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Stratovarius: Nemesis

Nemesis is the first Stratovarius album with new drummer Rolf Pilve after the departure of precision powerhouse Jorg Michael. Jorg had been a member for a considerable time performing on so many releases including their classic albums Episode, Visions and Destiny. I am happy to report that his replacement is more than up to the task as Rolf impresses from the start on "Abandon" where his effective playing truly adds to appeal of this song. Whether it's a double kick speedster like "Halcyon Days" or the mid paced number "Fantasy" Rolf shows that he has it covered.

This latest incarnation of Stratovarius is so very impressive, I love the heaviness and passion shown on this new album, Stratovarius have created one of their best ever releases. The line-up changes have brought back the kind of top quality songs that this band used to regularly deliver. I'm not blowing off the last two albums as I got my fair share of enjoyment from both Polaris and Elysium it's just that Nemesis is something else.

It would be interesting to go back and listen to some of those earlier albums which I haven't done in some time to compare with Nemesis, though this has a more modern style. While it's still very much Stratovarius the band does has a different vibe, Stratovarius have clearly moved on.

Vocalist Timo Kotipelto sounds great as do the backing vocals which are very well done such on the choruses of "Dragons" a pumping metal tune and the exciting closer "Nemesis". Guitarist Matias Kupiainen really shines alongside his band mates; he is one talented musician, and has turned out to be a great replacement for Timo Tolkki. To keyboardist Jens Johansson, and well, the guy is a legend and a vital part of that Stratovarius sound, and still performing great blistering solos like those on the title track "Nemesis" and "Out Of The Fog" which just slay. Jens and Matias combine so well on Nemesis I can't wait to hear what they come up with next time.

I thought the newest Stratovarius would be impressive but this is on another level and I feel so fortunate to be given the opportunity to review Nemesis. Every song on Nemesis can hold its own once the exhilarating prompt metal of "Abandon" and that wonderful chorus cuts in Stratovarius have you spellbound, complemented by cracking solos from Jens and Matias there is no going back. With a very cool atmospheric introduction Stratovarius impress with "Halcyon Days" and totally mix it up for "Out Of The Fog", while If The Story Is Over" is the only semi lightweight song, as Nemesis is dominated by Stratovarius's commanding style of multi paced power metal.

Stratovarius have far exceeded the listening experience that I was expecting to get from Nemesis. In 2012 five star albums were a rare find, but this year is shaping up to be something else thanks to releases like the much anticipated Nemesis. I'm so glad to hear Stratovaruius sounding this truly amazing in 2013. Three new studio albums have been released since the departure of Timo Tolkki, and of those releases I have to say Nemesis is easily the best.

Track list:
1. Abandon
2. Unbreakable
3. Stand My Ground
4. Halcyon Days
5. Fantasy
6. Out Of The Fog
7. Castles In The Air
8. Dragons
9. One Must Fall
10. If The Story Is Over
11. Nemesis

Added: February 2nd 2013
Reviewer: Scott Jessup
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 4164
Language: english

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