Saturday, February 23, 2013


Rating: RRRR
Label: Edel/EarMusic 2013
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Those lucky enough to have heard the first single off "Nemesis" have already begun to spread the tangible buzz about the album. Yours truly thought perhaps that "Unbreakable" came out sounding a bit too poppy? Not to mention the lack of a proper guitar solo? Ehem, their former guitarist/founder and overall almighty leader must be spinning in his grave. No... wait... he's not actually dead? no?

Going through the vast back catalogue which they have out further attests to Stratovarius' broad appeal, each record (ever since the loss of their original leader) exploring a slightly different thread of their melodic sound. The virtuoso keyboard player Jens Johansson (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, Dio) at the very centre of attention and I miss the proper guitar/keyboard interludes of the good old days. Lo and behold, the ebony and ivory man shines likes a radioactive star on "Nemesis", but whatever happened to the matching six-string genius?

And seriously... what's your honest opinion about any band/group without a single original member? Let's just say it's a completely different act and sound. Keeping this in mind, "Nemesis" is a much more realized record packed with neat rhythm guitar work and lasting pop/metal tunes, whose epic, sing-a-long choruses, you can really sink your teeth into. It's no doubt a catchy, borderline kitsch record, but if you thought "Unbreakable" was pop, wait until you hear the digi-pack bonustracks and especially "Fireborn".

Final verdict: Yeah, I do complain about several things. However, when everything's said and done, "Nemesis" - not your mortal enemy and the poppy/catchy material wins you over in the end. In fact, this is probably their catchiest album by far. Short and direct material. So... why do I complain??

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