Label: earMusic/Edel 2012
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom
Pardon my ignorence but I honestly thought this would be the acoustic album consisting of covers only? Sure enough, they do cover Gary Moore's "Out In The Fields", The Who's "Behind Blue Eyes", and Deep Purple's "Perfect Strangers". So naturally anyone would at first draw the conclusion that, "Black Diamond", "Coming Home", and "Hunting High And Low", should be the tunes originally performed by KISS and A-HA?
Obviously not, since this is the rather dodgy pub-project by Stratovarius singer Timo Kotipelto and Jani Liimatainen from Sonata Arctica. Unfortunately one of these projects that seems good on paper but doesn't always turn out quite as great on record. The semi original idea of bringing the low-key concept to the public is not all too bad actually. I can totally understand average female/male would/could most certainly enjoy the night out with food, beer, and the acoustic duo on stage.
However, it's one thing as the fun night out at your local pub and a completely different animal in the studio. It's clearly not the lions rather than lambs at play here, not a single version comperable to the superial standard of the originals. A lot of the Stratovarious (and Sonata Arctica) material is based on arena rock, loud guitars, thundering drums, and on top of this soaring vocals by Kotipelto. He's frankly not as impressive nor interesting as the stripped down singer/songwriter and the same goes for the material. Highlights, Behind Blue Eyes, followed by Perfect Strangers. They've been performing their acoustic set all across Finland and they'll be heading out on the roads again this month. Catch them live on stage instead as this is strickly intended for/to the mad collector of everything connected to Kotipelto/Liimatainen.