Sound — 10
Right away on the first song, Father Time, there is a tick-tocking clock sound that causes immediate anticipation in the listener. You're just waiting for the big break in and finally it comes with fast and heavy power meatl riffage. This is a great opening to an album. Just about as good as that of Visions. Father Time is an exccellent opening track which reflects styles used on Visions and Destiny. Timo Kotipelto's strong and wide-ranged voice really propels this album from the very get-go. The most famous song from this album, Speed Of Light, is one of Stratovarius' shortest yet it still proves that the band can pack all kinds of goodies in to a song just over three minutes. The keyboards could have had more parts during the verses of each song but Jens holds his own when he does play.
Lyrics — 10
Timo Kotipelto is my favorite singer right now along with Mikael Akerfeldt. Timo has a very good range for a power metaler and creates some of the best vocal melodies I have ever heard in music. His prowess with this skill is comparable to Yes' Jon Anderson. Timo's best performance would either have to be on Forever or Father Time. The lyrics are the classic epic and neo-classical-power metal standards about climbing mountains and being awesome.
Overall Impression — 10
This was a pretty strong release for this band. I think Visions was still their best but this one is their second best easily. Ican't remember if it is Tomorrow or Night Time Eclipse which sounds a lot like Forever Free but I think Forever Free is better than the other one. The best songs on here are Father Time, Speed Of Light, Stratosphere, Forever, and Seasons Of Change. Purchase this CD and follow your heart not trends!