STRATOVARIUS - Destiny (Reissue)
March 11, 2017, a year ago
Finnish power metal masters Stratovarius have begun an album reissue campaign beginning with 1998’s Destiny (a little curious that Visions wasn’t first up). The album features revamped artwork along with three bonus tracks that were available on the international versions and a tasty live show on the second disc.
What is there to say about Destiny that hasn’t already been said? It’s one of the pinnacles of European power metal with all the neoclassical shredding by guitarist Timo Tolkki, wailing vocals by Timo Kotipelto, and blazing keys by Jens Johansson. Leading off proceedings with the 10 minute title track is pretty bold, but it works because it is one of the best Strato songs in the fold. Someone made an awesome Lord Of The Rings video on YouTube with the song as the soundtrack and it’s incredibly epic.
earMUSIC did a great job with the linear notes presenting old band shots (check out Jens looking like Columbo with the long overcoat!), Kotipelto and Jens reminiscing about the album, lyrics for not just the album, but also for the songs featured on the live set and also for the Scorpions’ cover “Blackout” (a blistering, shredding cover at that!). The one very interesting tidbit that stuck out was Jens remarking about their music saying, “Back then, it felt like we were some kind of pirates operating in a sea of nothingness as this kind of metal music was totally dead back then.”
The live show takes place in Finland from October ’99 and showcases a young band firing on all cylinders. Listen how Kotipelto’s voice soars effortlessly with the metal warriors playing fast, fast, and faster with on “Black Diamond”, “S.O.S.”, and “Speed Of Light”. There is no let up until the finale with the melancholic ballad “Forever”. This concert is a nice little piece of time. Fun listen!
Destiny is a semblance of shredding, melodic, power metal bookended by the epics like the title track and “Anthem Of The World” with a splice of sad, yearning ballads (“4000 Rainy Nights”, “Venus In The Morning”) and the live for the moment, “happy” sounding stuff (“No Turning Back”, Rebel”). If you’re not on board the Strato-train yet, now is the time!