The Finnish power metal kings Stratovarius returned with a new album titled Nemesis after a couple of years of absence and a lineup change, as we know drummer Jörg Michael left the band last year because of personal reasons and was replaced by Rolf Pilve.
Now, Nemesis is a more aggressive album than its predecessor Elysium, which in this case caused way more excitement when I listened to it the first time. The album opens with Abandon, a real epic and fast song, that you can tell have a different rhythm, this of course due to the drumming change. The song is just brutally amazing and full of energy, which in this case is what you expect from a Stratovarius song. Unbreakable, opens with a great keyboard and atmospheric line that just path the way to the greatest of this track, not heavy, not slow, just really balanced between fast riffs and melodic passages.
Stand My Ground, a really space theme song, a theme that defined Stratovarius power metal style. These song plays a lot with Timo Kotipelto‘s voice by using different kind of effects and distortions that make it sound really great. Halcyon Days, is an electronic blasting masterpiece, full of beautiful keyboard sequences, fast riffs, and furious drum beats. Fantasy, is a more classic Stratovarius song that reminded me of the Episode era, full with complex melodies and really catchy riffs, indeed and trip down memory lane to a glorious album.
Out Of The Fog, is an epic song with great background chants, and fast guitar riffs and solos, I love how Rolf totally fits the style of the band, is not that I don’t miss Jörg, but the kid really knows how to nail those drums. Castles In The Air, is a beautiful song, and one of my favorite songs on the album, really well created textures between guitar, voice and keyboards supported by a strong bass and drum lines. Dragons, now a song with a title like that must be really epic (on Strato’s style of course) the song opens with a great keyboard and guitar sound structure, and again the killer voice of Timo Kotipelto, that seems it gets better and better as time pass by. One Must Fall, is a more progressive song with a lot of ups and downs, really complex indeed, but enjoyable nonetheless.
If The Story is Over, A nice semi acoustic ballad with a great background orchestra, a relaxing and emotive song that shows the flexibility and talent of the shredders in the band. Finally Nemesis, the title track and closing song of the album, is just a guilty trip to the basic essence of the sound that Statovarius have crafted during their almost 30 years of existence (2014, will mark their 30th anniversary). With Nemesis, Stratovarius gets back into the game, and shows that even with the lineup changes that the band have gone through in the last decade their sound remains unique as their legacy expands with the time. A great album, that without doubt opens a new chapter in the band’s career. Now I wish I could listen to some of these songs live, so please Stratovarius do us a favor and tour North America once more.
03. Stand My Ground
04. Halcyon Days
06. Out Of The Fog
07. Castles In The Air
09. One Must Fall
10. If The Story Is Over
Genre: Power Metal
Record Label: earMUSIC