STRATOVARIUS — Polaris

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STRATOVARIUS - Polaris cover
2.93 | 19 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 2009

Filed under Power Metal
By STRATOVARIUS

Tracklist

1. Deep Unknown (4:28)
2. Falling Star (4:33)
3. King Of Nothing (6:43)
4. Blind (5:28)
5. Winter Skies (5:50)
6. Forever Is Today (4:40)
7. Higher We Go (3:47)
8. Somehow Precious (5:37)
9. Emancipation Suite, Part 1: Dusk (6:57)
10. Emancipation Suite, Part 2: Dawn (3:40)
11. When Mountains Fall (3:11)

Total Time: 59:45

Bonus live disc:
01. Destiny
02. Hunting High And Low
03. Speed Of Light
04. Kiss Of Judas
05. Deep Unknown
06. A Million Light Years Away
07. Bach: Air Suite
08. Winter Skies
09. Phoenix
10. S.O.S.
11. Forever Is Today
12. King Of Nothing
13. Father Time
14. Higher We Go

Line-up/Musicians

- Timo Kotipelto / vocals
- Matias Kupiainen / guitars
- Jens Johansson / keyboards
- Lauri Porra / bass
- Jörg Michael / drums

with
- Kari Lindstedt / Strings (Track 11)
- Perttu Vänskä / String Arrangement & Programming on (Tracks 1 & 8)
- Heikki Vehmanen / Strings (Track 11)
- Heikki Hämäläinen / Strings (Track 11)
- Seppo Rautasuo / Strings (Track 11)
- Aleksi Parviainen / Vocals (Backing)
- Hepa Waara / Vocals (Backing)
- Tipe Johnson / Vocals (Backing)
- Tony Kakko / Vocals (Backing)
- Pessi Levanto / Arrangement Strings (Track 11)

About this release

Release date: May 15, 2009
Label: Edel/earMUSIC/JVC

Released in the US via Armoury Records on May 26

Japanese Bonus Track:
"Second Sight"

Digipak Bonus Track:
12. Deep Unknown (Mikko Raita Vinyl Mix) (4:46)

Reissued in 2010 with an extra disc with songs performed at the show in Milan, Italy, on the 21st January 2010

Thanks to progshine, DippoMagoo for the updates

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STRATOVARIUS POLARIS reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

Stephen
I'm not expecting Stratovarius to survive and continue the saga after the departure of their key member, Timo Tolkki, but Kotipelto and the team decided that life must goes on, and to give the fans what they want, here comes "Polaris", their 12th studio album to date and the first one without Tolkki. If you wonder how good is this with the absence of the mastermind that wrote like 95% of their songs, then I tell you that it's far from such thing called excellent or great. In my opinion, "Polaris" had lost the soul of classic Stratovarius and the band decided to follow Edguy's path by implementing a diverse sound ranging from power metal, hard rock, heavy metal, and ballads. I'm not saying that it's a bad idea, but clearly, the lack of good and consistent songwriting is the low point of this album.

Couple of best tracks that worth the whole album alone for hardcore are "Blind", a neoclassical piece with astute interlude, emerged as the greatest song of the album. "Forever Is Today" copied the same pattern and extremely enjoyable for fans of classic power metal. "Higher We Go" tuned down the tempo a bit, an example of good combination of hard rock verse and melodic metal chorus. The soothing acoustical closer, "When Mountains Fall", is somewhat friendly to my ear and it doesn't sound like Stratovarius, but I still like it.

"Winter Skies" is a decent piano-driven ballad, but "Somehow Precious" is just dull and forgettable, not to mention that three ballads in a power metal album is not a genius idea. "Falling Star" is an average hard rock, and "Deep Unknown" is a decent heavy metal slab with a nice dreamy keys intro. Two parts of "Emancipation Suite" altogether with "King of Nothing" are absolutely the worst part of the album.

I guess "Polaris" is meant only for diehards and isn't really recommended for casual power metal fans, but if you still enjoy Edguy's latest release, probably would be easier for you to accept this, although judging from the songwriting department, I still think Edguy is superior. Since I'm not expecting Tolkki to return to Stratovarius in sometimes soon, I highly doubt their next release will spark my interest.

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  • cefr45
  • Nick & Simon
  • Necrotica
  • powermetal2000
  • StargazerSlave
  • DippoMagoo
  • KatiLily
  • guitarherosucks
  • SevDawg
  • IndianaJones
  • Rendref
  • 666sharon666
  • McMuffin999
  • Wilytank
  • Diogenes
  • vikt73
  • progshine
  • snowman1980

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