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Stratovarius | Elements Pt 1 | review | metal | Lollipop


Elements Pt. 1 (Nuclear Blast)
by Scott Hefflon

I always think of Stratovarious (and the top end of the power/classic heavy metal genre) as the Top Gun of metal. Like Young Guns music, it's pretty late '80s-sounding, with melodic keyboards and driving beats (although admittedly, the cheesy soundtracks didn't have the double bass thunder these bands use to show they still got a pair after prancing through a ballet, a ballad, and a few mall-strutting rockers), and, like, the "you've got the right" rebel anthemry which always strikes me as a little over-simplified. But I'm a total sucker for the "Fly Eagle Free" stuff - like Sonata Arctica, one of my faves, and one I blast in the car on long, highway-tearing late-night runs. Goofy lyrics about finding keys and discovering cosmic secrets and shit are par for the course, but most music has shit lyrics anyway, so if you can stifle a chuckle, you can shake your head in wonder at the fretboard wizardry of the classical-based "Stratofortress" and the finger-snapping single "Eagleheart" and a couple more mid-tempo fist-pounders. I personally prefer muscle car Swedish melodic death metal, or better yet, Finland's Children of Bodom's mix of snakespit vocals (wow, best metal voice since Strapping Devin) and mind-bending guitar riffs, fills, and soloing, but if you can't handle the thrashy vocals and prefer the kinda faggy clear-as-a-(tinker)bell vocals presented here, well, power metal doesn't get much better than Stratovarious.
(2323 W. El Segundo Blvd. Hawthorne, CA 90250)


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