Posts Tagged “Elysium”

German modern power metal act Heavatar, the new project from Van Canto mastermind Stefan Schmidt, is set to release the debut LP “Opus I – All My Kingdoms” on February 22, 2013 through Napalm Records.

With Heavatar, Schmidt exchanges the “A Cappella” style, manning the rhythm guitar as well as lead vocals. Supporting him is Ex-Stratovarius drummer Jörg Michael,  and Ex-Fading Starlight guitarist Sebastian Scharf.

According to the press release: “[e]ach song borrows – some more, some less – a motif from classical composers – ranging from Bach to Paganini and Beethoven. The epic songs are filled with mighty choirs, which are performed by members of the “Blind Guarding” choir-team and of course, Stefan’s friends in Van Canto. The artwork was created by the renowned fantasy artist Kerem Beyit. ‘All My Kingdoms’ is a celebration for Power Metal fans, who love catchy refrains, epic choirs, classic tunes, heavy riffs and thundering double-bass. The debut will also take supports of different genres by storm – to the Metal!”

The track listing for “Opus I – All My Kingdoms” is:

1. Replica
2. Abracadabra
3. All My Kingdoms
4. Elysium At Dawn
5. Long Way Home
6. Born to Fly
7. Luna! Luna!
8. The Look Above
9. To the Metal

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Orlando, Flordia’s Ceruleus has posted a new song online from the band’s upcoming album. Check out the song “Elysium” in the bandcamp player available below. For more details on Ceruleus, head over to the band’s Facebook profile here. You can also listen to the band’s single from earlier this year, titled “The Ark,” at this location.

Elysium (Single) by Ceruleus

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Stratovarius’ second album since the departure of last “founder” Timo Tolkki, Elysium represents a creative spirit that shows they can function just fine without Madman Tolkki. Elysium is a comeback of sorts, not because the band has shifted away dramatically since the departure of Tolkki, but because it features track after track of music that isn’t mediocre. Now, I’m sure that Stratovarius fans will be in up in arms over this statement, but Stratovarius has been known to release very mediocre albums mainly due to a lack of originality, or just creative songwriting within their framed style. Elysium represents a return to what made Stratovarius an innovator within the power metal genre, with grandiose solos and melodies, a soaring, epic vocal performance by Timo Kotipelto, and a particularly powerful opus  known as “Elysium.”

In particular, the opening two songs “Darkest Hours” and “Under Flaming Skies” are really stand out songs, the first with some really great melodies, and the second with some inclusion of groove which is completely unexpected and a welcome follow up to “Darkest Hours.” “Infernal Maze” is a song that is a combination of Kamelot’s sultry vocal style as a lead in, which delivers us to a pleasant, Stratovarious style speedy neo-classical number that doesn’t drag, or sound like a stagnant carbon copy of any number of the band’s other tunes.

“Elysium” is the centerpiece of the album, and the ultimate aural description of the epic song, as well as the power metal motif. A strong sense of atmosphere, instrumentation, and high melody with over arching crescendos and diminuendos create a real treat for those metal fans that look for songs that have no problem filling 18 minutes. I wouldn’t say that “Elysium” marks a new level for the epic metal song, as tunes like Iced Earth’s “Dante’s Inferno” stand firmly atop the mountain. The only thing that holds “Elysium”  back is it’s lack of aggression. Now, a lack of aggression in any Stratovarius album is not uncommon, but when you create an 18 minute metal song, you need to have balance, and when the entirety of your song tends to be on the more lighter side, it will never reach the levels of greatness that are often expected of songs with such length.

In the end, those who are not fans of power metal, Stratovarius in particular, will not find much value in Elysium. Those who will be most intrigued by this album will be those fans of the band who have become a bit disillusioned over the years because of lackluster albums. I think many old fans will become pleasantly surprised by Elysium, and it’s representation of a new found vigor for it’s creator. Highly recommended to any fan of the genre.


Similar Artists: Yngwie Malmsteen, Helloween, Cellador, Kamelot, At Vance

1.    Darkest Hours
2.    Under Flaming Skies
3.    Infernal Maze
4.    Fairness Justified
5.    The Game Never Ends
6.    Lifetime In A Moment
7.    Move The Mountain
8.    Event Horizon
9.    Elysium

Timo Kotipelto – Vocals
Matias Kupiainen – Guitars
Jens Johansson – Keyboards
Lauri Porra – Bass
Jörg Michael – Drums

Armoury Records

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“Elysium”, the thirteenth full-length studio album from Finnish melodic metallers STRATOVARIUS, has entered the official chart in the band’s home country at position No.

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2011 Armoury Records
Ray Van Horn, Jr.

There has been so much prog metal whirled through our ears it’s become less of a spellbinding resonance and more of a glut. That being said, unless you’re a junkie of the Bachian Metal Overdrive that is prog metal, it’s easy for some fabulous albums get lost in the electric fugue.

Helloween, Gamma Ray, Yngwie Malmsteen, Savatage and of course Dream Theater have, over the years, innovated the archetype that is prog metal. Sling on Helloween’s The Dark Ride and Better Than Raw, you’ll have the blueprints issued for all that you’ve heard in the prog realm since their issue. A heaping handful of standout prog metallers such as Angra, Mago de Oz, Hammerfall, Kamelot, Iced Earth, Cellador, Dol Ammad, Blind Guardian, Sentenced, Nevermore and Stratovarius have at least kept the faith alive.

While Stratovarius are two steps ahead of their competition having officially started in the early eighties before delivering their 1989 debut album Fright Night, the only thing getting in the way of their own progress (pun intended) has been lineup changes and a failure to capitalize on the strengths of Dreamscape, Fourth Dimension, Visions and Infinite.

Always the quintessential professionals, Stratovarius has unfortunately settled instead of pushed forward. Overused conscripts of metal neoclassicism have kept Stratovarius from elevating to the band they should be at this point. Their self-titled album from 2005 is solid but too cautious for its place in Stratovarius’ career. 2009’s Polaris stepped up the songwriting a notch, however, Polaris’ weakness is its song placement; the album’s energy and vitality is expended in the first half, then put to pasture for a prolonged sequence of demure songs, thus creating an unbalanced effort.

For 2011, Stratovarius gets it right with Elysium, a well-structured album chocked full of melody, power and a steady swap of mid-tempo and quick-step rhythms. The brisk “Event Horizon” and “Infernal Maze” are countered by quasi-ballads such as “Move the Mountain” and “Fairness Justified,” but it’s done the way it should be. Elysium is so even-flowed it allows Stratovarius to mastermind a beautifully-plotted 18-minute finale.

Sure, you’re going to get plenty of whiz-bang guitar and keyboard solos courtesy of Matias Kupianinen and the legendary Jens Johansson, but this time on Elysium, they don’t come at a cost. Leaner distributions make for much better songs. Elysium is focused upon harmony instead of grandiosity, albeit if you want to hear a grandiose guitar solo, hold your breath for Kupianinen’s gorgeous flair on “Infernal Maze.” His note scales catapult.

Simply exquisite, as are the choral supplements Stratovarius engineers on Elysium better than most. While there is still an element of the familiar to much of the album (“The Game Never Ends” has been written in theory by everyone from Helloween to Iron Fire), Stratovarius wisely refines and lets their music flex instead of showboat. “Lifetime in a Moment” may clock in past the six-minute mark, but it has a huge, swaying hook helmed by Lauri Porra’s marching bass lines and it’s textured by a gallant show of gusty synths, anticipatory guitar plucks, seductive vocals and a snap-tight bridge-chorus sequence designed to get those fists a-pumping.

Timo Kotipelto is money as usual, but it seems like he’s more in the pocket by benefit of Stratovarius’ tempered-yet-extended writing. While many might wish there were more thrashers like “Event Horizon,” the sacrifice is well-worth it. This is a more memorable listening experience as a result of the group’s discipline. In fact, “Event Horizon” becomes one of Stratovarius’ more palatable speed demons because it’s the Lone Wolf McThrash. Johansson and Kupianinen geek out all over “Event Horizon,” and the decision to place it towards the end of Elysium is admirably patient. Sometimes it’s nicer to hold the goodies until after the after main course.

Conjuring up an intelligent metal epic with “Elysium” that grinds, whispers and soars like nebulae in spots, Kotipelto is majestic (and in a dishy segue, vocally vulnerable) in front of his mates, while he’s romantic and commanding on everything played beforehand.

Elysium conveys a much-used earth crisis theme with an upbeat idealism indicative of the title. For Stratovarius’ purposes, they’ve reached their own Elysium Fields by bringing some much-needed equanamity and sustenance to a subgenre that’s just about reached a dead end.

Rating: ****

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An e-card for “Elysium”, the thirteenth full-length studio album from Finnish melodic metallers STRATOVARIUS, can be accessed at this location.

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STRATOVARIUS has just released “Under Flaming Skies,” another track from their forthcoming new album. Produced by guitarist Matias Kupiainen, Elysium, will be hitting stores on January 18th via Armoury Records. The cover art for the record was created by Gyula Havancsák who has also worked with the likes of Annihilator and Destruction. “Under Flaming Skies” finds the Finnish metal masters firing on all cylinders with a particularly impassioned performance from vocalist Timo Kotipelto, who wrote the track along with Kupiainen.

Formed in 1984, Stratovarius has sold over 2.5 million albums throughout their career so far. Elysium will be the quintet’s 13th studio album. In November of 2010, the band announced that doctors had found a cancer in drummer Jörg Michael’s thyroid. After a successful surgery and some post-op treatment, Michael released a statement in late December letting his fans know that his health is rapidly improving. The drummer stated, “The surgery was done about 6 weeks ago and the first therapy is done as well. All looks good so far and as Jens (Johansson, keyboards) told me before: “Do not worry Jörg, nothing survives in your body after all what you did to it!”

Stratovarius 2010 5895 800px STRATOVARIUS: New Track From Forthcoming Album Released

Elysium will be out 1/18 via Armoury Records and is available for pre-order

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STRATOVARIUS: New Track From Forthcoming Album Released – posted on 2011-01-10 19:18:45

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Finnish melodic metallers STRATOVARIUS will release their thirteenth full-length studio album, “Elysium”, in Asia on January 12, 2011 via JVC and in the rest of the world on January 14, 2011 through earMUSIC/Edel.

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Finnish melodic metallers STRATOVARIUS will release their thirteenth full-length studio album, “Elysium”, in Asia on January 12, 2011 via JVC and in the rest of the world on January 14, 2011 through earMUSIC/Edel.

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Finnish melodic metallers STRATOVARIUS are putting the finishing touches on their thirteenth full-length studio album, “Elysium”, at 5-by-5 studios in Pitäjänmäki, Helsinki, Finland.

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