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Moving past the drama that plagued them while battling it out in the press with founding member Timo Tolkki, Finnish power metal force Stratovarius snap back into form and gets back to business on the reinvigorated troupe’s latest offering ELYSIUM. This nine-track endeavor boasts the expected bounty of progressively minded harmonies and symphonically shaped melodic metal (“Under Flaming Skies”), yet features a few surprises such as the 18-minute tour de force title track, bursting with a bevy of stylistic twists and turns to close out this release. ELYSIUM offers dollops of dramatic heaviness (“Fairness Justified”) with a plethora of double bass drum driven musicality (“Event Horizon”) completed with the blistering guitars, omnipresent keyboards and soaring vocals that have made this band one of the premiere acts in the genre.
- Mike SOS