STRATOVARIUS

(FINLAND)

ENIGMA: INTERMISSION 2

(2018)
LABEL:

EAR MUSIC

GENRE:

MELODIC METAL

TAGS:
Compilation, High-pitched vocals, Symphonic, Technical
"Contrary to its first part of 2001, "Enigma: Intermission 2" proves to be much richer and more interesting and less incoherent."
LOLOCELTIC (29.10.2018)  
4/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s)
In 2001, Stratovarius had released an opus entitled "Intermission" which sounded more like a holdall than a real album, leaving most fans hungry. So when "Enigma - Intermission 2" arrived, it was a time for concern. The Finns haven't released anything for three years ("Eternal" - 2015) and the fear of a new collection of unpublished and rarities aimed at masking a lack of inspiration is in order. However, a first glance at the tracklist is not without whetting your appetite with unreleased tracks, bonuses from the latest albums with the new line-up that has always maintained a very high level of excellence for a decade, as well as four orchestral versions that seem to suit the quintet's music.

And let's just say it right away, if all is not indispensable, there is something here to satisfy the most demanding. 'Oblivion' had made its mark with its melancholy and graceful mid-tempo with a bewitching refrain. The other two new releases are more classic for Stratovarius with a melodic and energetic power metal and a fast and technical drums. But classic doesn't necessarily mean uninteresting, and the catchy choruses coupled with a high-flying interpretation allow these songs to deserve their place among the many high-quality tracks that the Finnish band has been offering since its creation. To note the presence of federative choruses on 'Burn Me Down', choruses which are found on several titles and always bring a beautiful surplus value to the compositions of the group.

Among all the rarities taken from the various collector's versions, Japanese, vinyl and others, we will of course find a whole series of titles on which the foot remains pressed on the gas pedal and on the double-pedal ('Second Sight', 'Fireborn', 'Giants', 'Castaway') but always benefiting from little embellishments justifying the interest of their presence. Among these titles, we will retain 'Hunter' with its keyboard loops, its dark atmosphere and its powerful chorus, as well as 'Kill It With Fire', a real baroque hurricane on which Jens Johansson plays with harpsichord sounds. Slow and majestic, 'Hallowed' and 'Last Shore' represent the most melancholy side of Stratovarius and exude a mixture of power and depth that is always very moving, especially when Kupiainen and Johansson play their luminous solos. Finally, 'Old Man And The Sea' surprises with its simple duet of vocals and acoustic guitar, all in delicacy and emotion. As for the four tracks offered in orchestral version, they prove how much the music of the Finnish legends is adapted to this format.

Contrary to its first part of 2001, this collection proves to be much richer and more interesting and less incoherent. It would have been a pity to miss almost all the titles proposed which confirm how talented and inspired the new band is. Now we can only hope for a new album of novelties that will confirm the flawless work that the quintet has been doing for about ten years now.
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. Enigma - 4:21
02. Hunter - 3:30
03. Hallowed - 5:53
04. Burn Me Down - 3:43
05. Last Shore - 5:33
06. Kill It With Fire - 4:52
07. Oblivion - 3:51
08. Second Sight - 4:26
09. Fireborn - 4:46
10. Giants - 5:28
11. Castaway - 4:41
12. Old Man And The Sea - 4:15
13. Fantasy (orchestral Version) - 4:24
14. Shine In The Dark (orchestral Version) - 4:27
15. Unbreakable (orchestral Version) - 4:45
16. Winter Skies (orchestral Version) - 6:00

LINEUP:
Jens Johansson: Claviers
Lauri Porra: Basse
Matias Kupiainen : Guitares
Rolf Pilve: Batterie
Timo Kotipelto: Chant
   
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