STRATOVARIUS - "A Concept Album Without A Concept!" Page 2
By Martin Popoff

And once the guys got down to bringing Timo's vision to fruition, explains Jens, they definitely took their time. "I think the only difference from the previous records is that from the outset we said we weren't going to compromise on anything this time. If it takes X amount of days to do this, we'll just let it drag on. If it means we delay the release, nobody gives a f**k. Nothing was allowed to be compromised. Then on the other hand, we started earlier too so we gave ourselves extra time; we started in April, I think. It was very laborious and more involved than previous albums. I was in Finland for two and a half or three months dealing with a lot of technical things."

Addressing the very real and mountainous power metal glut, Jens says that Stratovarius simply try to keep focused on what's worked for them for so long. "I don't really know what's going on so much in the scene. I know there are a lot of record companies trying to hitch onto this concept, but I think for us it hasn't been centered so much around tempos. It's more about the melody. It's more like a pop band that has metal structures underneath it. It always has been the melodies that are central to the songs. So I don't really know. I think it's still power metal but there are fewer of those traditional songs; same thing with the next one as well. Stylistically I would say the two are quite similar. It's from the same sessions because we did all 24 songs in one go, basically. So if you like this one, you probably won't like the next one. On the other hand, if this one turns out to be the favourite of people then they will probably like the next one as well. It's not like we took the bad ones and put them on the second record. It's a very, very even distribution of material."

"There are a few things that have changed from past records," continues Johansson, "but I think the core of it is still the same, this type of melodic idea. There's always like two or three melodic ideas in each song that sort of carry. Of course the production stuff, some of the conceptual stuff, is different, and some of the working processes are different than in those days. But I think the core idea of the band hasn't changed so much, which I think is good. If we wanted to do some avant-garde stuff, we should probably change the name."

STRATOVARIUS - "A Concept Album Without A Concept!" Page 3