Stratovarius/Infinite: Special Edition

Infinite:Special EditionStratovarius is a Finnish power metal band that formed in 1984. Their material contains elements of power metal and symphonic metal. To this day the band has sold over 2.5 million records worldwide. They have been since the 80’s, alongside with Helloween & Blind Guardian, one of the pioneers and most influential bands of power metal.

Please be aware that for unknown reasons, the track listing on this release is incorrect from the previous released record. I have tried to be as accurate as possible… apologies.

Hunting High And Low—-Delivered in classic Power metal style, the melody lines from the instruments are just as powwrful as the vocal. The vocal…literally soars above everything that is going on. when the chorus kicks in and the entire band joins in on the vocal, you will be amazed. This is remarkable…one of the best bands in this genre, the life of the band is a testament to the grand and spectacular music they make.

Why Are We Here—-Beginning with wonderfully comfortable 80’s hair metal power chords, the guitars at times literally soar. When the vocal enters you smile at the slight accent and revel in the clarity as you catch almost every single word. This is wonderful…this is progressive, exploratory and delivered with a remarkable emotion. When the vocalist reaches for the sky with his vocal the song shows its best side. This is phenomenal…fucked up track listing or not. I am loving this!!!

It’s A Mystery—-With little musical introduction, the vocal begins almost immediatly….delivering some wicked, soaring vocals that bring a huge smile to my face. this is freakin’ brilliant…the progressive nature of the music allows for the vocal to shine without losing any of the power of the band. This is fantastic….a new favorite band of mine.

Millenium—-Beginning with a really fantastic drum track, this song moves at a pretty amazing speed compared to most of the stuff heard thus far. This is aggressive without crossing over into the unknown! The vocal is crystal clear and literally soars. When the whole band joins in on the chorus, you are magically swept up in the excitement and the energy. I really love this…when the vocalist hits that scream…wow!!!

Mother Gaia—-Piano based and delivered in classic Power Metal ballad style, this is a bit flat for me. Waiting and waiting for the chorus seems to take a lifetime…the guitar interludes are nice, but give me some reall power chords already! When the music moves into that HUGE ballad mode and the vocal becomes louder and higher you are moved…but this disappears and you wonder where this is going. This is ok, but not a favorite.

Neon Light Child—–Beginning rather slow and a bit intense, the slong is slow to really get started. I still smile at the slight vocal accent that shines through on certain words. This is really sedate and cerebrel…not to say that it is bad, but I need a bit more energy than I am getting right now….next…..

Hunting High And Low—-Not really sure why this song is included twice on this release…this version is not much different from the original..perhaps a bit extended. It is nice to hear it again…I just don’t get it? Am I missing something????

Phoenix—-This begins huge…..just what I really needed at this point. The guitars are masterful…delivered with speen and intricate manipulations that are inspiring. The vocal is much the same…exactly as we expect. this has great energy, an exceptional drum track and some remarkable leads…heaven.

Glory Of the World—-The way this guy moves his fingers across his guitar must be incredible to watch! the speen and the intricate playing is magnificent. The vocal, once again, is stellar…you could not ask for more range or claruty. When the whole band joins in the songs only become larger and more grounded. the instrumental intertludes are literally amazing. This is stellar!

Millenium—-Another repeat track….as I shake my head in dismay and confusion. This is about 4 seconds longer than the original and seems to have all of the life sucked from it…perhaps this is a demo version. This is a huge disappointment.

A Million Light Years Away—-This is great….the problem is that it all begins to sound remarkably the same after a bit. I love the mid range vocal that is delivered…this is when the vocalist is at his clearest. The power chords are magnificent and when the whole band joins in on the chorus…it really comes together for me.

Phoenix—-Another repeat track that is only about a minute longer than the origianl…most of that being an extended intro and more instrumental moments…..I’m thinking this is kind of messed up! Livethis is nice, but the studio energy remains about the same for me.

Freedom—-This has huge grand orchestrated sounding guitars that are topped off my an incredible drum track…the vocal enters with an energy that almost wipes out all of the negative comments about the lackluster track listing and repeat tracks. This is huge, monumental and literally breath taking. I could never, ever, ever ask for more. When that high vocal note comes in…I almost mess myself!!!!

Infinity—-This live version last an almost amazing 10 minutes….I can tell you that this band sounds amazing live…they manage to reproduce the intricate sound of the band with little problem on the big stage…if anuthing, the sound becomes even larger. The build-up to the intro is exceptional….the ballad style delivery works well live and this guy can rally sing…in this setting, there is no faking it. This is the real deal!

Infinity—-???? WTF!!!

Celestial Dream—-Rounding out things with a really nice live version of this super progressive metal ballad, this play so much better live for me. the vocal is much more demonstrative and well delivered…the strings…real or generated add so much to the song in this setting. I like this SOOOOO much better than the studio bersion…this is real and emotional!

**** out of 5


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