They are Back! For good hopefully! This was a big surpsise to be honest. I have loved Stratovarius since I first listened to them back in 1995, they have offered me great moments and memories in my whole life, so I think I owe them sometimes.
This is going to be a review from the heart, that’s why I will be transparent, strict and direct to you all. 13 records are lifted as a weight to the band, this one though, was the most critical. Maybe it was the first time they really had to prove something. Not to us so much but to themselves mostly. Then again, the fans had the band considered dead. Not only because of the numerous and harsh fights, but also because leader and mainman Timo Tolkki is not in the band anymore. Also, the new band he formed, Revolution Renaissance, released a great debut album. So, things weren’t easy for the rest members. But once you listen to ”Polaris”, you will understand that they really worked hard this time and did the best they could.
Taking for granted the problems they faced, this album fulfills the dreams of each power metal fan. New guitar player Matias Kupiainen delivers some great guitar work here, hopefully he can turn to be a wild card for the band’s future.
”Deep Unknown” which is the first single, will easily stuck in metalheads’ minds. Also ”Blind” is bringing back the band’s glory power metal days, while ballad ”When Mountains Fall” could remind the legendary ”Forever” from ”Episode” album. Surely they have released better and worse records than ”Polaris”, but this time they give us the feeling they are more alive than ever in the past. Inspiration has returned, as the previous same titled album was a great disappointment to us all, and the two ”Elements” albums were way too progressive for the average fan. This is the best album since ”Infinite” and has a lot in common with ”Visions” in the way of approaching their music.
In the end, yes, Tolkki is gone, but the band is here, alive and kicking. We have to accept both these. We surely would all like to see them united, but since there is no other choice, for the time being at least, let’s just show them the smile in our lips because of the great work they did. The only thing I am afraid of, is if this album will endure the test of time.
Time will only tell, but just to catch up to future worries, I will give an average rating, combined of my personal opinion and the possible worth of the album in the future.
|Track List||Line Up|
|01. Deep Unknown
02. Falling Star
03. King Of Nothing
05. Winter Skies
06. Forever Is Today
07. Higher We Go
08. Somehow Precious
09. Emancipation Suite: I Dusk
10. Emancipation Suite: II Dawn
11. When Mountains Fall
12. Deep Unknown (Mikko Raita Vinyl Mix) (Bonus Track)
|Timo Kotipelto – Vocals
Jens Johansson – Keyboards, Piano
Jörg Michael – Drums
Lauri Porra – Bass guitar
Matias Kupiainen – Guitar