Stratovarius more than manage to entertain with their melodic metal medleys
Over the years Bloodstock in it's two different incarnations has hosted a variety of well known and high quality power metal acts including Hammerfall, Sonata Arctica and Dragonforce, so in the end it is only fitting that they have finally booked Stratovarius, a band who are not only highly influential in the genre but are among the best in their classic albums. With this, their only UK appearance this year and also the closer for this years Bloodstock Open Air, Stratovarious have shown us why they are one of the best melodic power metal acts around these days.
It truly was a top notch set, particularly in terms of a straight-up musical performance, the sound was great for the band and each member of the band put his weight in. Be it the strong and insistent vocals of singer Timo Kotipelto or the impressive finger work of guitarist Timo Tolkki who pulled off several impressive guitar solos throughout their hour and a half long set. The real honours in terms of musicianship however has to go to keyboard-legend Jens Johansson who as well as performing far more than adequately during the bands actual set also got the opportunity to show his skills and flair in a highly impressive keyboard solo.
As well as being expertly performed, their was also a wide-range of material covered with something to please anyone, be it the ten-minute epic 'Visions', the powerful and hard hitting 'Will My Soul Ever Rest In Peace' (the real highlight of the set), or the 'Elements Part 1' classic 'Eagleheart', the set list truly was representative of Strato's long and accomplished career and had a song for any one with a passing interest in the band to enjoy.
However, after such a high calibre show put on Turisas there seems to be something almost anticlimactic about Stratovarius' set, the musicianship was excellent, the sound was top notch and the set list was a very strong one, but in comparison to earlier acts the band lack the magnetism or energy onstage to really excel. The band just lacked anything dynamic to grab interest and whilst there were many dedicated fan down at the front-center, compared to the large enthusiastic crowds seen earlier they were rather subdued.
Nonetheless, Stratovarius put on a damn good show regardless of how overshadowed it may have been, one that many bands of their ilk would have been proud to have performed and there is not much they can really be faulted on apart from their lack of energy. All in all, Stratovarius' technical and melodic take on the power genre made for a fitting and enjoyable end to this years Bloodstock, their set was varied and wide-ranging enough to please the fans of the band whilst the material itself was of such a quality that almost all would leave feeling entertained at least. An excellent finish to a great festival, roll on Bloodstock Open Air 2007!