Stratovarius - Infinite (2000)



In the year 2000, well known symphonic power metal band, Stratovarius, released one of their most amazing albums of their career, entitled "Infinite." This album put them on a whole new level, and really separated them from the other bands. This being the bands eighth studio album, hit high on the charts all over the world.

The opening track, "Hunting High And Low," is one of the bands most well known songs. This gorgeous masterpiece has everything a power metal fan dreams of and more. The synthesizers and guitar riffs in the beginning immediately grab you with their catchy melody. It's fast, upbeat music that is sure to get you pumped. Constant snares will have you bobbing your head from start to finish, guaranteed. Lead vocalist Timo Kotipelto, shows off his pitch and multi-octave climbing voice as he soars higher and higher from verse to chorus. His reach for the high notes is most impressive. As the refrain hits, the lyrics that he belts will rush through your brain, triggering you to sing right along. The double bass pedaling fills the background with just enough kick to knock you on your ass.
When you do finally move on to the next track, you're going to run into "Millennium" which is booming with more double bass combined with shattering cymbals throughout the intro. The guitar riffs are filled with melodic build up, getting you ready for the symphonic chorus. By the time you're done with this album you're going to know the words to every song. They're all just so likable.

Things slow down with "Mother Gaia," as more orchestrated instruments enter quietly behind Kotipelto's soothing vocals in the opening verse. Basic piano riffs and drum rolls are accompanied by beautiful strings which really place the vocals higher to focus on. Now there is a little more to this 8 minute ballad. About four minutes in comes a cheerful little piano part that really mixes up the imagery of the song. You'll also find some amazing drum fills following this part that will blow your mind. Jorge Michael is an absolutely incredible drummer. Definitely make sure you catch all the little detail that he puts into the album. The bridge consists of crying guitars which are layered with angelic piano parts and really bring the rest of the instruments together as they all fade out in the end.

Electrifying guitars come flying back in as "Phoenix" rocks you with its energetic melodies. The vocals switch back and forth between clean and operatic all throughout the verses and refrains. The drums are like machine guns during the build up to the chorus as they shoot off rapid kick and snare patterns. There's even some heavy guitar chugging about three and a half minutes in which will really make you want to throw your devil horns in the air. This is followed by an astonishing guitar solo as lead guitarist, Timo Tolkki, shows his scale demolishing skills. And if you're looking for more of this then you'll love "Infinity." It's a nine and a half minute epic masterpiece that starts with overwhelming drums, symphonic strings, and a beautiful choir. The build up is just incredible and will have you at the edge of your seat, waiting for the song to drop. The verses start out slow, but quickly build up with speed. Its amazing to hear the kind of notes that Kotipelto can hit. He's got a very similar reach to Tobias Sammet of Edguy and Avantasia. The strings throughout the song consume you into the music as the guitar solo jumps in and completely tears you apart. You'll also notice a lot of unique drumming. The patterns change up so frequently keeping you hooked the entire time. The structure of the song is magnificent as the style changes often and yet keeps the tone similar throughout.

If you're new to the power metal scene than "Infinite" is definitely the album to start with. Stratovarius has come along way since this album and have been consistent in releasing phenomenal albums year after year. This is, however, one album that will always stand out above the rest. So make sure you check it out!

10/10

Official Site - http://www.stratovarius.com/
Myspace - http://www.myspace.com/officialstratovarius