The Age Of Metal conducted an interview with STRATOVARIUS vocalist Timo Kotipelto and keyboardist Jens Johansson prior to the listening party for the band’s new album, “Nemesis”, at Idle Hands Bar in New York City. They talk about the CD, their sounds, their new drummer, a possible reunion with their former guitarist, Timo Tolkki, and their European tour with AMARANTHE and SEVEN KINGDOMS this March and April. You can now listen to the chat using the Mixcloud player below.
“Nemesis” will be released on February 22 via earMUSIC. The CD will be made available as a standard 11-track edition as well as 13-track special edition. A taste of the new studio album can be enjoyed with the limited-edition EP “Unbreakable”, released on January 25.
STRATOVARIUS are hailed as one of the most influential and successful symphonic metal bands in the world and they have managed to establish themselves as one of the metal scene’s heavy names. The new album, “Nemesis”, unites all the best traits of the band’s melodic, powerful, fresh and technically elaborated metal, all spiced up with an incredible sense for melody.
The album was produced and mixed by Matias Kupiainen and mastered by Mika Jussila from Finnvox studios, who has a long history with the band.
“Nemesis” has a dark and more modern sound compared to the band’s last album, “Elysium”. It clearly shows how much the band has matured and grown as songwriters. At the same time, the band focused all their attention and work into creating and recording “Nemesis”. Singer Timo Kotipelto spent three weeks recording the vocals in a cottage in the Finnish countryside.
States STRATOVARIUS guitarist Matias Kupiainen: “I have more or less lived in the studio for four months, obsessing over every detail. I feel very relieved that we are done and I am very happy with the material and the sound.”
Kotipelto agrees: “Making the album this time was easier because we gave it as much time as it needed. We have worked our asses off to make this and we hope the fans will like it.”
“Nemesis” has it all. From the typical melodic and powerful STRATOVARIUS sound in “Abandon”, to the aggressive and energetic “Stand My Ground”, the album represents the new style of the band mixed with good old melodic power metal.
STRATOVARIUS‘ musical approach is today wider and richer than ever. The song “Fantasy” sounds almost ABBA-esque with its catchy pop flavor, but it’s powered by the famous STRATOVARIUS metal sound, louder than ever.
“Out Of The Fog” integrates some folk music elements, with lyrics telling the story of a young person forced to march blindly into battle.
The only ballad on the album, “If The Story Is Over”, is a very emotional song with a grand arrangement that builds up to using the full band and ends with a small female choir.
The title track “Nemesis” is a typical STRATOVARIUS song, with echoes of medieval melodies with powerful double bass drumming and the catchy pop melodies from this side of the millennium.
Says Kotipelto: “The title track of the album; with its modern twist on the myth of Nemesis, it tells a story of a preacher who gives each one what they deserve, good or bad. The song has a very nice riff, cool melodies and a great good old STRATOVARIUS-style chorus.”
All songs revolve around the leading track “Unbreakable”, a very melodic cut with a soft piano intro in contrast to the heavy riffing that the album would display later on.
“Nemesis” track listing:
03. Stand My Ground
04. Halcyon Days
06. Out Of The Fog
07. Castles In The Air
09. One Must Fall
10. If The Story Is Over
Commented guitarist Matias Kupiainen: “‘Unbreakable’ is a very important song to me and the lyrics have a lot of personal meaning. Sometimes you can snap out of your day to day fog and see what is important. And when you are in that special moment, when you have that special feeling, you are invincible, unbreakable; you should really stop and enjoy the feeling. Even, if the whole world falls apart tomorrow.”
The band will perform the new songs live for the very first time headlining the Radio Rock Cruise in Finland from February 9 to February 10, followed by their first club show in Helsinki on March 3, 2013. On March 20, 2013 STRATOVARIUS will kick off for their Nordic Nexus Of Nemesis Tour 2013 with fellow Scandinavians AMARANTHE, before they return to Finland mid-April to play five more shows.
STRATOVARIUS in June 2012 announced the addition of drummer Rolf Pilve to the group’s ranks.
“Unbreakable” audio stream: