Review | Stratovarius – Survive
Seven years after their last album `Eternal’, Stratovarius show that they are still very relevant and are back furiously with their new work `Survive’.
Stratovarius, the Scandinavian flagship of symphonic metal and one of the most famous bands in their own right, managed to establish themselves in the metal scene and have influenced many bands around the world since then. The band is not only musically up to date – the environment and the future of mankind have always been an important and recurring theme in the songs of Stratovarius. For this reason, the title of the new album `Survive’ and the accompanying artwork is not surprisingly – especially in view of the current global situation.
A GREAT UP-BEAT FEEL
Tracks like ,,Demand’’ and ,,Broken’’ are catchy, with massive melodic hooks all through. These tracks really have Timo Kotipelto’s vocals on display. Guitarist Matias Kupiainen and Bassist Lauri Porra shine on ,,Broken’’ with great riffing, deep pounding bass and amazing well-executed leads. ,,Firefly’’ feels more radio-friendly with a great up-beat feel and great instrumentation with a chorus that stucks in your head and that replays over and over again. There are some great guitar solos that aren’t crazy fast, but are tasteful and fit perfectly with the feel of the song.
,,We Are Not Alone’’ and ,,Frozen In Time’’ are definitely two of my favorite tracks from this album. With massive and epic soundscapes created by the orchestration, good riffs and bass and absolutely killer double bass on the drums, it would be impossible to hear these bombastic tracks without getting amped up. Porra truly shines on ,,We Are Not Alone’’ with an absolutely killer bass line.
MODERN POWER METAL
All in all `Survive’ has become a modern Power Metal album, with which Stratovarius give all genre disciples exactly what they know and love. Strong riffs, melodies and despite the high-gloss production, a clearly audible joy of playing ensure that the Finns can keep their audience engaged from start to finish.
Having said that, it must also be mentioned that this album is not quite as compelling as the style-defining records of their catalogue. Criticism can be leveled at the fact that the material on `Survive’ suffers from a certain uniformity: frontman Kotipelto‘s vocal lines differ from song to song at best in nuances. If it weren’t for Stratovarius on the cover, `Survive’ might be ‘just’ another power metal album from Finland. But absolutely a good one.
Release date: 21 September 2022