Intermission
STRATOVARIUS

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STRATOVARIUS - Intermission cover
3.27 | 3 ratings | 2 reviews
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Boxset / Compilation · 2001

Filed under Power Metal

Tracklist

1. Will My Soul Ever Rest In Peace? (4:56)
2. Falling Into Fantasy (5:13)
3. The Curtains Are Falling (4:25)
4. Requiem (2:54)
5. Bloodstone (3:54)
6. Kill The King (4:36)
7. I Surrender (live) (3:47)
8. Keep The Flame (2:47)
9. Why Are We Here? (4:43)
10. What Can I Say (5:12)
11. Dream With Me (5:13)
12. When The Night Meets The Day (5:26)
13. It's A Mystery (4:04)
14. Cold Winter Nights (5:14)
15. Hunting High And Low (live) (4:58)

Total Time: 67:27

Bonus disc:
1. Freedom [demo] (5:10)
2. Neon Light Child [demo] (4:33)

Total Time: 9:43

Line-up/Musicians

- Timo Kotipelto / vocals
- Timo Tolkki / guitars and vocals
- Jari Kainulainen / bass
- Jens Johansson / keyboards
- Jörg Michael / drums

About this release

Release date: June 26, 2001
Label: Nuclear Blast

B-sides and bonus tracks collection.
Also released as limited 2 CD longform digipack containing a bonus CD

A version also exists with a 16th bonus track.
16. Blackout (Scorpions cover) (4:08)

Thanks to progshine for the updates

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STRATOVARIUS INTERMISSION reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

Kingcrimsonprog
Intermission is a mish-mash compilation album by the Finnish Power Metal band Stratovarius from 2001. It was released as a stopgap between their commercially successful Infinite album from 2000 and their ambitious and slightly Prog Metal double album series Elements Parts 1 & 2 from 2003.

Its got linear notes from the band about the release and a very well designed cover art referencing previous albums (kind of like Pink Floyd’s Echos compilation does).

The album opens up with four brand new songs, first of which is the slightly power ballad style ‘Will My Soul Ever Rest In Peace?’ Its nice solid melodic Hard Rock stuff. Next comes ‘Falling Into Fantasy’ which starts off with a shimmering Empire-era Queensryche style vibe. Think ‘Della Brown.’ It sounds like the sort of stuff the band were doing on the popular Destiny album. Speaking of Queensryche the chorus is quite reminiscent of ‘Jet City Woman’ too actually. The song livens up further with a nice energetic guitar solo and a fun drum pattern underneath with a very nice tom fill at the end of the solo. At the start you thought it was just another ballad (Statovarius do a lot of ’em) but really it turned out to be one of the best songs they do in this particular direction, if a little derivative of Degarmo and company (for me that’s a good thing really).

That’s followed up by the traditionally power metal track ‘The Curtains Are Falling,’ a speedy double-kicks-a-flailin’ headbanger with a catchy chorus and memorable neoclassical keyboards. Its got a lot of energy and probably would have been the smarter choice to open the album with, I think. Probably would’ve worked better going from most to least energetic, but hey, its sequenced how its sequenced folks, I don’t make the rules.

Finally there’s a track called ‘Requiem’ which is essentially just a typical instrumental intro or outro. The sort thing most people will skip after the first few listens. A slow, keyboard driven atmospheric build up with no Heavy Metal payoff.

That’s it for the brand new specially written for this songs. The rest are gathered from mixed sources during their classic period. There’s two demos ‘Neon Light Child’ and ‘Freedom’ both of which are OK but forgettable (just the same as the final versions but with less polished production really). Then two live tracks, ‘Hunting High & Low’ (their very fun hit single) and ‘I Surrender’ (which is actually a Rainbow cover, and very fun, if a bit out of place), which are nice but kind of pointless on a compilation as opposed to a proper full-length live album. There’s two studio cover songs; ‘Bloodstone’ originally by Judas Priest (which they nail) and ‘Kill The King’ originally by Rainbow again (which has been done better by other bands, but its decent if you aren’t over-familiar with it).

The majority of the rest is all the bonus tracks from deluxe editions of the last few albums etc. ‘Keep The Flame’ is a very somber and emotional piano ballad. ‘Dream With Me’ is a power ballad that gets very jaunty towards the end when the solo kicks in. Then there’s another power ballad called ‘What Can I Say?’ which is slightly similar to track one, but with a bit more bite to it. OK yes, sensing a theme here? There are a lot of ballads on here. Its not all ballads though…

‘Its A Mystery’ is a very strong more commercial Power Metal tune in the vein of ‘Hunting High & Low’ which sounds like it would’ve fit perfectly on Infinite and probably would’ve made a great single if they’d released it that way. Its one of the best songs on this compilation. ‘Why Are We Here?’ the bonus track from Infinite is similarly just another really strong track from them in their commercial direction, and also baffling that it wasn’t a big single either. ‘Cold Winter Nights’ is typical perfect up-tempo Stratovarius, with that sort of Judas Priest’s Electric Eye vibe only with more keyboards and melody. Its also one of the best songs here and a nice surprise if it wasn’t on your version of Destiny already. ‘When The Night Turns To Day’ is a stomping mid pace track with a whiff of Queensryche’s Empire about it, just like the new track mentioned above. It would also have fit best on Destiny (even though it was initially from as far back as Episode, if you can believe that).

As you can imagine, Intermission is just a jumble of odds and ends with no particular theme or flow or consistency. Its not a must-have release or anything. Hey, if you like ’em doing ballads and covers you’re quids-in. If you want ’em doing more of a Speed Metal thing there’s not so much of that on here though, so maybe don’t start here if you are new, pick up one of the records in their glory run from Episode to Elements Part 2 instead.

If you like the band already though, and just want a cheap, easy and quick way to get the bonus tracks and b-sides in one place then this is great for that purpose, and hey there’s four solid new songs too to flesh it out. Nothing life changing, but worth a look if you’ve ran out of other Stratovarius products to check out from this era.
UMUR
"Intermission" is a compilation album by Finnish power metal act Stratovarius. The album was released in June 2001 though Nuclear Blast Records. The liner notes in the booklet explains that "Intermission" is meant as a way to fill the gap between albums as the members of Stratovarius at this point needed a longer break from band activities to refill the batteries. After having released four consecutive successful albums in "Episode (1996)", "Visions (1997)", "Destiny (1998)" and "Infinite (2000)" and having toured almost constantly in support of those albums, the members of the band were burned out and needed a break and who can blame them? "Intermission" features four new tracks, a couple of cover tracks, a couple of live tracks and a lot of B-sides and tracks that have only previously appeared as bonus tracks on various limited editions of the above mentioned studio albums. So this is not a best-of compilation but rather a compilation of rarities.

While most of the material on "Intermission" are what I´d catagorize as "typical" B-side material we´re still talking Stratovarius in their prime, which means that even their leftover tracks are of pretty high quality. High level musicianship, professional songwriting and professional sound production. Nothing could compete with Stratovarius in those days. "Intermission" was the end of the most successful and musically consistent era of the band´s history though and trouble lay ahead. While "Intermission" may not be the most interesting entrance to Stratovarius music, and as most rarities compilations probably speaks most to the hardcore fans, it´s still a quality product deserving a 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating.

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