i.imgur.com/mkRTVYp.jpg
Hanging out with half of Labyrinth downstairs in the band-only area: https://i.imgur.com/SmKKFku.jpg
Awesome pictures. Glad you had fun!!!

I met Edu Falaschi a few years ago at Progpower. And DC Cooper as well. Both great guys! Those were true highlights of my life.

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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by AAAAAAAAAA » Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:48 pm

ZenithMC wrote: I was going to post this huge review of every Labyrinth album and song ever, but then I thought, "who's going to sit there and want to read all of that." So I'll just list my Top 5 Labyrinth albums like you asked. :D
I would actually read it happily! Why not give me a sneak peak. The top five best and worst Labyrinth songs...lol.

And for the record I think the song Lost is cool!

I think my favorite Labyrinth song is Moonlight, or maybe Die for Freedom, or Lady Lost in Time.

Are you a drummer by the way? I can't imagine loving an album that much just for the drums.

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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by ZenithMC » Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:08 pm

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:Are you a drummer by the way? I can't imagine loving an album that much just for the drums.
Why yes, I am a drummer! I also play guitar, bass, and keyboards. Guitar and Drums are my fortes. I can also sing, but not very well, admittedly. Do you play any instruments, A10?

There are two things that I don't really like about Lost:
1. The repeated transition from blast beat to a slower rhythm feels awkward.
2. The screamed background vocals. I don't have a palate for them.
AAAAAAAAAA wrote:I would actually read it happily! Why not give me a sneak peak. The top five best and worst Labyrinth songs...lol.
Sneak peek:

Best five Labyrinth songs:
1. New Horizons
2. Die for Freedom
3. The Night of Dreams
4. Dreamland
5. Save Me (Sons of Thunder version)

Worst five Labyrinth songs:
1. Lost (Sorry! :lol:)
2. Malcom Grey
3-5. (Hard to decide. Throw three darts at 6 Days to Nowhere and you'll probably land on songs that don't interest me very much in similar ways.)

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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by JensJohansson » Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:28 pm

Very interesting thread, I think you all have some rather good and insightful things to say about all this.

Very many things boil down to "X is very difficult" combined with "there are many different opinions on how you should X".

This goes to songwriting and arranging, recording, production, and also the music business (finance, long term strategy, live performances, releases, publicity, marketing, promotion etc).

Many of these issues is stuff that we spend many many many hours talking about (until the cows come home)

Since Sonata Arctica is being brought up, how do you all feel about the new album "Talviyö"?

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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by Ovelitus » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:07 pm

Hi Jens, nice to see you around in the forum.

Sonata's Talviyo is weak and bland in my opinion. This AOR sound just doesn't convince me. Moreover, the production incredebly bad, it sounds really bad, no matter what device you are using. In my opinion, Sonata Arctica has nothing new to offer and maybe this kind of albums should be released as a Tony's solo project rather than Sonata Arctica.

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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by ZenithMC » Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:03 pm

JensJohansson wrote:Since Sonata Arctica is being brought up, how do you all feel about the new album "Talviyö"?
Hi, Jens! I'm glad that you enjoyed reading our miscellaneous discussions. It's been quite a while since you last posted on the Stratoforum, so this is a very pleasant surprise. :-)

Here's my review of Talviyö:

=== PRODUCTION ===
In general, there seems to be a lack of clarity with the mix. The snare drum is muddy and lacks power. Tony's vocals are very high in the mix (sometimes including the backing vocals), relative to the other instruments. The solos can be difficult to discern, if there are many other elements at play. The bass guitar to very audible, but I do not consider that to be a negative.

=== COMPOSITIONS ===
First, I must address that this album is listens much more like a Prog. Metal album than a Power Metal album. Many of the songs are down-tempo and mostly cruise along at mid-pace. The vocal lines are not the most interesting, but the instrumental parts have, at times, managed to raise my eyebrows. The bass guitar, in particular, was quite interesting throughout the album. Tony seems mostly reserved with his vocals, tending to shy away from utilizing his upper register.

Message from the Sun
This is the most "Power Metal" sounding of the bunch. It is a very happy sounding song that has an upper-mid-pace tempo. As a result, it doesn't have any tension or drama, so it tends to lose my interest rather quickly. The verses are actually pretty good, but the chorus doesn't interest me very much. The keyboard solo is interesting, but I'm not a fan of its timbre; it's very nasally.

Whirlwind
This song contains some very Prog. sounding sections. I enjoy the keyboard, guitar, and bass melodies throughout. The Verses and Chorus sound more typical of mid-pace Power Metal. Overall, not bad.

Cold
The melody of the verses sound very strange, but the chorus sounds decent. The bass lines are excellent, and Elias' solo is nice. The bridge also sounds somewhat interesting, though the vocal melody leaves something to be desired.

Storm the Armada

This is another Prog. centric song. The intro guitar lick is interesting and actually provides some atmosphere. The keyboard ostinato is really cool sounding, and is a highlight for this album. I love how the guitar and the bass also join in at a later point. Once the vocals come in, however, things become slightly less interesting. The solo sections (guitar solo, and bass solo) are cool. Lyrically, it's yet another "Humanity is destroying the environment" song.

The Last of the Lambs
This song is very boring, robotic, and sluggish. I found nothing of interest here.

Who Failed the Most
This is another mostly forgettable one, though not as bad as the last. The lyrics are an obvious jab, and they're once again about the environment, but from a different angle.

Ismo's Got Good Reactors
This is a really cool instrumental song. The harmonic minor parts of the song make me think of a metal version of Gobi's Valley from Banjo-Kazooie. :lol: It also seems to be inspired by eastern music, particularly the scales employed. The atmosphere is very fun and happy-go-lucky. This might be favorite song on Talviyö.

Demon's Cage
The keyboard melody is good here. This song is also on the progier side. Other than that, not much else really stands out, and is, generally, pretty boring. The lyrics are cringe-inducing. "Working class, kneel and kiss my… s…" :lol:

A Little Less Understanding

I find this song to not be very interesting, in every aspect. The chorus is very bright and happy, while the verses are forgettable. The keyboard solo is not bad.

The Raven Still Flies

This is the most Prog. offering on this album, as it has a very peculiar structure. Ultimately, it feels like it drones on at several points, which brings down its enjoyment factor. There's a section after a brief drum solo that sounds interesting to me, but it's short lived.

The Garden
This song is just not for me. The lyrics seem like they're very sentimental to Tony, and I can understand why people would like this song for its lyrics, but it ultimately comes down to the music for me, and in that regard, this is a very boring sounding ballad. This is a very strange way to end the album; with a whimper.

You Won't Fall (Bonus Track)

Mid-tempo song that is not very noteworthy. The solo sections are the most interesting of all the solo sections on Talviyö, and sound really cool.

=== FINAL RESULTS ===
5/10 - Not bad, but not very good either.

Have you listened to Talviyö? If so, what is your opinion of it?

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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by NeverendingAbyss » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:29 pm

I can't get behind this album. I don't know what it is but their essence is just not there anymore.

Days of Grays was probably their last good album. I've spent more time listening to Cain's Offering than SA's last 3 albums.

Kakko is still one of my favorite vocalists, but songwriting wise he's been bland.

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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by SentineLEX » Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:17 pm

Just missed the Labyrinth train. But I'll still give my opinions.

I've listened to 4 albums so far. Return to Heaven Denied 1 & 2 are stellar with the first one being a little better. Architecture of a God is maybe somewhere in between.

I didn't like Sons of Thunder at all for some reason. Couldn't get into it.
NeverendingAbyss wrote:I can't get behind this album. I don't know what it is but their essence is just not there anymore.

Days of Grays was probably their last good album. I've spent more time listening to Cain's Offering than SA's last 3 albums.

Kakko is still one of my favorite vocalists, but songwriting wise he's been bland.
Just got Talviyo and at this point if Tony Kakko shits in a CD case I'll check it out, but I agree that Days of Grays was the last good album. There's a few songs I like on the newer records but nothing I really enjoy as a complete album.

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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by lucaf9397 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:29 pm

on topic: my wish for next Strato album: please keep the production quality top level!

What the helsinki is going on in the studios in 2019? Is there a virus in production softwares? Why good bands are releasing stuff with horrible production? I really wish this bad-production-disease will not apply on next Strato album.

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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by valo_666 » Sun Sep 22, 2019 6:08 pm

I guess labels they spend 1/20 of what they did on good studios in the 90's-2000's... hence sound quality consistency, ear-pleasing production good aging are lost in the majority of cases.

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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by NeverendingAbyss » Sun Sep 22, 2019 7:45 pm

Not to mention that the quality of headphones/speakers have increased over the past two decades. It is much easier to hear how much time was spent on production.

It's like HDTVs... once everyone could see the facial imperfections of anchor newsmen(women) in 1080p, they had to spend additional time in the make-up room. It's much more important now with 4k and 8k TVs.

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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by ZenithMC » Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:09 am

One major difference between metal mixes of the past and metal mixes of today is the way that drum production is handled. Albums from the late 80's - early 90's used reverb extensively on many different elements of the mix, specifically the snare drum (usually plate or gated reverb), tom-toms, and vocals (along with delays and everything else).

Around the 2000's, While several styles of metal eventually dialed down the amount of reverb on various elements, power metal albums generally maintained it for a longer duration. It wasn't until the late 2000's - early 2010's that the drum production for power metal albums became less reverberant.

What seemingly replaced it was an emphasis on the ~200Hz fundamental frequency range of the snare drum, along with, in some circumstances, lower tunings of the snare drum (which traditionally were somewhat higher, though not always).

Modern power metal drum production is sometimes more akin to death metal drum production, which favors a more gutteral punchy drum sound, verses the snappy bright powerful reverberant drum sounds.

I'd guess and say that the snare drum production of older metal albums places much of the emphasis on the snare side of the snare drum (where the brightness is derived from), compared to the batter side (where the tone is derived from).

Another point to make would also be about the differences of dynamic range from the 80's until now. This has more to do with limiting and/or compressing, and bass levels of the mix, but has a dramatic effect of the "power" aspect of the mix. A less dynamic mix has an attenuated ability to contain powerful transient elements (like snare drum hits), and is instead substituted with a more "thwacky" punchy sound.

In terms of the other elements of the mix, and with the focus being on Stratovarius' discography (from Nemesis and beyond), I'd say the guitar production has never been better (especially on Nemesis). It's incredibly articulate and powerful. One flaw of the more recent albums has been the with the synth and vocal levels. Sometimes the backing vocals are a bit too encroaching on the lead vocals, and sometimes the synth sounds have the same issue (I'm not talking about lead synth). Another flaw would be the lack of emphasis on the brighter elements of the mix. I prefer the cymbals to shine, but that's just me.

I ultimately prefer the drum production of the past, but there are cases where I prefer the rhythm guitar production of today. Merging both of those together would give the best of both worlds.

Just my thoughts on this topic. I didn't go into full detail, for brevity's sake. Also, take my analysis with a grain of salt. I have somewhat minimal hands-on mixing and audio engineering experience, I'm still practicing and learning, and a lot of what I said here is theoretical. While I was able to recreate a powerful reverberant snare sound in my own mixes (through dual miking the snare, high snare tunings, tons of reverb, some compression and multiband compression, and tons of EQ), it's not quite at the calibur of Jorg's snare sound during the golden era. I need to study more...

Empathica1928
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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by Empathica1928 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 3:14 pm

Zenith, that's a very insightful post. As someone with next to no knowledge of recording processes and terminology (like plate/gated reverb for example), despite all the years of being a music fan, that's a nice post to read. The drum sound is huge to me, and I can't describe why in much terminology like you can, but the sound of Jorg Michael's drumming on the late 90s Strato albums is my ideal sound for drums in power metal. Now if I recall correctly Tolkki once said he blended in sampled drums from some VST whose name I can't recall, to give Jorg's drums that much more punch, but I don't know how true that is. Regardless, that sound is my favorite, and I've noticed in recent years on power metal albums bands will either go for that direction or, as you said, the more gutteral and punchy sound of death metal drums. I can kind of hear that in places on Nemesis for example.

I hope the next album continues the trend of super fast traditional double bass drumming but also has that dance-able four-on-the-floor bass drumming the band's had since Rolf joined. I really enjoy the way he plays and how he sounds on those records.

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doc_holliday
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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by doc_holliday » Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:24 pm

NeverendingAbyss wrote: It's much more important now with 4k and 8k TVs.
8k's not going to be a thing any time soon. For games, it requires way too much horsepower. For the internet, it requires way too much bandwidth. For movies, most 4k bluray movies aren't even really 4k. And in any case, you have to sit at like 5cm from the screen to see a difference.

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Re: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands

Post by valo_666 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:37 pm

I knocked up against this one today https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fxbe5MynRI0 and it made me reaffirm all of this we're talking about... how they have turned THAT MUCH from powerful, rich and vibrant in into bland and lifeless sounding of their current https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQT292b8E88

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