Originally written by Russ Wallin.
Kotipelto is a side project that Timo Kotipelto, of Stratovarious, put together to pass the time until Stratovarious returns from a break in 2003. Kotipelto is comprised of 9…that’s 9…guys from various European groups. Musicians include Jari Kainulainen, also of Stratovarious, on bass. Mike Romeo (Symphony X), Roland Grapow (ex-Helloween), Sami Virtanen (Warmen), Janne Wirman (Childen of Bodom, Warmen), Mikko Harkin (Sonata Arctica), Mirka Rantanen (Tunnel Vision, Warmen) and Gas (HIM) round out the list. The album, Wating for the Dawn, is a conceptual one. Dealing with the story of an ancient Egyptian man who is reincarnated in various time periods. The CD sleeve boasts artwork by Derek Riggs, who is familiar with any Maiden fan. The artwork appropriately reminds me of Iron Maiden’s Powerslave art. The album starts with a 59 second keyboard intro. Very Egyptian sounding indeed. After about a minute into the next track, I realized several things. Mostly I realized this is a Yngwie Malmsteen group without Yngwie Malmsteen! The music is is very predictable. The songs consist of very basic progressions and structure. Great for practicing guitar licks to, but not very interesting for the listener. The album has some highlights scattered throughout…lead guitar mostly. The overlaying vocals are sung very well, but they never really get below the nut squeezing threshold. The music is executed perfectly and the mix is clear and balanced. My compliments. But the songs are…well…pretty much horrible. It’s not that this is a bad album. The song “Battle of the Gods” is respectable and some of the lead guitar work is impressive, but the album is about 14 years too late. And even then, it’s still power rock to me. If you think Yngwie Malmsteen has actually written a good song since about 1987, then Kotipelto may be worth your time. To most the rest of the world, it’s not really worth more than 2 listens. Students of power metal music and others who still reside in the 1980’s may find value with this album.