Stratovarius Intermission

True to the album's title, this new release from Finland's current kings of power metal, Stratovarius, is more or less a stopgap effort to keep fans happy in between studio albums. Four new songs, two live tracks and covers of Judas Priest ("Bloodstone") and Rainbow ("Kill The King") make up the majority of the album, while the rest of the tracks are made up of Japanese bonus tracks and CD-single B-sides. Of the new songs, only one is really worth the time invested in it, the speedy "The Curtains Are Falling," while the other three are average, bordering on bad. The collection is good for those trying to collect all of the B-sides and the live version of the band's anthemic "Hunting High And Low," but is by no means essential. (Nuclear Blast)