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Kotipelto – waiting for the dawn

Kotipelto – Waiting For The Dawn
After 5 albums with Stratovarius Timo Kotipelto released his first solo effort. It is kind of hard to lay down the exact style, but I guess Power Metal with a great deal of symphonic and melodic elements should erase most confusion. I wouldn’t say that this album reminds me a lot of Stratovarius, Waiting For The Dawn is more mid-tempo styled and not that much based on guitar riffs.

The album is a concept concentrating about ancient Egypt and especially Egyptian mythology; interesting themes like afterlife, story of the ancient gods, love, magic and a high degree of spirituality. I find the lyrics inspiring, interesting and of high quality.

To record this very well played album, Timo has been a combined by a lot of musicians, among them guitarist Michael Romeo (Symphony X) and bassist Jari Kainulainen (Stratovarius).
On keyboard we find Janne Wirman and Mikko Harkin, on drums Mirka Rantanen and GAS, and on four songs Sami Virtanen handles the guitar.

The vocals are sounding great and very melodic, the drums are detailed and a big plus for the record, great keyboard arrangements are really giving the songs something extra, the bass grooves away and lays a solid fundament and the varied guitar work is balanced and well fitted into the different moods. Well on the songs. The album contains of 12 tracks, all of good quality.

Travel Through Time has a great positive mood and Michael Romeo displays some cool detailed guitar work in this mid-tempo song. The drums sound very fitting and technical. A great song that also has a very melodic keyboard solo that is perfectly split with the balanced guitar.

On Knowledge And Wisdom a more high paced rhythm is in focus. The double bass drums sound very tight and have some nice details. Timo’s vocal is very clear and fits perfect, especially in the huge melodic chorus. Roland Grapow plays the guitar on this one song, and the lead guitar parts are really fantastic, the solo is also very fast and melodic. The very raw and tight bass fits well into the main powerful rhythm.

One of the best moments on the album is the slow ballad Beauty Has Come. The atmospheric keyboard and quite acoustic guitar rhythm is brilliant. The soft vocals are sounding fantastic in this song; about love and affection. A very relaxed mood and a melodic chorus helps making this a really beautiful track.

To be fair I will mention a song that I still find good, but not as successful as most of the album’s tracks. Lord Of Eternity starts of with a strange but ok keyboard melody. The mid-tempo rhythm is very central and drives the song along; the chorus I find used a bit too much. The song is functioning pretty well; the chorus is just repeated too many times. I like the atmospheric vocal change in the middle as well as the technical guitar solo, and I find it only fantastic that I find it so hard to find something not that great on an album.
There are a couple more songs that rely pretty much on their central chorus, do this sound as something critical? Well it’s not, I’m just trying to be critical here, and that is difficult with this outstanding record.

Chosen By Re shows a more epic side of the album with its enchanting dark mood. The slower and often changing passages are working well. The fast parts are fitted nicely into the song.
The grooving bass displays some great lines, and some melodic guitar leads sets in just the right places. All in all a fantastic and well balanced track.

The Movement Of The Nile is the fantastic ending song. Great vocals, melodic acoustic guitar and a huge genius catchy chorus. Sadly its only just over 2 minutes long.

The rest of the songs are cool and overall good, not all exactly fantastic and as interesting as some of the mentioned ones, but as explained above the overall quality of this album is very high.
The sound is of extremely high quality, tight, very polished and still with much depth.

I give the album 8/10 because of the very high overall quality, if there had been a couple of totally amazing songs I’ve would have rated it even higher.

This album offers a great journey back in time and into new dimensions, performed by talented musicians with flair for detail, and served with a high amount of tightness and melody.
Track list:
01. Intro
02. Travel through time
03. Beginning
04. Lord of eternity
05. Knowledge and wisdom
06. Battle of the Gods
07. Beauty has come
08. Vizier
09. Chosen by re
10. Waiting for the dawn
11. Arise
12. The movement of the nile
13. Book of the dead
Power Metal, Finland 2001
Timo Kotipelto (Stratovarius)
Waiting For The Dawn 2002

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