Stratovarius Eternal on LP
Finnish (and in part Swedish) band Stratovarius is universally known for having re-defined the metal genre by combining the tradition of classic and symphonic forms, with nods to bands like Rainbow and early Helloween. Stratovarius has in turn brought it to the extreme with a fast, distinctive sound, that has been vastly influential.
Led by Timo Kotipelto (vocals) and Jens Johansson (keyboards), who have been the two key ingredients of all the big Stratovarius albums in the last 31 years, the band has survived a publicly debated acrimonious split, and four albums later with a superior line up they are one of the most influential metal bands in the world and stronger than ever.
The eagerly-awaited new album Eternal is a granitic piece of work in their best traditional way. If the previous studio work Nemesis was occasionally flirting with pop choruses and experimental sounds, Eternal is a long ride through the purest symphonic speed metal. It's the fourth album with the extraordinary Matias Kupiainen as producer, songwriter and guitar player, now an established force of nature for the band.
The reason for the brilliancy of this album is the virtuoso contrast of Jens Johansson’s unpredictable keyboard solos (possibly one of the best keyboard players in the history of metal music) and Matias‘ guitar solos which together frame the melodic vocals of Timo Kotipelto. This carriage and pair has to be second to no one in metal. All in all, Eternal is a masterpiece of majestic virtuoso metal: epic, fast and powerful!