Revolution Renaissance - New era 2.5/5

Reviewed: 7-11-08


1. Heroes
2. I did it my way
3. We are magic
4. Angel
5. Eden is burning
6. Glorious and divine
7. Born upon the cross
8. Keep the flame alive
9. Last night on earth
10. Revolution Renaissance

Revolution Renaissance is the new band from former Stratovarius guitarist/founder/(part time) singer Timo Tolkki. In the 90s I was a big time Stratovarius fan, discovering the band sometime after 'Dreamspace' released. However, after the 2 weak 'Elements' CDs, Timo seemingly going crazy, and the friction among the band members, I had pretty much written Stratovarius off and never bothered checking out their final 's/t' CD 3 years ago. I did perk up at news of this new release. It was said that with this CD Timo was trying to recapture the classic 'Visions' era of Stratovarius. 'Visions' is one of my favorite Stratovarius CDs, so this was fine by me. My interest bloomed even more when I heard Timo had assembled a trio of "all-star" vocalists for this CD: Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween), Tobias Sammet (Edguy), and Pasi Rantanen (Thunderstone). So, I was excited to hear this "classic" Stratovarius sounding CD with 3 vocalists I enjoyed despite the relative suckitude of recent Stratovarius.

Things get off to a nice start. "Heroes" is a great speedy song (following a moody intro). I have always been of the mindset that when it comes to Timo's songwriting - faster is better. So, this song rolls along nicely, and Sammet sounds just fine. "I did it my way" is an enjoyable rocking midtempo song which is very reminiscent of Statovarius. I always enjoy listening to Kiske singing metal (which he amusingly keeps vowing to never do again) and his voice still sounds very fine. "We are magic" is another solid midtempo song with Rantanen who also sounds great.

Sadly, then things for the most part take a downward turn. "Angel" is a tepid power ballad, and by this point I find myself wanting to hear speedier material. I have to wait through another song before I get the song's 2nd (and only other) fast song. I'm sorry, but for my tastes only 2 fast songs from Timo isn't going to cut it. The whole CD just seems to mostly plod along in boring fashion. I don't really think this CD in any way recaptures the magic of great Stratovarius CDs like 'Dreamspace', 'Fourth dimension', 'Visions' or 'Infinite". This generally just bores me much like the 2 'Elements' CDs did.

That's not to say the CD's a total loss. The 3 stalwart vocalists are all great, and I enjoy listening to them. But, if I imagine Timo Kotipelto (ex-Stratovarius) singing over these songs, all we have is yet another dull, mostly lifeless Stratovarius CD. So, unless Timo injects some fire into the songwriting, and hopefully keeps enlisting great guest vocalists to appear on forthcoming CDs, I doubt Revolution Renaissance is much to get excited about.




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