Kotipelto - Waiting For Dawn

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Century Media
Catalog Number: 8108-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 52:25:00

Timo Kotipelto (which means "Home Field" in Finnish) arrives with his first solo album and I hope it's a sign of things to come for the Stratovarius singer who has created an Egyptian themed concept with the title Waiting For The Dawn.

Like Stratovarius' guitarist Timo Tolkki, who released his new solo album Hymn To Life recently, this is another one that's difficult to review. You see, whilst Tolkki went out of his way to create something totally different from Stratovarius, Kotipelto has decided to play it safe - melodic power metal with similarities to not only his own band but countless others. As you can guess, this is not the most original albums around but ...

... I really like it. Firstly, I think, it's because I am a fan of Timo Kotipelto's singing (although he doesn't experiment as much, like he did in the early years). There're more than a couple of vocal melodies here that are Stratovarius down to a tee. The highlight of the album, at least from a promotional point of view [which doesn't reflect the ProgPower Online score - Objective Ed.], is that the album contains the following musicians (skip this section if you know it already): Timo Kotipelto (Stratovarius) on vocals, Jari Kainulainen (Stratovarius) on bass, 3 guitarists in Mike Romeo (Symphony X), Roland Grapow (ex-Helloween), Sami Virtanen (Warmen), two keyboardists in Janne Wirman (Children of Bodom) and Mikko Harkin (Sonata Arctica), and finally two drummers in Mirka Rantanen (Tunnel Vision) and Gas (HIM). Now, for anybody, that is one great line up.

It's clear that Sami Virtanen is not a patch on Michael Romeo, who at least tries to make everything sound as interesting as possible, but the title track and the follower "Arise" just lack a punch that the Romeo tracks possess. And, for once, the title track is far and away one of the weak tracks, which is extremely rare for any metal album. As I said, this album is really catchy and it's very well played and despite its sometimes childish lyrics and its unoriginal structure, it's just an all round feel-good album. A wonderful piano/acoustic song is "Beauty Has Come" and the epic "Chosen By Re" (sounds like "Babylon" from the Stratovarius album Episode) epitomise the range with which Kotipelto has approached the album. If you're after the familiar, then check out tracks like "Lord Of Eternity," "Knowledge And Wisdom," and "Travel Through Time." The album tries to cover a lot of territory musically, but when it all comes down to it, it's nothing that wouldn't have been heard before - especially those familiar with Stratovarius. It's not as bombastic, metallic, or as pompous as that band but the way Timo sings is all too familiar.

This is a good album that doesn't over do it but at the same time it could have been so much more.

Note to Century Media Re: Digi-Paks.

Don't glue the bloody booklet to the packaging. LMP did it with Rhapsody's Rain Of A Thousand Flames and now you do it here. And please include instructions on how to get the CD out of tray - a total disgrace.

Similar To: Stratovarius

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Intro (0:59) / Travel Through Time (3:57) / Beginning (3:40) / Lord Of Eternity (4:04) / Knowledge And Wisdom (3:54) / Battle Of The Gods (5:04) / Beauty Has Come (4:54) / Vizier (4:20) / Chosen By Re (7:16) / Waiting For The Dawn (5:20) / Arise (6:20) / The Movement Of The Nile (2:24)

The Finnish edition includes also "Book Of The Dead" and the Japanese edition includes "Secret Name"

Timo Kotipelto - lead and backing vocals
Jari Kainulainen - bass
Mike Romeo - guitar (2, 3, 4, 8, 9)
Roland Grapow - guitar (5)
Sami Virtanen - guitar (6, 10, 11); acoustic guitars on (7)
Janne Wirman - keyboards (2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10); piano (7)
Mikko Harkin - keyboards (4, 11)
Mirka Rantanen - drums (2 - 6, 8, 9) Gas - drums (10, 11)

(on the bonus tracks: Gas - drums, Kari Tornack - keyboards, and Arjen Anthony Lucassen - guitar)

Waiting For The Dawn (2002)
Coldness (2004)
Serenity (2007)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin FI

Added: December 29th 2004
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Artist website: www.kotipelto.com
Hits: 1010
Language: english


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