Monday, 9 June 2008

Revolution Renaissance- 'New Era' album review

Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing former Stratovarius mastermind TIMO TOLKKI about his new band Revolution Renaissance. That interview will appear in a forthcoming issue of POWERPLAY magazine. Until then, here's my review of the new album...

Revolution Renaissance
New Era
Frontiers Records
Genre: Hard Rock/Power Metal

Timo Tolkki hasn’t had a very easy few years, all in all. After the breakup and subsequent reformation of Stratovarius, a lacklustre comeback album and troubled tours, he has laid the ghost of his old band to rest and is looking to the future in style with a brand new act. The debut from this new band is exactly what you would expect to a certain extent, and also something that fans have been crying out for. It sees a return to Tolkki’s roots and offers up a great selection of hard rock, power metal and classic rock. The progressive side to his work is kept on the backburner here; this is an album to rock out to, first and foremost. Featuring lead vocal performances from Edguy/Avantasia’s Tobias Sammet, former Helloween screamer Michael Kiske and Thunderstone's Pasi, the album is stuffed with superb music, let down only by some dubious lyrics.

Opening track ‘Heroes’ features Tobias Sammet and is very reminiscent of classic ‘Marching out’ era Yngwie in structure. From there the album shows off more of a classic rock direction that simply more double bass-laden power metal, and Tolkki presents himself as the rock guitar genius that he is with magnificent results. As I said, the only drawback to the album is the lyrics. The songs themselves are first rate, but the awkward lyrics detract a little from the listeners’ enjoyment. It can’t be easy writing in a language other than one’s own, and it is an admirable effort nonetheless.

‘Eden is Burning’ is nothing short of epic, with some of the biggest riffs I’ve heard Tolkki play in years, and an anthemic quality that comes across as a Power Metal incarnation of Whitesnake. It will be exciting to check out the band now it has a complete and stable lineup, but for now this debut album is a great showcase for the name and a great return to form for one of melodic metal’s finest musical forces. Welcome back, Timo!

9/10

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