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Band name: Kotipelto
Title: Serenity
Genre: Melodic Metal
Release date: 22th April 2007
Record company/label: AFM Records


Kotipelto is not a solo project from Timo Kotipelto, vocalist from Stratovarius. Many people will have that accocation when they see the name. Kotipelto is a real band and with their last release ‘Serenity’ you can’t have doubts about that anymore. It has some refrenses with Stratovarius: after all it is the same vocalist, but Timo shows a new side on ‘Serenity.’ There are more rockinfluences in the melody and still his talent is to sing very clear and very high.  With this new record Kotipelto is no longer only Timo, there is a strong band beside him.


Timo Kotipelto - vocals
Tuomas Wäinölä – guitars
Lauri Porra – bass
Janne Wirman - keyboards
Mirka Rantanen – drums

Song Review

01. One Upon A Time – 3.19
At the first sight it seems to be a classical power metal song: the catchy guitarparts, uptempo riffs and the high voice from Timo. At the same time it sounds different than other melodic bands.  Mirka on the drums has a very basic and strickt way of playing, together with Lauri (also member Stratovarius) on the bass there is a strong basic sound. It makes the song more raw and less obvious. Lauri gets all the space to create some diversity in the basslines. On the rest of the album he is more on the background. In the middle a fast guitar sets in and there are more hectic keyboardlines. Timo is showing his classical quality and together with the other musicians it is a breaktough in the history of Kotipelto. There happening a lot more in the songstructure.

02. Sleep Well – 4.14
Low guitar riffs, a fast keyboard: a heavy intro. Suddenly the fragile sound from Timo comes in. The choirs is catchy and listen to the bass riffs: they are subtile on the background. The production of the album is fore sure well balanced and made with an eye for the details. The second part is lower than we are used to here from Timo Kotipelto: he is looking for the lower parts in his voice and I must say I like it more than what he did on the high uptempo last records from Stratovarius. This song is already released as single for a movie. You can find the clip from it on the official website.  The guitarsolo brings a lot of energy in the song and reminds us of bands like Whitesnake and Deep Purple. The solo from Tuomas reflects the process of a whole band who was involved. Timo is no longer only in front of the mix or on stage: this band is ready to start again.

03. Serenity – 3.29
The titletrack of the album. A more melancholic Timo who sets in on a lower level and in a progmetal way changes it to higher notes. It makes it special to hear this song now I know the idea is born in The Netherlands. Also it is a perfect example when you want to know what Timo can do more besides his other band. This song couldn’t made in the Stratovarius formation. There were no borders, new musicians to work with and Timo finally gets all the space he needs to create a new and other sound. Janne on the keyboards has made a very surrealistic and melodic solo. This song grabs me, because it is less perfect: it shows a real man with some deep emotions. It is not as perfect as it seems sometimes: that is why the high melodylines wouldn’t fit well.

04. City Of Mysteries – 4.20
A darker bass sound , more attention for the drums and a minimalistic sound. Timo is again using his lower side and screams almost. It is more straight-forward as well as the lyrics. It easy stays in your head. There are not a lot of melody changes and that makes the song more peacefull and open. It is not as full as it was on the first two records. Also the low metal orientated riffs are a new unexpected element.

05. King Anti-Midas – 4.05
This is a lighter song in compare with the previous one. On the other hand Timo his voice is much lower than before. Also he makes little changes and that makes the listener more curious. He is not so sweet and catchy anymore. This the perfect example of his quality and what happens when he is not bound to any musical border. There are more classical keyboardparts breaking the melody and the solo from Janne is together with the drums a rest moment in the song. All the members of Kotipelto are showing the best they can and that is what you hear in the production. You get the feeling that they worked hard to get to song perfect and in the right structure.

06. Angels Will Cry – 3.52
Again an uptempo song in a more classical metal way: a fast drumbeat, some long guitar riffs and the bass on top of that. That is the basic and Timo makes the melody more dynamic. He uses his quality to create a more bombastic sound with some high changing parts in combination with changing rhythm parts. When he changes the other instruments are changing also: than you have the feeling that there happens a lot. A totally different song that the others and an ode to his roots.

07. After The Rain – 3.54
A balade with a classical piano and guitar. Timo carries the whole melody on his own in a very open and fragile way. He keeps the song less perfect to let us hear the changes between high and low. He becomes more sensitive and human in his voice. The classical rock guitar solo is a breaking point and when Timo sets in again, the melody grows to a climax.

08. Mr. Know-It-All – 5.19
This song has a different structure than the others: it is more guitar orientated and more bassed on the guitarlines. Timo is more folowing the melody from the leadguitar and the bass. Sometimes it seems that he has more spoken parts before he screems it out. The drums are getting a bit boring, because it is the same structure with many of the songs. The keyboard is too much on the background. On the other hand finally the bass is better to hear on this song.  When you like Iron Maiden, you will recognize something of it in the guitar solo. Like the title says, it is a more experimental and down-to-earth song.

09. Dreams And Reality – 4.22
A bit a slower start with the same vocal ideas as named before. With his charism Timo makes the song more catchy and I am sure this song will be nicer to hear on stage: than you feel the vibe and dynamic melody a bit more. There is even a bit agression in the clear and sereen voice of Timo. Also the riffs from Lauri and Tuomas are cooperating very well in that atmosphere. The blond vocalist is showing is human and fragile side more than he ever did.

10. Last Defender – 8.17
An acoustic, sensitive last song. Only a acoustic guitar and Timo. Than suddenly the metal riffs are breaking that structure. It gets more symphonic with violins and more arrangentments. The storm is really there and you can’t escape. The ’Last Defender’ gives you a dark and melancholic feeling, but on the other hand Timo shows you that there is reason enough to be strong and positive. His voice is reflecting that power. Lauri plays some very detailed guitar lines and that mixed with the beautiful violins the climax is soon there. Suddenly drums are coming in, like a march and you hear the guitar coming in: the bombast is back but in a very open and minimalistic way. This is beauty, this is real music and this is Kotipelto who made the best record they can.


On the promo are two radio addits from:
Sleep Well – 4.14
Serenity – 3.29

Cover Picture

Technical Summary

Total playing time: 45.28 min
Total songs: 10


‘Serenity’ is a breaktough in the history of Kotipelto: the band brings themselves to a higher level. To make an album what is well produced, mixed and interesting with a diversity of songs. With their roots in the ’80 rock and the melodic metal you get a strong combination of both. The whole album is a good mixture between all the instruments and the melody from Timo. He dares to be different and to do something new and unexpected. His voice is still the best trademark, but he knows that it is not only the voice what makes a song powerfull. Also he is more fragile, open and divers. Enough reason to buy this album when you like the sound of Timo Kotipelto, when you like power metal, melodic metal, classical rock influences or just some melodic music this is a high qualitated record. It is sometimes maybe not original enough for the powermetal fans, but it has a good quality and that is also rare nowadays. Kotipelto is a strong band what found their own sound. Above all the whole record is full of real emotions.  Together with the good production 'Serenity' is the next step to a higher level in the career of Kotipelto.


Music 9.3
Sound 8.3
Extra’s 7.5
Total 8


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