Setting the sceneStratovarius were one of the pioneering bands in power mental yet they were also a band of incredible bad luck. Considering that Stratovarius have faced internal disputes, were plagued with record label catastrophes, legal battles and emotional traumas its a miracle the band still stands.
There is no hiding that the current line up is completely different to that of the first two albums, but some how despite seemingly endless changes to their line up Stratovarius have created consistently quality albums that are all recognizable. Their previous album Polaris was still very much a Stratovarius album but also heralded a change in the wind.
According to Timo Kolipelte; 'Polaris was the album that saved the band. Without it there would not be any Stratovarius. With "Elysium" we are showing the people that Stratovarius are back at the top of power metal!' Even with a new diplomatic system of organisation and a 'burst of creative energy' can Elysium really live up to the hype and re-crown Stratovarius?
I found when my Pre-ordered copy of the album arrived it was the special edition, which will certainly stand out in a CD collection as the box made from hollific shimmering metallic card. Also included are small post cars from each band member with their thoughts on the album that are great for any fan and a quality booklet. All the imagray is of the style seen in the album cover.
My first thoughts were of heart break, it was not at all what I was expecting and in fact I was very disapointed. Dispite this I placed it in my car CD player and after listening to it serveral times I began to understand that Eylsim is a great album. Eylsim offers variety of tracks with some ballad like tracks such as 'Fairness Justified' but also high pasted power metal tracks like 'The Game Never Ends'.
I think everyone will pick their own favourate track from this album, personally I love the first track Darkest Hours, its an uplifting power metal athem with classic Stratovarius stamped all over it. ;Move the Mountain' is notably moving.
Does the album live up to all the hype, is it one of the great metal albums of all time, no. Although Elysium is a good album and I would not discourage anyone from purchasing it, its not amazing. You get the feeling Stratovarius could do better with this album, although it has more depth than Polaris its not much of a stride forward.
4.0/5 - Elysium is a display of potensional opposed to a master piece, deffinatly take a listen but don't expect to have your mind blown.
Buy it herenyone cares to disagree, please comment away :-)