He we go again folks. The one time singer for STRATOVARIUS has left the band for good and has composed enough material for a second CD. Many of the musicians he used last time are back on here. Mike Romeo from SYMPHONY X has been asked to exploit his guitar talents again while Timo's ex-partner in crime Jari from STRATO is once again handling bass duties while Janne from CHILDREN OF BODOM pounds on the ivory keys and so on. 'Seed Of Sorrow' is a pretty simple Power Metal track that has a lot of power and bite. Mike's guitar work is flawless and has some crunch to the song as well. Janne's unmistaken neo-classical keyboard playing can't be denied here, as you will notice his trademark sound all over this track and the rest of the disc as well.
So, how are Timo's vocals during this release because after all, he was involved in numerous fights with Tolkki both physical and probably verbal? They still hold up. He sounds even better in fact. He sure hasn't let the past get the better of him. He has marched forward and I think he has a good chance of making it on his own from here on out. I like this CD already for the fact that the CD doesn't have to compile track after track of nothing but Power Metal jams just to prove how heavy and fast this band can be. 'Reasons' is the second track here and it opts for a basic Hard Rock/Metal approach without being fancy. Don't worry; Mike's guitars are heavy, but not flashy. The drums are crystal clear and heavy. This is your basic 4/4 song and you know what. It's good. There is nothing over the top and it's refreshing to hear a CD where you know you have a bunch of top talent and they all don't get carried away with their individual talents.
You can really hear Jari's talented and rhythmic bass licks take over on 'Snowbound.' This is track works really well with Timo's voice. While you can hear everybody else on here, I think Jari's talents showcased here are the highlight of the song. Each track here is exciting and chock full of talent. The reason for this CD's success is the fact that there are plenty of tempo changes and pacing all over the CD and that makes for a CD noteworthy of being listened to. Mike's guitar solos just soar beyond the sky and if you liked his work in SYMPHONY X, you will really go ape shit for them here. Also, Janne's keyboard work is always a joy to listen to and when he does his solo, you can hear just how talented he really is. Timo's voice has never sounded better and the fact that he doesn't have to scream like a banshee to be heard is always a good thing.
The songs are really good from top to bottom without ever being boring and the CD is over before you know it. This CD is not only a step up from his debut, but it's much better and the songs are a bit more mature. Sometimes, simple is better. (Online June 4, 2004)