Kotipelto - Coldness
Timo Kotipelto - ex. singer of Stratovarius - is back with the follow up to his debut Waiting For The Dawn from 2001 which marked the beginning of his solo career. The first album was a solid release that did not reach all the way, but showed that he is a fully competent song writer. Backed up by prominent musicians such as Michael Romeo (Symphony X), Janne Wirman (Children Of Bodom, Warmen), Mirka Rantanen (Thunderstone/Tunnelvision/Warmen), Jari Kainulainen (Stratovarius), the instrumental part of the music is garantueed to be adaquate performed.
The musical style continues where the last album left us and feels like a logical and natural follow up, with the difference that the song writing has improved noticably. It feels and sounds a bit more worked through and mature. The album contains bits and pieces of everything in a varied mix. Moody tunes, heavy guitars, the fast paced and more power metal-ish tracks, some epic parts as well as from time to time straight rock parts. Stand out tracks are the opener Seeds of Sorrow and the follower Reasons, where the latter contain a great refrain in a more rock style and is my single pick from the whole album. Other songs to mention are the uptempo Can You Hear The Sound, as well as the heavy midtempo tunes like Around and Here We Are. All of the last mentioned are more or less equals and compliments to each other and provide a high and even level all over the album, instead of single peaks. The only track on the whole album that really does not stand the test is Journey Back, due to a bit too sleazy refrain with no special verse parts to mention.
I think it's a known fact for the followers of my reviews that I am far from a fan of Kotipeltos vocals - contrary to a big part of the rest of the metal scene - but I have to admit that he sings better than ever here. A bit more mature, self confident, not so overly high all the time and with more pondus than before. That is what I previously have missed from him, and when served like this I surrender. The guy can sing. About the production there is not much more to say than that the effort was produced by Timo Kotipelto himself and mixed by Mikko Karmila at Finnvox studios, so it is a clear and good soundpicture we are being served.
Drawing similarities to Stratovarius can not be avoided this time either, since Kotipeltos voice has been such a strong trademark to Stratovarius' sound during the second half of their career. The music is still more or less in the same vein, so fans of that genre can feel pretty safe about this release. Coldness Of My Mind, for example, could have been picked out of any of the Destiny or Visions releases by Stratovarius. but that is the only one that actually even come close. Overviewing this material, it is obvious that Kotipelto stands pretty tall on his own, and this is better than last years Stratovarius by far.