REVIEW: Stratovarius - Nemesis

Genre: Melodic/Power Metal
Label: Ear
Date of Release: February 22, 2013


If one is looking for an example of a strong power metal record, then "Nemesis" is an album to go to, thanks to Finnish group Stratovarius. This quintet formed in 1985 from Helsinki, and since then, they released an enormous surplus of records over the years. On top of that, they also became one of the most popular melodic power metal bands in the scene. Their newest addition to their large discography would be this record, "Nemesis," their fourteenth full-length record released in 2013. After such a long history, Stratovarius proves to be a band at the top of their game.

One of the elements of this record that makes it so enjoyable is the musicianship. It's showcased very well, starting with the vocal work. The singing has a plentiful of energy and might to it, and it delivers some powerful notes throughout the album. Along  with that, the guitars also do an excellent job in offering lots of great melodies with the vocals. They are played incredibly well without too much unneeded noodling, making way for a stellar and organized performance. The percussion work also fares well, sounding very explosive and possessing a very engaging speed along with the rest of the musicianship. "Nemesis" succeeds in displaying some rather outstanding instrumentation.

Next to the musicianship is some great production and electronic effects. The mixing makes the music sound crisp, but very resonant and atmospheric to the point where listeners can be sucked further into its grasp. In addition, the album also utilizes some melodic synthesizer, an example being from the introduction of the first track "Abandon." Like the singing and the guitars, they hurl soaring melodies at the audience for more atmosphere and drama. The majority of these really work, and they never feel out of place in the wake of the rest of the album's metallic flight. Overall, the production and synthesizer really function well in here.

"Nemesis" is an album made up of fantasy-like melodic power metal that is written out and executed tremendously. Every single track in this album has so much energy and memorability to it, that it's hard not to be compelled by it. This all comes from how epic, massive, and theatrical the music is, as signified by the gigantic album artwork. The most recommended of these songs include the opener, "Abandon," and then the second track and the record's first single "Unbreakable." Both showcase how potent and invigorating the melodic music can be in this album, possibly holding the most memorability as well. In regards to that, this release also has a ton of gripping moments in its tracklist that vacuums listeners further into its grasp without showing off or losing focus. Structured strongly and wondrously performed, the melodic power metal that this album has to offer is simply great.

All in all, "Nemesis" is a powerful metal record that is very well-crafted and very well-performed. The musicianship is stellar, alongside the production work, and the music itself is purely packed with grand melodies and vigor, and it all adds up to a great release. As stated earlier, if you are in search of a solid example of an excellent power metal album, this is something to try out. It's highly recommended for followers of the genre and newcomers to it as well, and it comes to show that Stratovarius is a band that is highly praised for a reason.

Score: 9.5/10 (Excellent+)