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Its No Stratovarius, but Still Pretty Enjoyable - 77%

PowerProg_Adam, February 24th, 2004

Timo Tolkki severely lacks the shredding that he is known for in Stratovarius on Hymn to Life, but many of these songs are still rather touching. Most of the songs are sung my Tolkki himself, and I personally would not consider this to be a metal album by any stretch of the imagination.

Key to the Universe is a power ballad type song, with ex-Helloween singer Michael Kiske on vocals. In my opinion, this track is probably the single most emotional track I have ever heard. Timo's solo is slow and melodic, and Kiske's voice has never sounded more crisp and clean. This song is alone reason enough to listen to this album.

Now I Understand, sounds like a more upbeat version of the Police's "I'll Be Watching You". It is probably the second best track on the album, seeing as still displays rather melodic guitar parts, and passionate vocals from Tolkki.

Fresh Blue Waters, I am convinced is a country song. Some of the vocals sound remiscent to Pink Floyd, but the guitar tabs to this song are straight out of an old country song. Halfway through the song, it is surprising to see Tolkki break out a Stratovariusesque solo however.

Dear God and Father are probably 2 of the worse songs that I have ever heard. They offer no listenable elements whatsoever. Tolkki seems to have forgotten how to play guitar here and manages to do a worse job of singing than usual. To me, these songs resemble Stratovarius' 030366, but minus any sort of rhythm.

I wouldn't really recommend this to diehard metal fans, or even die hard Stratovarius fans, but I think it would be pretty nice for fans of bands such Pink Floyd, OSI, and other progressive rock type bands.