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Revolution Renaissance: New Era

What a relief: Revolution Renaissance proves Timo Tolkki didn't completely lose the plot after his disturbingly personal second album Hymn To Life back in 2002. Instead, for his latest musical project, Tolkki found a pair of stellar, well-established vocalists (plus an up-and-comer), grabbed the best musical elements of his old band (Stratovarius) and merged them with the strengths of the vocalists' past or present bands (Edguy, Helloween and Thunderstone), and came up with New Era. Makes sense, considering he says Revolution Renaissance is a logical progression of the Stratovarius legacy.

Tobias Sammet, Michael Kiske and Pasi Rantanen help Tolkki find his groove with a series of mostly upbeat melodic hard-rock and heavy-metal songs that apparently were originally intended for his old band. Among the highlights are the prog-metal leaning "Eden Is Burning" (the album's second-longest song at 5 minutes, 16 seconds); the brooding and controversial "Born Upon the Cross," which sounds like it could be a Dio or Heaven and Hell track; and the ballad "Keep the Flame Alive," a bound-to-be movie theme song that would work wonders in a live setting.

Which brings up the question of taking Revolution Renaissance on the road. Now that Tolkki has officially waived and transferred rights to the Stratovarius name to three other members who knows if they will record anything under it? the guitarist has some free time to develop a live band. It probably won't include Sammet, Kiske and Rantanen, but as long as Tolkki continues to play and not sing, it should still be good.

Track Listing:
1) Heroes
2) I Did It My Way
3) We Are Magic
4) Angel
5) Eden Is Burning
6) Glorious and Divine
7) Born Upon the Cross
8) Last Night on Earth
9) Revolution Renaissance

Added: September 26th 2008
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Blistering Records
Hits: 4629
Language: english

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