STRATOVARIUS-Enigma: Intermission 2
For a few decades Stratovarius was the most important rock band coming from Finnish soil. With their symphonic tinted and quite epic power metal style guitarist Timo Tolkki and his compatriots were quite successful in Europe and the Far East. But during the years there were changes in personnel, Tolkki went off the rails for a while and after a lot of problems with other band members like singer Timo Kotipelto and keyboardist Jens Johansson it came to a head resulting in Tolkki first dissolving the band and later on leaving the group (signing away all his rights to the name) that since then has been led by Johansson and Kotipelto. All very messy and it did cost Stratovarius a lot of fans and goodwill as well. The last years or so Stratovarius has had a steady line-up and had regular releases that repaired their damaged position and reputation. On this CD there are three new studio songs presented, four reasonably popular older tracks have been re-recorded and have been given an orchestral jacket and the other songs are rarities, some of them added to Japanese CD versions and now for the first time available in Europe or some of them being described as rarities. In total about 80 minutes of music. For a general fan of this style ‘Enigma: Intermission 2’ is without a doubt very interesting. ,,Burn Me Down’’, ,,Enigma’’ and ,,Oblivion’’ are all reasonably typical Stratovarius songs containing the typical elements like Kotipelto’s big vocal reach, juicy riffs and orchestral keys. The new versions of ,,Fantasy’’, ,,Shine In The Dark’’, ,,Unbreakable’’ and ,,Winter Skies’’ have a bit more flavour with the adding of the orchestra (although they have been scaled down a bit) while a ‘rare’ song like ,,Last Shore’’ is just a little jewel. So when we count everything together Stratovarius comes up with a sort of a compilation that has the trademarks of a new album. The band has clearly done their best to present some value for money with ‘Enigma’ Intermission 2’.