Stratovarius - Enigma: Intermission II (2018)


Serving as an intermission between full-length releases, today we have Stratovarius with “Enigma: Intermission II”. Not settling for a typical EP, the band features three brand new songs, four orchestral tracks, and nine bonus tracks that have either been unreleased in Europe or are considered rare. If you are a fan of the band, this is definitely one unique opportunity to have all these rare tracks and new material in one single package.

The new tracks are spread out through this release and we will talk about them first. With “Enigma” the band picks up when they left with their last album, “Eternal”, and deliver a very engaging and dynamic piece filled with their signature soaring vocals and intricate guitar melodies. On “Burning Ground” we get lively tempo changes and a superbly catchy chorus section that is as typical Stratovarious as you can get. The futuristic “Oblivion” nicely movies into atmospheric territories with lush keyboards and a pulsating bass guitar line. This track is on the Power Metal-ballad side of things, allowing the listener to fully embrace the band’s musicality and creativity.

The four orchestral tracks: “Fantasy”, “Shine in the Dark”, “Unbreakable” and “Winter Skies”, are quite well arranged and we didn’t expect vocals on them, however this element actually makes them quite magical. Our favorite has to be “Unbreakable” and its dramatic string arrangements, allowing it to be considerably more emotional and engaging. While the tracks are ‘old’, these new versions certainly show them in a completely different light.

With the eve of the Internet and MP3 files all rare or region constrained tracks have become widely available for all markets, so many of the songs in this release, as a hardcore fan of the band, we have already heard before. However, it is quite nice to have them available in one place and of consistent quality, our favorites are: “Hunter”, “Giants” and the solemn “Old Man and the Sea”.

Overall, “Enigma: Intermission II” is a great package for fans of the band that can not wait to get new music. The three new songs show great promise and guarantee that the upcoming release will be excellent, while the orchestral and rare songs keep the listener entertained and highly engaged for almost 75 minutes, making this release a great value.

Bands: Stratovarius Album: Enigma: Intermission II

Label: earMUSIC

Release: Septmebr 28th, 2018

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Genre: Melodic Power Metal

Country: Finland

Rating: 90/100

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