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Timo Tolkki > Classical Variations and Themes > Reviews > kluseba
Timo Tolkki - Classical Variations and Themes

Neoclassical magic but somewhat confusing - 69%

kluseba, December 4th, 2011

Timo Tolkki's first solo output is inspired by neoclassical and melodic metal sounds as well as many traditional songs from the classic genre inspired by Tchaikovsky for example. While Tolkki proves once again that he is a gifted guitar player, the tracks are mostly covers or short instrumental tracks and offer nothing really interesting.

The most outstanding songs are surely "Fire Dance Suite" and "Soldier's Prayer" that include some vocals. Tolkki proves for the last time in the years to come that he is a gifted singer. The songs are good but not outstanding and could have been some bonus tracks from the amazing "Dreamspace" output. The first one sounds a little bit like "Shattered" and is a solid power metal effort with great vocals. The second track is a little bit slower, maybe like "Reign Of Terror" with a pumping bass guitar and some sacral keyboard sounds in the background. I wish Tolkki would have used these songs for an upcoming Stratovarius release as they don't really fit to the other instrumental tracks that are much calmer and have a different style.

That's why this album feels as if it was done in a little hurry, it sounds like a confusing compilation. It's surely enjoyable to listen to but Tolkki has already proven that he can do a much better effort than this. Fans of neoclassical metal including shredding solos and calmer and almost religious passages as well as Stratovarius maniacs from the early years should check this release out. Anybody else can skip it without any doubts or regrets.