|Revolution Renaisance New Era||Frontiers Records|
Revolution Renaissance is the oddly names new project for Stratovarius founder and controller Timo Tolkki. Tolkki has had an interesting few years – much of it in turmoil – but this is the new direction for him, coming out of writing session for what was to be a new Stratovarius album.|
Featured vocalists on the new album include Tobias Sammet (Edguy), Michael Kiske (Helloween & Place Vendome) and Pasi Rantanen (Thunderstone).
This is an interesting album and I think fans of melodic metal or European hard rock will find quite a lot to like here.
To me this material seems more accessible than some of the Stratovarius material – certainly it is more straight forward and a little more instant.
For me, the best part of this album is singer Michael Kiske. After copping some criticism for his past 2 solo releases, Kiske bounces back here with a controlled and perfectly executed performance on 5 tracks.
His highlights include the European rocker I Did It My Way which features a sharp vocal that appeals in so many ways; the ballad Angel, which features a trademark soaring vocal and is well placed within the album.
Then there is Keep The Flame Alive – a Celtic ballad of sorts that features a very sultry an controlled vocal, followed by Last Night On Earth which is a straight ahead hard rocker with a strong hook and some tasteful guitar soloing.
Also appearing Tobias Sammet who rips through the uptempo metallers Heroes and Glorious And Divine.
Pasi Rantanen has an interesting raspy timbre that I like a lot and reminds me of Tony Martin (Black Sabbath). We Are Magic is a catchy uptempo hard rocker and Born Upon The Cross is almost perfect Sabbath material.
10/07/08: SoMuchMusicSoLittleTime - firstname.lastname@example.org
05/07/08: Hotzi - email@example.com
I'll start by saying that my system for scoring lends itself to being a little higher than what melodicrock.com would probably show. I believe Andrew's number is on par in that context.
I'm a Kiske fan from Place Vendome and I like what he did with Tobias Sammet's Avantasia this year (where is that review, Andrew?). I agree that he is the standout on this album, but this Pasi Rantanen is a real darkhorse and his performance is very respectable. I did not warm to him immediately, but upon repeated listens, he has some power. "Eden Is Burning" is a lock for my top 50 songs of 2008. He crushes it. "We Are Magic" is also quite good.
"I Did It My Way" is the knockout track from Kiske. Riff, verse, chorus -- hook, hook, hook in monster style. "Angel" is a big ballad that shows off Kiske's vocals but my mind tends to wander a bit.
"Last Night On Earth" and "Revolution Renaissance" provide more quality from Kiske. Timo Tolkki has done some nice work here.
A little disappointed in the Sammet songs. "Heroes" is OK but his voice seems a little low in the mix compared to other tracks. "Glorious and Divine" has a decent melody but the lyrics are so ridiculous that I can't even listen to it. It just doesn't seem to fit on the album.
Production is overall solid with the drums having a nice delivery to these ears. There is diversity and plenty here to like with a few "must have" songs -- recommended.
Very good Album !!!!!!!!!!
05/07/08: Hotzi - firstname.lastname@example.org