Even nowadays, years since their golden era, Stratovarius remain one of the best melodic power metal bands of the worldwide. Timo Tolkki is gone, but Stratovarius have kept their originality and their quality. With Timo Kotipelto (vocals) and Jens Johansson (keyboards) being the driving forces, the Finnish continue to entertain us with their fine melodies, their fast tempos and their musical elegance. This time Stratovarius release “Survive” and they manage again to take us by surprise. The band, not letting anyone ruin its virtues, shows us that it is alive and breathing, having “survived” the downfall of the power metal genre, in our times. All five members of the band are survivors and “Survive” is another important proof of their victory. This brilliant new album is full of beautiful melodies and fresh, fantastic song ideas – all vocal lines are memorable, the refrains catchy and elegiac, the guitar work incredible and the keyboards amazing. Stratovarius give emphasis not only to the melodies, but also to the powerful character of the compositions – yes, all new songs sound very heavy, you will find “a wall of sound” in this album that will satisfy even the doubters. I am listening the album time after time and I can’t get enough of it! Every song is a killer one, for example “Firefly”, “We Are Not Alone”, “World On Fire”, “Frozen In Time”, “Before The Fall”, all are gorgeous, god damn it! So, Stratovarius are still on fire, are still interesting and “Survive” marks another triumph of the Finnish masters. If you are into power metal, this album will soon be your favorite. The title song of the album says, “Only the strong will survive”, and Stratovarius belong to the strongest!

♦ 8,5/10

Dimitris Zacharopoulos