Kotipelto - Waiting For The Dawn
Century Media
Melodic Heavy Metal
12 songs (52:20)
Release year: 2002
Kotipelto, Century Media
Reviewed by Marty
Surprise of the month
Untitled Document

This is the first solo release by Timo Kotipelto, lead vocalist for Stratovarius. Although there's an obvious Stratovarius influence, much of this album has a more traditional metal sound to it. Most of the tracks are riff driven and use a wide variety of guitar sounds, many of which are a throw back to a more 80's style of metal. Choruses are very solid throughout this release and he comes up with some great melodic hooks. Some well known players in the metal music scene are used on this album namely, Roland Grapow (ex - Helloween) and Arjen Anthony Lucassen (Ayreon) on guitar. For keyboards, he enlists the talents of Mikko Harkin (Sonata Arctica) and Janne Warmen (Warmen, Children Of Bodom). Derek Riggs, known doing album covers for Iron Maiden, designed the cover for this release (also did the Infinite album cover for Stratovarius). As the cover suggests, there is a definite Egyptian theme to this album as far as the lyrical subject matter (kings, pharoahs, sorcery etc.). Timo's voice, as always, is in top form and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by this release. He really proves his songwriting talents and delivers a solid album of all sorts of styles and tempos of metal music.

Travel Through Time, a good up-tempo track, begins with a cool guitar/organ riff that has a Dream Theater-like quality to it and blends quickly into a big fat power-chord guitar sound. That particular sound coupled with a very choppy drum sound gives the song a bit of an Iron Maiden feel to it. Vizier, a mix of mid-tempo and fast riffing, features a trademark Iron Maiden-type of very abrupt and very fast tempo change with some great soloing. A couple of tracks, including Lord Of Eternity, have more of a Labyrinth type of sound to them with the guitar/keyboard blend. The keyboard parts on this album are a little more up in the mix than usually heard with Stratovarius, and feature more organ and harpsichord than synthesizer, giving most songs a different type of sound. The soloing is solid throughout, but it's still not quite as explosive and technical as Timo Tolkki's style on the Stratovarius releases. Only one track, Knowledge And Wisdom, really has the speediness and fast double bass drumming style that is so typical of Stratovarius. This song features Roland Grapow on guitar and features some cool Helloween-style fast guitar harmonies in the chorus sections and it just cooks! Battle Of The Gods, another highlight, is a slower heavier track with repetitive and hypnotic riffs and a very, very catchy chorus (.......I'm still singing it!!!!!!!.....). The title track, Waiting For The Dawn, begins with a very Saxon-like guitar riff which carries the whole song through and remains very much up front in the mix. This song and a few of the others, feature a heavier and louder guitar sound than is heard on the Stratovarius releases and, according to his website, was Timo's deliberate attempt to make a more "traditional" type of metal album. Chosen By Re has a more epic feel to it and begins as a slower tempo track with a Maiden-like intro and speeds up for another Labyrinth-style guitar/organ battle. The track is highlighted by a great chorus with solid double bass drumming and slicing guitar power chords throughout. Arise, a more atmospheric track, features a Black Sabbath style repetitive riff throughout the song and is another stand-out track. There is a ballad on this release, Beauty Has Come, which features very passionate vocals with some nice acoustic guitar and piano accompanyment and is done in a classic ballad style......a great performance!

The production is excellent for this release and I think Timo has done well for himself. He has created a very solid and very enjoyable metal album with a wide variety of styles and some wonderful melodies. The heaviness of some of the tracks is almost a throw-back to the Visions era (and before) of the Stratovarius sound which I think will please the fans, especially those who may not have liked the musical direction that Stratovarius has taken over the last couple of albums. There are no filler tracks and everything is well performed and arranged. I find with repeated listens, that this album is starting to rival a few of the Stratovarius releases with it's quality and style. It's almost as good as a Stratovarius album........but not quite.....

Killing Songs :
Travel Through Time, Knowledge And Wisdom, Battle Of The Gods, Chosen By Re, Arise
Marty quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by Kotipelto that we have reviewed:
Kotipelto - Serenity reviewed by Marty and quoted 75 / 100
Kotipelto - Coldness reviewed by Shane and quoted 72 / 100
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