Stratovarius Polaris (Crystal Clear Color Vinyl)
- Released: September 26, 2020
Finnish power-metal stalwarts Stratovarius have been kicking around since the 1980s, undergoing many personnel changes along the way, but their twelfth album, POLARIS, is the first without guitarist Timo Tolkki, who left the band before they embarked on this project. Other than that, things seem to be status quo in Stratovariusland, as the album delivers the kind of bold, anthemic epics the group is known for, with their trademark mix of prog-rock keyboard flourishes, elaborate production, and '80s-influenced metal pyrotechnics. By 21st century standards, this stuff is actually closer to neo-prog than metal, but moments of Iron Maiden-like guitar fury are abundant nevertheless.
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