To honor the departure of long-time drummer Jorg Michael, Stratovarius went on a 5 date farewell tour, to commemorate his time in the band. The end result of this tour is the cool new live release called Under Flaming Winter Skies. Under Flaming Winter Skies is a double CD release, with a DVD sold separately. The band sound great and re-establish themselves at the top of the power metal heap. The band were on fire for these recordings, and new guitarist Matias Kupiainen steals much of the spotlight with his monstorous ripping. Matias has found his way out from the shadow of former guitarist/founder Timo Tolki and truly shines on this release.
The CD is packed full of hits from the band's stellar catalog. There is a nice representation of songs from every era of the band. It is cool to hear the older songs performed with this current line up. There are also a couple of interesting covers thrown in as well, like Behind Blue Eyes (The Who) and Burn (Deep Pruple) All of the musicians are on top of their game and perform masterfully. My only critique is that the mix is off at times. In several instances, Kotipelto's vocals are drowned out by the other instruments. This package is the perfect send off for their long time drummer. All in all a solid package. I have to say though, if you get the CD, you must also get the DVD, because the visual is rocking as well.
Bottom Line: Stratovarius rocking it, better than they have in awhile. The band are on top of their game and seem to be rejuvenated.
-Ragman can't wait for the next release, it should be a killer.