Stratovarius - Intermission


Not blessed, or merciful
Apr 11, 2001
Sarf Lundin, Innit
Stratovarius - Intermission
Nuclear Blast - 2001
By Rodrigo


As the title of the album suggests, Intermission is the latest release by Stratovarius and the purpose of its release is for the band to say thanks to their fans for their support and to tide things over until the next studio album which won’t be out until 2003. Intermission contains four brand new songs, three covers, seven rare bonus track and an outstanding live version of "Hunting High & Low" where the crowd sings wildly along to the chorus.

The new songs are all very good typical Stratovarius songs. Two of them, "Will My Soul Ever Rest in Peace?" and "Falling into Fantasy", are ballad type songs. The driving force behind "Will My Soul Ever Rest in Peace?" are the keyboards of Jens Johansson and it features an extremely catchy chorus. The same is true about "Falling into Fantasy". This one features excellent musical passages that we have come to expect by Stratovarius. The chorus is also very memorable and the guitar melody played by Timo Tolkki during the chorus is excellent. His speedy guitar solo is also of note. "The Curtains are Falling" is a speedy song featuring excellent keyboard and guitar melodies. "Requiem" is a symphonic instrumental piece that has a very happy and uplifting tone.

The cover songs aren’t really important to me because one, "Bloodstone", is a Judas Priest cover and the other two, "Kill the King" and "I Surrender (Live)", are Rainbow covers. I have never been a big fan of either band and therefore these three songs really do not interest me. But I am sure that fans of these bands will probably like the touch that Stratovarius put into these songs.

Of the seven rare bonus tracks that are included in Intermission I already had the luck of listening to four of them. "Why Are We Here?" and "It’s A Mystery" were included in the 2CD version of Infinite. Both are excellent fast songs and I still wonder, like I did when Infinite came out, why these songs weren’t included in the final version of Infintie. "Cold Winter Nights" is in my version of Destiny and despite the song title this is a very fun and fast paced song. I especially love the instrumental section from 2:59 to 3:44; it is a joy to hear that part. The other song that I had already heard is "Dream With Me" which is found in The Chosen Ones. This song and the other three, "Keep the Flame", "What Can I Say", and "When the Night Meets the Day", are all slow emotional ballads and they are all great.

There is no doubt in my mind that every fan of Stratovarius should own Intermission. Even if you already have most of the rare bonus tracks, like I do, it is great to have them all in one album. The new songs are excellent and hearing the live version of "Hunting High & Low" is about the closest I will get to a Stratovarius show any time soon. Your Stratovarius collection will be incomplete without Intermission.