5/7/2007 - Review by: Eric Compton
Kotipelto - Serenity - 2007 - Candlelight Records
I think this album has more of a classic metal feel than the albums prior to. I can hear bits and pieces of Rainbow, Deep Purple, Queensryche, and the progressive elements of Kotipelto's main band Stratovarius. His voice is brilliant here, firing on all cylinders through the faster sides while still soothing and smooth during his progressive moments. Tracks like "City Of Mysteries" and "Mr. Know-It-All" are nods to classic metal days, traditional cuts that ring with the glorious sounds of Rainbow and Saxon while laying down crisp leads and flowing keyboards. The album has a good hard rock vibe to it as well, with listens to "Sleep Well" and "Serenity" both braced with driving rhythm and choppy licks. Timo still stays true to his Stratovarius sound, weighing in with band-like numbers "Once Upon A Time" and "Angels Will Cry". I could have done without the sappy ballad "After The Rain", but fans of Kotipelto understand that those numbers will appear. The album ends with stirring epic "Last Defender", a gallop through light and dark with slower passages hitting bombastic portions and speeding up to power metal frenzies, all neatly embraced with the progressive keyboard arrangements. Guitarist Wainola is a madman, hitting huge leads throughout, highlighted by roaring fretwork on "Sleep Well", the band's first single I believe.
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