CIVIL WAR The Last Full Measure Napalm Records [Release date 04.11.16]
Civil War are back with a swift follow up to last year’s enjoyable ‘Gods And Generals’ release. They have trimmed down in size now down to two guitarists following the departure of Oskar Mantelius last year. Not that it affects the overall sound as the band continue with their own version of power metal based on warriors and warfare.
Vocalist Nils Patrik Johnansson really carries the songs along as not all have memorable melodies and catchiness of say bands like Power Wolf or Patrik’s other band Astral Doors. That said songs like ‘Deliverance’ make good use of keys and guitar solos, whilst ‘Tombstone’ features some musical changes to keep the interest levels up.
Power metal fans will enjoy the work of Civil War, if they haven’t already, and this album is as good as their previous two. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
STRATOVARIUS Destiny/Visons Of Europe earMusic [Release date 21.10.16]
Fresh from re-issuing fellow power metal legends Gamma Ray’s output, earMusic now turn their attention to re-issuing Stratovarius’s back catalogue. They start off with two albums originally released back in 1998.
‘Destiny’ is a fan favourite and was a massive success in their native Finland, reaching number 2 in the Finnish album charts. From the choral pomp opening on the title track through to the closing and rousing ‘Anthem of the World’, you can hear why it is held in such high esteem. The band really had the knack of mixing frantically paced power metal stompers and the more epic, slower paced songs. Of course back then Timo Tolkki was still in the band and the line-up on here is the band’s longest to date, lasting between 1993 and 2005 (considered the classic line-up of the band).
Three decent bonus songs include Japanese bonus song ‘Dream With Me’ and ‘Blackout’ from the US edition.
The live album was recorded on their 1997 ‘Visions’ tour and songs like ‘Will The Sun Rise?’ and ‘Father Time’ are still set list staples today. Live albums are not ones I would personally buy, but this is perfect for fans and the re-issue comes in a lavish digipak. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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