Review STRATOVARIUS ‘Survive’

‘Firefly’, ‘Survive’ and ‘World on Fire’, these were songs Stratovarius fans already got to hear live at the Wacken Open Air 2022 and the entire album is now available.

Seven years after their last album ‘Eternal’ the Finns have recorded eleven new songs and continue the series of high quality releases. Not only musically Stratovarius have a lot to offer. Also lyrically the Scandinavians have their finger on the pulse of time.

Already the title ‘Survive’ shows that it is not only about peanuts. The future of mankind and the situation of the blue planet has often been a topic for the five musicians. This time it’s about the global situation in which mankind and nature find themselves, which is illustrated in a great fashion on the cover artwork.

However, ‘Survive’ does not fit the described situation only. Also Stratovarius as a band had to go through hard times and had to survive.

There was the departure of Timo Tolkki and the pandemic, all things that do not make a band’s life easier. Fortunately for their fans, the five guys decided to keep going and if you listen to ‘Survive’, you can only come to one conclusion. It was the right decision.

The title track kicks things off and impresses with great hooks and an unforgettable melodic line. Thundering riffs give the song the required force and one can state that Stratovarius have lost nothing of their charisma. And since the opener also has the one or other ‘ahahah’ sing-along part, ‘Survive’ is an opener that makes you want more.

The melodic approach of Timo Kotipelto and bandmates is one of the trademarks of Stratovarius and runs like a thread through the album. The exciting thing about ‘Survive’ is the contrast between rather optimistic melodies and a thematic heaviness that comes into play in some songs. ‘Frozen in Time’ is such a track. The good thing is that the quintet manages to musically realize both aspects. The song has a dark glow and at the same time it doesn’t lose itself in hopelessness. The complete album always includes a glimpse of the light on the horizon. This is also the case with ‘World on Fire’.

With ‘Voice of Thunder’ Stratovarius have put an epic at the end of the album. The eleven-minute milestone begins calmly and acoustically. Timo Kotipelto’s voice is the leading feature before after one and a half minutes the smashing guitar riff gives the song the wished power. With this cinematic song the five Scandinavians manage to give ‘Survive’ an outstanding final chapter and one gladly presses the repeat-button in order to listen to the album one more time.

Seven years after ‘Eternal’ Stratovarius present themselves at their best and underline the positive impression the five-piece made at the W:O:A. Melodic metal fans should definitely give ‘Survive’ a listen.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Survive
  2. Demand
  3. Broken
  4. Firefly 
  5. We Are Not Alone
  6. Frozen In Time
  7. World On Fire
  8. Glory Days
  9. Breakaway
  10. Before The Fall
  11. Voice Of Thunder

Label: earMUSIC

Genre: Melodic Metal

Release Date EU: September 23rd, 2022

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