When the twilight hour has come - Wishevoke

When the twilight hour has come

As this text is being written, it is past twelve when the last cigarette slowly fades away in the ashtray to the sounds of “Twilight Time”. One would say the cause was there the upcoming Timo Tolkki’s Strato concertbut in reality it was just a “fortunate moment” to put in order the words and thoughts that had been scattered for years about the great Finnish musician and his path, from Stratovarius to today, and to bring back the column In the Heat of the Night in active action.

A common denominator of this journey are the many and popular songs that he offered with each of his creative forms, including those that followed Stratovarius but carried the spirit of those, their classic days. Fifteen years after his departure from the giants of European power metal, nothing seems the same as the years go by and times change, especially not for the better.

The same goes for him, because the boy who spent hours playing guitar in his room and went on to become one of the most influential and well-known guitarists/composers in the European metal scene has given way to a man who has spent years battling his demons, some of them Progress, but also many setbacks.

The entire trajectory of Tolkki’s life, from his origins in the Land of a Thousand Lakes to his father’s suicide when he reached puberty, to the bipolar disorder and other mental health issues he was diagnosed with in the mid-2000s, seems to follow to have been like that as a soundtrack the songs he wrote. Compositions in which light and darkness masterfully intertwine, always leaving a bittersweet feeling, a feeling of sadness that few bands have been able to achieve with such balance.

This was also the magic word in the musical world of Timo Tolkki and his own Stratovarius, a world that he could control and that offered him an outlet, and that made her a leading figure within the rapidly developing power metal in the 90s -language made. Alpha and Omega, light and darkness, the world of Stratovarius was created in a context where for every burst of speed/power there was a ballad and for every pompous epic composition there was an anthemic hit that stays in the memory. Because the musical training of the band members – above all himself and his neoclassical suggestions – enabled him to develop further, with the accompanying changes of roles and people in the respective line-up.

From the debut to the first part of “Elements”, Stratovarius’ path was groundbreaking and showed a form that evolved album after album, keeping the quality level high and constantly looking for further musical development. Ultimately, “Destiny” is the only album from the band’s first fourteen years of work that exhibits artistic stagnation, a record that is truly remarkable and has satisfactorily withstood the test of time.

From there (and with the existence of the filler from the creative sessions of “Elements” – see “Elements Pt. 2” – so as not to spoil the overall picture) things take a turn for the worse and also mark the beginning of the end for the classic Stratovarius line-up, which reached its crowning conclusion with Tolkki’s departure from his own band – and the waiver of their rights. There is no point in talking about the events themselves in detail, as they do not flatter Tolkki or his former companions (with possible urination on stage, blood-stained photos of Tolkki and the infamous “Miss K” who Kotipelto would replace her). can be found more precisely with a simple online search).

However, in essence, they were the beginning of a very difficult period for the Finnish musician, which, among other things, gave some competent musical moments (such as the first metal opera album “Avalon”, the debut project “Revolution Renaissance”). supposed to be the next Stratovarius album – and the record he signed to Frontiers’ Allen/Lande project), but also a series of musical disappointments, starting with 2005’s acclaimed self-titled Stratovarius album, but also the all-star group from Symfoniain Tolkki’s constant battle with himself.

The lowest point of all for the author – and in purely musical contexts – its appearance in our country in 2017, and what happened in it. In a large – and empty – venue, the former conductor of a popular band in Greece is unable to stand on his feet and struggles to adequately perform his own songs while the group of (skilled) session musicians accompanying him , had difficulty with this save yourself the excuse of a really sad night. Sad on a purely human level, as the dissolution of a musical hero happened in the most disturbing way for many of us.

Did we say destabilization? Write incorrectly, because ideas, passions and feelings cannot calm down, they wait for the most “opportune” moment to burst out again. Thus, the reunion of the cast of the first Stratovarius period and the return of Tolkki to his own space of creative reverie is our own – perhaps vain – hope for his return with a live performance that will replace the drama of the period previous on hard drive full Memories and – in its second year – an album that deserves to be called – not indirectly, but clearly – a sequel to the alabaster “Dreamspace”. I try to reach for the light in the nightfall…

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