Toomio’s TOP100: 70. Stratovarius – Episode

Producer: Timo Tolkki
Recorded: 1995-1996
Published: 22.4.1996
Label: Noise

When Episode released, it has the biggest producing budget in Finland.

SINGLET
– Father Time
– Will The Sun Rise
– Speed of Light

“tick-tock-tick-tock-tick-tock…”

And this album starts so. This is among the firsts CDs I bought. I had heard Visionsalbum in my friends car, but it sold out, and I was therefore forced to buy this one.

Covers were dreamy and made by the real artist. Something for a teenager, who didn’t have any idea, where to go. It was easy to accept. Singing high and fast guitar playing was the measure of all musical skill. The singer was even from Ostrobothnia and there were foreigners with them too. It was a super band.

“The song-writing pen of Timo Tolkki was bright and all instruments sound stiff.”

While the album includes a lot of yearning for teenage, is not sound bad nowadays either. The song-writing pen of Timo Tolkki was bright and all instruments sound stiff. Although upcoming Visions was bigger success, I think this has better songs.

Timo Kotipelto didn’t sing only in the upper register, the tempo is not just 180+ and compositions have insights. Tolkki was a tolerable guitarist, Jörg Michael was Jörg Michael, and Jens Johansson’s genius on keyboards surely can never be denied.

The first two tracks selected fine, they are catchy and force to listen the rest songs, which needs more concentration. It’s a excellent power metal album. Not just shredding and turbo, but also the subtle nuances.

This should listen in June while rain whipping the window, sipping hot chocolate and playing computer.

THE BEST MOMENTS
Will The Sun RiseOne of the best direct power metal songs
Speed of LightOne of the best direct power metal songs 

NOT SO BRILLIANT
EternityI’ve always liked this song slightly dragging. Its location on the album is also absolutely false.

Live review: For the Imperium & Waltari @Virgin Oil, 27.3.2015

Rainy day in Helsinki. I got a surprise offer from drummer (Northern Discipline & Deviant Compound) to take a look For the Imperium’s gig in Virgin Oil. I took the offer, because the drummer is my very good friend.

Long travel and breezy pizza eaten we headed to Virgin Oil with mixed expectations. FTI’s gigs were always good, but what was to be expected now when the crew has been changed? The guitarist took off, new guitarist came and keyboardist has been included. The last two records have been qualified stuff, although I must say that this band works quite differently from the album after it has been seen live.

I hadn’t been in Virgin Oil Before, but the place looked pretty nice. The space is slightly bulky, so the sound is certainly challenging to get good. When we walked in, we noticed a couple of familiar characters, a bassist Jyri Helko and a drummer Tuomas Rauhala behind the merchandise desk. The band comes to the audience. It’s always a big plus.

We took place on the middle of the floor. However, we moved a little to the left, that we can see the drummer operation (= in gig with the drummer). The band started with a new material, and as always Hakim Hietikko took the audience well. Actually, no matter, what this man sing, it works. And his sweaty essence always adds credibility. Keyboards by Panu Rauhala clearly brought more air to compositions, and if  before there was a strong rhythm instrument-sound, now they lived smoothly with the rest of the band.

I had heard new Titans Fall-songs only from the teaser clips. So I did not have the new songs was not very strong bond. Still it was clear that the material is straighter than before. Tricks and hooks were at least as challenging as they used to, but they were rare. It’s hard to say whether it’s a shame or a great thing that the old Breathing Life In You get the audience to the best noise?

New guitarist Jonas Björkroth was still a little green fruit on stage, and the musicianship wasn’t enough replacing the humor that former guitarist brought. But let’s allow him time to learn. This lack became patched by solo sections of Rauhala bros. Especially the drummer taught to the public, what the dynamics are. Sakae’s set sparkled green so much, that if solo would be longer, there would two of the four Turtles have incarnated on stage. So, once again, the band played decent show!

My intention was to fly away after the FTI’s show, but next band piled up so quickly, that I decided to look at the first half of the Waltari.

The circus-looking band full of musicians on different ages climbed on stage. Kärtsy Hatakka sneaked behind a microphone. The man has always been somewhat amusing revelation, and he must know it pretty well, too.

Kärtsy with his nasal voice is still quite a good singer, and songs are pretty good too. Other band was a bit boring, but Kärtsy’s charisma tied also me. And, after all, The Stage is a fuckin’ song!

When I walked to the hotel, I saw one fight and one man peeing on the wall. Pasila showed its best. In any case, both of the bands is worth of live-experiencing.  But I’m not really sure either would be a warm-up band.