"Serenity" (Candlelight; 2007)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Finnish metal vocalist Timo Kotipelto is known predominantly for his work with Stratovarius, but once again he steps out of that role to front his own solo endeavor. 

The third installment from Kotipelto is the 10-track "Serenity," a collection of bang-your-head rockers and hold-your-handkerchief ballads driven by keyboards and '80s metal clichés with a discernible power metal gear shift controlling the action. 

Big drums, soaring vocals, and clinical riffs are in abundance here, so if you have an aversion to melodic metal without any sense of extremity, this would be one to skip over. However, if TNT, Symphony X, Dokken, and Europe still dominate your iPod Shuffle, give this one a go. 

For more information visit http://www.kotipelto.com

"Coldness" (Century Media; 2004)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

I am a latecomer to the classic power metal sound that Stratovarius has made so popular the last 15 years or so. It wasn't until mid-2000 that I started listening to Stratovarius in earnest. While it is obvious that Stratovarius is the brainchild of Timo Tolkki, the voice of Timo Kotipelto is an unmistakably integral part of the Stratovarius sound.

"Coldness" is instantly likeable – and much of the credit goes to Timo Kotipelto's smooth voice. Although his voice is in a higher register than I usually care for, I can't really complain too much here especially since I have a liking for his performances in Stratovarius. Tomi Kotipelto keeps good company by enlisting the help of members of Symphony X, Warmen, and Thunderstone to be a part of his project. Having solid musicians execute your ideas is always helpful and it seems Timo Kotipelto is pleased with his bandmates' performances as his vocals seemed relaxed and confident.

"Coldness" has a moodier, edgier feel than any Stratovarius record (or song for that matter) that I've heard. What "Coldness" lacks in the more progressive elements usually found in Stratovarius, Tomi Kotipelto makes up for in catchy tunes. However, I've not yet heard Kotipelto's debut CD "Waiting For The Dawn" so I'll leave it to others to provide that comparative perspective.

For the most part, the songs on "Coldness" are short and sweet – no track lingers too long to wear out the mood it creates. I know that I often make too big a deal out of the length of songs, but "Coldness" does a particularly fine job of keeping each song true to itself and avoiding excessive length to make its point that much clearer. The songs' roots are in traditional Euro-power metal – this is a well-established genre that most folks either love or hate. "Coldness" does not offer anything groundbreaking, but it does offer a well-executed example of the Euro-power metal style.

Stratovarius has quite a track record and Timo Kotipelto has played a significant part in the band's success; however, if the band's demise is final at least we know that Timo Kotipelto has a good career in front of him if he can match or exceed the standards he's set on "Coldness."

"Coldness" was produced by Timo Kotipelto.

Kotipelto: Timo Kotipelto on vocals, Mike Romero on guitars, Jahani Malmberg on guitars, Janne Warman on keyboards, Jari Kainulainen on bass, and Mirka Rantenen on drums.

For more information visit http://www.kotipelto.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2007 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 03 Apr 2022 15:56:16 -0400 .