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Stratovarius - Unbreakable

Published January 09 2013

=Staff's pick

Falling Star
The Game Never Ends*
Why Are We Here

Genre Neoclassic/Power Metal
Timo Kotipelto
Tracks 5
Matias Kupiainen
Running time 23 Min.
Label Ear Music
Lauri Porra
Release 28 January 2013
Rolf Pilve
Country Finland
Jens Johansson
Producer See review
Similar artists ---

Additional personnel: Timo Tolkki (guitars on track 4-5), Jari Kainulainen (bass on track 4-5), Jörg Michael (drums on track 2-5). Produced by: Matias Kupiainen and Stratovarius (track 1-3), TimoTolkki (track 4-5).

This EP is released close to four weeks prior to the release of Stratovarius' new album Nemesis, coming February 22nd. So why release an EP with only one new track and four remastered ones? My best guess is probably to alert the fans that a new album will soon be out and show that they're still alive and kicking. Timo Tolkki's crazy actions on the internet aren't too common nowadays, so this band don't get so much and frequent attention as they did when he spoke free about all kinds of weird stuff in the years after his departure.

I wasn't that satisfied with the outcome of Stratovarius' two latest releases, without their former guitarist, songwriter and main man, but when listening to the new song Unbreakable, it exceeds all my expectations. This is in my opinion one of their best songs in many years. It's kind of heavy in the verse with a steady drum beat and loud keyboards, but the riffs are somewhat lighter though. Nightwish choirs are present in the bridges where the riffs are way heavier as well and I can't recall them using these choirs this frequent before. Kotipelto's voice is still on top and the chorus is contagious and the more I listen to it, the more it rocks. When the final chorus picks up pace and fades at the end, I hold my breath to not get an erection.

What about the four remastered tracks then? First of all I want to say that I would have preferred a couple of non album tracks or some live recordings instead. Two songs from the latest releases Polaris and Elysium, where Falling Star is a definite filler and The Game Never Ends is a pretty good speedier song. The immensely loud keyboards in fast track Freedom makes me happy and I have also always dug that song as a whole. Why Are We Here was released in the early 2000's on the b-side collection Intermission and probably as a bonus track somewhere, and that song is decent at best.

With only one new track it's hard to rate this EP. One killer song, but four remastered versions of their past work feels lame, so I stay at a decent 5 chalices. Now I just pray that the new song isn't a lucky shot on their forthcoming album, as this teaser has raised the bar over the top and my expectations are like five steps higher than they were a month ago.

See also review of: Eternal , Nemesis Days , Nemesis , Under Flaming Winter Skies: Live In Tampere , Elysium , Stratovarius , Elements Pt.2 , Elements Pt.1








5 chalices of 10 - Tobbe

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