TIMO TOLKKI “Saana - Warrior Of Light, Pt. 1: Journey To Crystal Island” /CD/



Official release of the third full-length solo album by legendary Finnish musician multi-instrumentalist.
"Saana - Warrior Of Light" is the first Rock Opera composed by ex-Stratovarius mastermind Timo Tolkki. Timo is going to run in to some resistance from the Metal faithful on this album. For the most part, "Saana - Warrior Of Light Pt. 1" eschews the trappings of Metal and sticks to a more traditional Operatic approach. There is very little guitar here, and what little there is doesn’t follow the shredding Power Metal feel that you would expect from the former main songwriter of Stratovarius. Mixing conventional Rock instruments with choirs, classical percussionists and a string ensemble blended seamlessly with cinematic influences, "Saana" is a breathtaking experience of emotions and dynamics. Timo Tolkki calls it "A Classical Rock Opera". 
"Saana - Warrior Of Light Pt. 1" is one long song broken up into 16 movements, filled with some terrific, moody classical pieces with all of the dynamics and nuances you’d expect in a traditional Opera. Hystory challenges its listener with a spectacular story of a woman who is about to end her life but is suddenly stopped by what seems to be a caring stranger ,who takes her on a journey that will change her life forever. Not only will she discover her destiny and find out her purpose, but she will also discover the biggest secret humankind has ever known. The final battle between good and evil has started. The ‘Rock’ on this Rock Opera really comes from two of the voices chosen: Janette Sainio (Revolution Renaissance) and Heikki Pöyhiä (Twilightning) who provide the heavier moments vocally, instead of having a shredding guitar solo. The opera part definitely comes from the pure soprano vocals of the main character portrayed by Jennifer Sowle. Her vocals actually the highlight of the album, giving it an incredibly authentic feel.
Tolkki has made a serious attempt at creating something special with this album. Playing almost all the instruments himself, he’s kept the creative control he strived for in Stratovarius and managed to up the symphonic ante without having to worry about pleasing the Metal masses at the same time. He’s managed to create the classical pieces he was pushing Stratovarius to embrace without any of the pompousness that resulted in previous attempts. It’s hard to pick stand out tracks as everything flows together here but Saino’s performance on ‘3 at 7’ could certainly lend itself to being a single if such a thing is needed here.
"Saana" varies from quiet emotional moments of beauty to unseen heights of despair and hopelessness and in itself carries a message that burns like the brightest flame. That message you must discover yourself. "Saana - Warrior of Light Pt. 1" it's a very worthwhile piece but be aware that there's no guitars whatsoever on show.
Metal it ain’t but as far as music and letting your artistic side loose, Timo Tolkki has done a fantastic job with this album! It really is beautiful!!
The album was originally to be released by Frontiers Records, but the label rejected the final master presented to them by Timo Tolkki. After discussions between lawyers, Tolkki bought back the rights to the album and it was originally sold only through his official website, before Scarlet Records agreed a deal to distribute it in January 2009.
Scarlet ‎Records, 2008 (SC 170-2 / SPV 176562 CD). Made in Italy. Pressed in Austria. First press.


Tracklist:
1. Saana Mountain 1:22
2. Saana's Theme 0:40
3. The End 3:00
4. Sadness Of The World 3:33
5. 3 At 7 4:27
6. Silence Of The Night 3:03
7. Sunrise At Saana Mountain 1:49
8. Journey To Crystal Island 1:57
9. Crystal Island 2:38
10. Freya's Theme 1:38
11. You' Ve Come A Long Way 2:22
12. The Letter 4:28
13. Who Am I? 1:30
14. Freya's Teachings 3:21
15. Warrior Of Light 3:28
16. Journey To The Azores 4:47
Total playing time: 44:09 min.

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