Those sympathetic Fins (and a Swede) of Stratovarius have recently released a cross-section of their best tracks on a double CD recorded live in Greece. I had heard many good things of the band and their music but had somehow not got round to buying any of their CDs. I figured this live album would be a good first.

And indeed it is. Though slowed down at the end of the first disc with solo spots that show the relentless talents of Timo Tolkki (guitar) and Jens Johansson (ex-Malmsteen, among others, on keyboards), the whole comes across full of enthusiasm and is excellently produced. The solo spots, by the way, never fail to make my hands erupt with sweat - something that always happen to me when I hear people do things with their instruments that are vastly superior to your average musician.

Never mind singer Timo Kotipelto's accent (nor the audience's), but do mind the presence of just about every Stratovarius classic, including "Kiss of Judas", "Distant Skies", "Twilight Symphony", Will the Sun Rise?" and "Legions". And, priced just a bob or two more than an ordinary CD, "Live! Visions of Europe" is good value for money as well.

Click here to check out or buy this CD



Written August 1998


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