“Episode” and “Visions” knocked everybody off the chair leading to massive expectations towards an eventual next album. That album became “Destiny” and showed little changes in the outcome, the band simply continued to do what they did best, playing Symphonic Melodic Power Metal with progressive touches.
Just like some of you, I expected some kind of progression, I have to say that “Destiny” is not the follow up I wanted it to be but who am I to decide how their albums should sound like. Don’t panic, the album has all the trademarks the band is famous for, melodic solos, atmospheric keyboards, perfect double bass drumming and what have you, the positive energy in the songs made me like it in the end.
So yes, “Destiny” is a traditional STRATOVARIUS album but it’s not all formulaic, the band does try something new here. A female choir is added on a few occasions which bring enhanced atmospheric effects to songs like the epic title track and “Anthem Of The World”.
The band’s still flexible in their song writing whether it’s Hard Rock from the eighties (see “S.O.S.”), trademark double bass Power Metal (See “No Turning Back”) or soft ballads (See “Years Go By”), so thankfully there’s that essential variety that’s important for a band that releases an album each year. “4000 Rainy Nights” is a rather trivial song that doesn’t really convince me, really a lousy JON BON JOVI sounding song.
If you’re familiar with “Episode” and “Visions” you may have noticed that some riffs and basic song ideas begin to smell like repetition, some of the album’s songs share one too many parallels between each other (and past ones as well) but like I said, the band has a special energy that makes you forget about criticising details.
They didn’t make their hat trick because they didn’t have to, they had already proven themselves. A good album, more down to earth in approach, I still enjoy it from time to time. (Online October 11, 2004)