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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well what do you know? some origanllity!
I am one of Stratovarius' biggest fans, i have everything they have released,but when i heard the first track 'eagleheart' i was cringing, it is a great track, but it sounds like every single stratovarius has released (hunting high and low ptII me thinks) its soooo typical, but dont be put off the rest of the album more than makes up for it...the opening bars of the...
Published on 11 Feb. 2003 by Bruce Turnbull

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3.0 out of 5 stars Stratovarius – Elements, Pt. 1
Elements Part 1 is the ninth full-length studio album by the Finnish Melodic Power Metal band Stratovarius. It is one half of a two album set released in 2003 (the half other being Elements Part 2), although works as a stand-alone release. It was released through Nuclear Blast Records, and was self-produced by band leader/primary guitarist Timmo Tolkki.

The...
Published 10 months ago by Kingcrimsonprog


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well what do you know? some origanllity!, 11 Feb. 2003
By 
Bruce Turnbull "Acoma_Spy_Master" (Newcastle, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Elements Pt.1 (Audio CD)
I am one of Stratovarius' biggest fans, i have everything they have released,but when i heard the first track 'eagleheart' i was cringing, it is a great track, but it sounds like every single stratovarius has released (hunting high and low ptII me thinks) its soooo typical, but dont be put off the rest of the album more than makes up for it...the opening bars of the second cut 'soul of a vagabond' start with a crunching metal riff which sounds like it belongs on a metallica album or something, then it chugs along slowly sounding similar to Awake-era Dream Theater,with a huge orchrastraion, its unbeileveble! amazing track,with some supprisingly good lyrics: ''in silence, i scream,but no one listens to me,absolution,salvation, my sins wont leave me be..'' great, no rainbows in this song heh,very doomy track. Next track 'find your own voice' opens up with more choirs and then bursts in to quick double bass drums and fast paced power metal riff, and Timo Kotipelto's vocals are sooo amazing on this album,he is singing higher than ever! great stuff, these two tracks alone say the album is better than 'infinite' next is an amazing song 'fantasia' easily the most progressive and original song they have ever done! good lyrics, loads of keyboards and orchrestra.'Learning to fly' is a typical fast power metal song, sing along chorus blah blah, typical stratovarius. 'Pallpion' is good, a kinda ballad, very moving piece of music sounds a tiny bit like 'forever' mixed with 'years go by'Another instrmental 'stratofortress' amaxing work from timo tolkki and jens johannsson. the best track on the album is next,the mighty epic 'elements' full with choir, melodic chorus, touching lyrics and fantastic guitar work,next is the closing soother 'a drop in the ocean' very similar to 'celestial dream' on 'infinite', although not with out its sing along chorus, in conclusion this album is the best they have had out in a long time, better than both 'destiny' and 'infinite' and maybe even 'visions' IMO, all the songs are varied, buy this now, if u hated infinite cos it lacked any originallity, get this, you will be supprised, one of the only faults in Timo Tolkki writes all the material apart from the chorus lyric to 'eagleheart' which Timo Kotipelto wrote, which is a shame cos his lyrics are better than TT's and jens johannsson writes great songs too!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And Their Eyes Are Blazing With Fire..., 1 Jan. 2004
This review is from: Elements Pt.1 (Audio CD)
Stratovarius released two albums in 2003. This, and "Part 2", the final addition to the Elements saga. Unfortunately I have to say that "Pt 1" is the inferior Elements. But as you can see from the amount of stars I have rated this album, my earlier sentence by no means says that this isn't a great album. It is a awesome album in my opinion, but I cannot help but find minor flaws with it.
Opening with single "Eagleheart", you'll find that this is a catchy, fast, rocky song, but not unlike any other Stratovarius single - IE "Hunting High And Low" off of "Infinite". But, once again, that doesn't mean it's boring in the slightest. All it is is a sign that Stratovarius can write catchy "radio material" rock songs that can attract all sorts of fan base. Some great singing from Timo Kotipelto, drumming from Jorg Michael and excellent riffs from Timo Tolkki all add up to show Stratovarius on their A game. A great song.
Next "Soul Of A Vagabond" has more of a thrash metal element to it, resembling something from a 80's Metallica album. In fact the string instruments in the background, you wouldn't help but think that if it were James Hetfield's vocals that this could have been off "S & M". This song is definitely for all those of you with long hair who love to throw up the double horns and head bang.
"Find Your Own Voice" comes as a dissapointment in comparison to the previous two tracks. "Pt 1" much like "Pt 2" features the weakest track as the third song. Starting off well with the backing singers raising their vocals which then melt into some frantic metal, but Timo Kotipelto's singing really lets the song down. I have no problem when he goes "high pitch" but him doing all throughout the song almost really ruins the song as he sounds unintelligible and the lyrics fail to come through, bar maybe the chorus. Which is a shame as the lyrics are about independance and are uplifting.
Now "Fantasia" can catch you off guard. I remember as a young lad I used to enjoy the movie "The Never-Ending Story" and by this song, you can tell that the Strato band members are also fans. "Fantasia" was the place featured in aformentioned movie, and the song is about how in Fantasia there is no hate, no heaven, no hell, only love and peace. It's a song what makes you ponder exactly what a perfect world is supposed to be. Starting out gently, with something building in the background, it suddenly crashes down, keyboards, strings, guitar all playing to perfection. Kotipelto is on fire here with the singing and the backing singers complement him really well. This song has it's heavy metal moments, but can also slow it down almost effortlessly into a more sombre tone, before raising it all back up triumphantly. Excellent song, needs to be heard by all.
After "Fantasia" it's easy to see why nothing else can follow on, but "Learning To Fly" trys its best. Of course it's a entirely different song, more of a power metal element to the song. Great lyrics, drumming, singing, but slightly does falter when Kotipelto choses to go high-pitched in the song. Thankfully he restrains himself so it doesn't befall the same fault as "Find Your Own Voice". If you can take Kotipelto's occasional burst into attemtping to be heard only by dogs, then you'll like this song.
"Pappilon" opens with what will most probably by a young boy singing a hymn. While it may not be a hymn per se, it does sound like something that something that would be sung in a church. I just find it amazing how it can open with that and just gel so well with Kotipelto replacing the young singer. Starting off with him singing over a gentle guitar, soon the entire band backs him up. The chorus rises and falls almost majestically with the backing orchestra and just sounds amazing. Also there's a nice brief use of a spanish guitar, and the song also ends on the boy "church" singer much like it began.
Next up "Stratofortress" gives Kotipelto a well needed break, probably to reattach something.... It's a instrumental but doesn't get boring what so ever. The keyboardist Jens Johansson is really given a chance to shine here - something which he will do later on "Pt 2" - but the whole band is given a opportunity to strut their stuff, showing that they are indeed one of the finest power metal bands in the world, and probably the best band to come out of Finland.
"Elements" just needs to be heard. I am not kidding, this really is the albums crowning acheivement. This song is of course about the four major elements earth, wind, fire and water, but it is on such a grand scale what with the choir of backing singers, the entire orchestra showing to the full potential what happens when classical meets metal, yet another fine example of the band all being on top form, Kotipelto's great singing along with some very nice lyrics - you wouldn't think that English wasn't this bands first language. This song definitely has the riffs to mosh to, you will be definitely wanting to move your body to the music in any shape or form. The chorus just sounds spectacular might I add. Definitely the highlight of the album. I also love the line "Eye For A Eye And The Whole World Will Be Blind".
Album closer, "A Drop In The Ocean" opens with waves crashing against the shores before a gentle acoustic guitar starts up, Kotipelto's hums before beginning a talk/sing intro to the song. This definitely is one of Strato's power ballads, a great ending to what, minus a few faults, is a awesome album.
4.5 stars.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm being overly critical here, it's nescessary!, 15 Oct. 2007
This review is from: Elements Pt.1 (Audio CD)
This album presents a symphonic, operatic Power Metal sound that is highly epic and takes the music of Stratovarius to new depths. Every member has a solid performance:
Timmo Tolki: His riffs on here are somewhat less notable, they play a much more supporting role to the music theb previously. His solos flaunt the usual Ritchie Blackmore influence, with an expressive tone and appropriate melodic themes, neo-classical in nature. Acoustic work also plays a big part.

Timmo Kotipelto: An astounding performance, in Power Metal vocals are vital in propelling the music, and Kotipeltos unique voice has been the force, along with Tolkis compositional work, for Stratovarius's success. Every song is worth noting for this.

Jens Johansson: Keyboards play a huge role in this album in a symphonic sense, and Johanssons performance is frequently fantastic, his solos shreddding yet melodic, his accompamient appropriate and enhancing. Particularly influential in Stratovarius's sound is harmonisation between guitar and keyboard on fast licks, and on this album it is no different.

Jari Kainulainen: Bass does not play a big role in Metal, yet Jari manages to squeeze in some great little fills and licks, his bass is a vital foundation for the music, yet he manages many musical flourishes as well.

Jorg Michael: His drumming is energetic and solid, but not particularly technical.

Wow, this is proving to be an exhaustive review! Onto songs:

Eagleheart- Very much in a typical Power Metal format, quite dynamics verse, loud uplifting chorus. However, the vocal performance truly makes this song a classic.

Soul of a Vagabond - A slamming intro leads into a beautiful piece with light orchestration and backing choirs, and a slight Eastern feel and a shredding solo. Unique.

Find your own voice - Guitars more upfront in this one, but to its detriment in some senses for the riffs are very typical of Power Metal. Impressive vocal performance, and some notable Bass.

Fantasia - Absolutely beautiful. Here, Stratovarius dip into ambient effects for one of their most progresive songs, the orchestration is at parts genius, and with much variety in terms of sections is a very interesting song.

Learning to Fly - Probaly the worst song on the album, fairly banal melody and little proper content, keyboards play very small role.

Papillion - Easing into a gorgeaus choirboy introduction, with acoustic guitar accompamient, it segues into Kotipelto singly melodically. Turns out to be one of the best songs on the album, with beautiful symphonic effects, its hugely emotional, the acoustic solo is stunning.

Stratofortress - Finnally Kotipelto takes a break for this classically flavoured instrumental. It travels rapidly between different harmonised guitar and keyboard runs, but it has melodic themes and does not become boring, if only because of the melodic themes.

Elements - The centrepiece of the album, a fantastic composition, with great riffs (finally!) melded with symphonic keyboard works, the most amazing part is the choir booming the chorus whilst Tokkli plays over it and Kotipelto yells along. However it does become slightly repetitive, but it contains a beautiful, epic climax, it is a truly epic song.

A Drop in the Ocean - Ive never been able to catch onto this one, it just seems to get boring and banal after a while.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Stratovarius – Elements, Pt. 1, 1 July 2014
By 
Kingcrimsonprog "Kingcrimsonprog" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Elements Pt.1 (Audio CD)
Elements Part 1 is the ninth full-length studio album by the Finnish Melodic Power Metal band Stratovarius. It is one half of a two album set released in 2003 (the half other being Elements Part 2), although works as a stand-alone release. It was released through Nuclear Blast Records, and was self-produced by band leader/primary guitarist Timmo Tolkki.

The album sees the band incorporating much more of a progressive attitude into their sound; and really leaning heavily on synths, acoustics, choirs, strings etc. Most of the tracks are lengthy multifaceted compositions that each sound like the album closer on a normal album.

In some ways, the music is also a little more flowery than their previous work and some stricter Metal fans may find things a bit beyond the threshold of their tastes. There’s an almost symphonic feel going on here. If you aren’t generally a huge Queen fan, or frequently find yourself disliking cheesiness or pomp, then I’d recommend a try-before-you-buy attitude to this record. On the other hand, if you love things big, bombastic, dynamic and slightly progressive (yet really polished and slick) then tracks like “Papillon” “Fantasia” and the moody Title Track should be right up your street.

Regardless of musical direction, Elements Part 1 can feel a little uneven at times. There are a few moments like the opener, the brilliant catchy single “Eagle Heart,”” as well as the superb virtuosic instrumental “Stratofortress,” the melodic “Learning To Fly,” and the heavier “Find Your Own Voice” that really shine, but you can miss out on that on initial listening’s because something about the tracklisting feels ever so slightly off. It doesn’t flow right to my own ears, and this can take the power away from songs. I recommend re-aranging the tracks from shortest to longest, which seems to rectify this.

Overall; This is an album that saw the band in a transitional period, moving from their more direct and speedy past, to their more progressive future. It isn’t flawless, and some of the material can be a bit overwhelming at times, but there is still a lot of good to be found here. I wouldn’t recommend you make this your first Stratovarius album, but if you already like the band its certainly worth investigating.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Maybe my favourite Stratovarius album., 8 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Elements Pt.1 (Audio CD)
I am a Stratovarius fan who first got into the band after listening to the epic title track from their latest release 'Elysium' and then quickly progressed to this album, the first of a two part semi-concept. Therefore, I had no idea how much the band had changed since its early days. For example, when I first heard 'Visions' (regarded by many fans as the quintessential Stratovarius album), I thought it sounded dated and a bit short of epic symphonicness (I made that word up!). I was, in short, already massive fan of the sound of 'Elements Part I'.

For some reason, the album cover seems to fit the music perfectly. The image is of a resplendent quasi-spiritual figure in the middle of a vast blue ocean under a gleaming golden sun. This is all there in the sound of the music. The sound production of the album is treble-heavy which gives it a feeling of brightness and splendor. The music is very colourful as a result of the large sonic palette used (everything from fast crunching guitar palm-mutes to glacial choral textures). Also, the neo-classical song structures, harmonies and melodies that permeate the material create a sense of grandeur and, almost at times, a quasi-spiritual atmosphere.

Added to this, of course, is the soaring sound of Timo Kotipelto's ringing high tenor voice. The vocals are really pitched incredibly high for the most part which might put some people off but I think that, although these performances are near impossible to be replicated live, they stand out as some of the most inspired studio vocal performances in ALL metal, if not all MUSIC. Lyrically, the songs seems to be about rebellion against oppressive ideologies and the search for individual identity in a world full of institutions. This theme is repeated in the second volume, 'Elements Part 2'. In a metal world full of contrived epicness, these lyrics stand out as genuinely heartfelt statements which resound for a long time in one's mind and contain a substantial amount of wisdom.

If you are looking for an album which is the quintessential Scandinavian power metal album, then this is definitely the one. The only contender is 'Winterheart's Guild' by Sonata Arctica. And, apparently, Tony Kakko of Sonata Arctica looks up to Stratovarius as one of his inspirations so, with this in mind, I'd say go straight to the source of inspiration!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Prog Lives in Europe, 1 Sept. 2006
By 
ESP (Dudley, West Midlands United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Elements Pt. 1 (Audio CD)
Essentially you need only read my review of 'Elements Part 2', which I managed to purchase first, to get the idea. Obviously, the CDs are linked in concept and style. Good Prog Rock with a touch of attitude.

However, having also purchased 'Infinite' between the two other discs, I would point out that there is a very strong similarity between 'Hunting High & Low' (track 1 of 'Infinite') and 'Eagleheart' (track 1 of 'Elements Part 1'). Also, 'Fantasia' (track 4) is cornier than most, complete with a distracting pronunciation of that very word.

I recommend buying the boxed set.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stratavarius, 26 July 2013
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This review is from: Elements Pt.1 (Audio CD)
Love this band and love this album a truly recommended choice to have if you love this band which I do.
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Elements Pt.1 by Stratovarius (Audio CD - 2003)
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