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Revolution Renaissance - Age Of Aquarius (CD)

Revolution Renaissance
Age Of Aquarius
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 01 May 2009, 4:53 PM

The story about how Timo Tolkki left STRATOVARIUS is more or less known. The internal differences made the in-band atmosphere unbearable and thusTimo and Kotipelto took separate ways. The path that Tolkki chose, featured Shana Warrior Of Light the soundtrack like album and the birth of REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE. REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE is the name of the band that started as a project with New Era as the debut release. That album surprised me not only for the impressive guest singers but for the musical content underlying the fact that Timo still possesses the 'playing/composing music' mojo.
After about one year Timo returns under the same moniker but with a different and -as the official site says- solid lineup. He recruited Gus Monsanto (vocals), Bruno Agra (drums & orchestral arrangements), Michael Khalilov (keyboards) and Justin Biggs (bass) and Age Of Aquarius is the first product of their co-operation.
New Era raised my expectations and thus I was kind of pumped up about their second step that in a certain level dissapointed me. But let me get things from the start…
In the last two STRATOVARIUS albums (Elements Part II and the homonymous one) the band introduced a dark atmosphere to the up-tempo Power Metal. I thought then, that this was mainly due to the 'bad' atmosphere and not to Timo's artistic change. But as Age Of Aquarius opened the album I found myself in front of the same atmosphere. The song enters with an almost mid tempo with some clean guitar arpeggios blowing away the early STRATOVARIUS sound. Gus Monsanto has a clear and powerful voice but his timbre did not satisfied me since I got the 'I heard that before' feeling. I mean he sound like the rest of the Euro Power Metal singer with a mid to high pitch that simply is not something to remember afterwards. The almost classic orchestrations add volume to the overall sound and for this Ixions Wheel sounds pretty much interesting introducing an almost Epic atmosphere that explodes to a trademark Tolkki guitar riff. Behind The Mask made check the title on the player since it sounds like the Demolition JUDAS PRIEST era with Tim Owens on the mic. This track is ultra heavy, groovy and straightforward. One thing that I noticed here is that Timo is not 'playing his socks' with his guitar; it's like he has chosen to simplify a little bit his six strings work for the shake of the music itself. Personally, I don't feel very good about this since I am a fan of his faster than light scales and phrases. Kyrie Eleison stands for Lord Have Mercy in Greek and actually sounds nice in the refrain even though this language has a odd sounding pronunciation. Nevertheless the track is even darker but serves some powerful feelings if you manage to get connected with it.
All in all, this album did not meet my initial expectations. I think Timo can do better than that as he has proven during his time with his brainchild STRATOVARIUS. I am eager to give the band a second chance since it features a brand new lineup that obviously has not solidified a musical direction. Until that day, I will stick to the debut REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE album and enjoy Kiske's vocals.

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Age Of Aquarius  
Sins Of My Beloved  
Ixions Wheel  
Behind The Mask  
Ghost Of Fallen Grace  
Heart Of All  
So She Wears Black  
Kyrie Eleison  
Into The Future
Lineup:
Gus Monsanto - Vocals
Timo Tolkki - Guitar
Bruno Agra - Drums
Mike Khalilov - Keyboards
Justin Biggs - Bass
Record Label: Private Release
     


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