Released December 7th 2010 on Ear/Edel Music
Finn power metal leaders Stratovarius are certainly on a bit of a roll, after the return to form “Polaris” they have wasted little time in putting together the follow up, the forthcoming “Elysium”. As a taster of the new album is this mini-album “Darkest Hours”; a five track release with two cuts taken from the forthcoming album in “Darkest Hours” and “Infernal Maze”. These are backed with a demo version of the title track and live renditions of “Against The Wind” and the Stratovarius classic “Black Diamond”.
Safe to say if you like the band then you will like this. The taster of new material has all the hallmarks of the classic Stratovarius sound i.e. big riffs, soaring vocals and majestic keyboards all married to a thunderous rhythm section, the band are certainly not missing Timo Tolkki in the slightest. The live renditions are also worthy additions boasting strong live productions and rejuvenated performances from all involved.
Overall, a nice taster of things to come – great artwork too.
Rating – 88%