Reviewed by: Dagg (Mark Nagy)
Fright Night (1989)
NWOBHM inspired debut from what would become the legendary Stratovarius. Hardly recognizable from their later work, but good nonetheless.
Twilight Time (1992)
An improvement on the original formula, with aspects of the band’s later power metal beginning to work its way in.
The early artistic triumph of the band, a haunting and dark journey to the abyss and back.
Fourth Dimension (1995)
The debut of lead vocalist Timo Kotipelto, a transitional album with excellent elements both of the past and what’s yet to come.
The breakout album and full introduction of the “Classic” lineup. Also in this reviewer’s opinion the best power metal album ever.
The further focus on neo-classical elements and moving more towards an epic sound, arguably very nearly as good as Episode.
A bit self-derivative, and completely focused on the epic elements, this is where the ballads start to fall apart and the heavier songs get a bit repetitive, but the two epic pieces are among the finest of the band’s career.
A more refined take on the approach in Destiny, more overtly symphonic, as well as much heavier, and overall higher quality
Elements Pt. 1 (2003)
Even with the arguably worse self titled mistake to come, this is perhaps Stratovarius’ most spectacular flop. There’s a balance where about half of it is excellent material, but half of it is absolutely awful in ways that are just deeply unsettling.
Elements, Pt. 2 (2003)
Surprisingly different from Pt. I, this sounds almost like an attempt to recreate a more symphonic version of Episode, this is a much more even record than Pt. I, with less defined lows, but perhaps not as memorable highs either.
Not altogether terrible, but strayed too far from the course without doing anything significant enough to justify a new direction. A couple gems but not much else worthwhile.
The comeback album from years that destroyed the band’s reputation. Solid, but not quite yet spectacular.