Tag Archives: ethereality

Stratovarius @ Nokia Theatre Times Square (9/16/2009)

Logo - Stratovarius

Artist: Stratovarius
Venue: Nokia Theatre Times Square (New York, NY)
Opener: Pagan’s Mind, Ethereality
Date: 9/16/2009
Label: Armoury Records

Even though I had missed the last time that Stratovarius toured around these parts it has still been a few years since they were able to come back and do some gigs and this is based on the band being in a bit of a limbo for awhile. This status first came from guitarist Timo Tolki who eventually decided that he was done and that the band had been broken up, but when Timo Kotipelto informed the world that they were indeed alive and breathing and that music would continue, it was just a matter of time before the right player was found to replace the now absent Tolki. Tonight the scene of the action would be the Nokia Theatre in Times Square where the band would present their newest material from the smoking “Polaris” CD along with their long revered classics and introduce us all to their new guitarist Matias Kupianen. They would be touring with Pagan’s Mind as direct support and our area show found some local boys from New Jersey called Ethereality kicking off the fun. Here is how the night went down.
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“Renaissance” by Ethereality

Artist: Ethereality
Title: “Renaissance”
Label: Independent/Unsigned
Release Date: 11/27/2007
Genre: Melodic Power Metal
Rating: Good/Very Good

Straight out of New Jersey comes Ethereality, a band of young musicians who show that all of those Power and Melodic Metal bands who visited us from Europe over the years have clearly planted seeds that are growing into interesting bands here in the States. “Renaissance” is the bands four song EP and it presents their wares rather well, and based on the professional production and presentation it can hardly be labeled as a “demo”. Fronted by Rick Leben (vocals and lead guitar), the guys all show an appreciation of the Progressive side as well as they often indulge into long musical forays on the presented tunes. Leben himself is in possession of an excellent high vocal register that called to my mind the talented Tony Harnell (formerly of TNT). His guitar playing is also spot on and works well for the songs they included but I did have one minor critique about that and it’s in the overall length of most of these tracks. With the exception of “Tabula Rasa”, a smooth almost acoustic driven track with glass breaking screams, every song passes the seven minute mark. While this might be suitable for a band like Dream Theater or Symphony X it is hardly necessary for a group that is looking to first win you over and have you remember them do it. For instance, “I Cant Dream (With My Brother )” is a fine tune that is very energetic from beginning to end but could have lost almost two minutes of its closing movement and been your quick introduction to the way this band does things. Instead, it continues on and you are left saying “hmmm, why is this part still going”. I would have left the choice of lengthy number be their epic closer of “Renaissance” because be aware when all of your songs are long, every one becomes your epic and hence makes you rather predictable as a band.
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