This video is a performance of perhaps my all time favorite Stratovarius song, “Hunting High and Low,” though it’s tough to pick a favorite! Strato was one of the preeminent power metal bands of the 1990s and, despite a few missteps since then, they’re still well regarded as one of the pillars of the genre. Timo Koltipelto’s trademark soaring vocals can’t be matched, and when this song was originally recorded, in 2000, the partnership of the band–including one of its driving forces, Timo Tolkki–was humming along well. Things of course went south, with Tolkki eventually leaving the band, and fans’ reaction to the albums of the 2000s much less enthusiastic than before. But, whatever you may think of them now, Infinite, the album from which this song comes, and “Hunting High and Low” itself are definitely examples of Stratovarius in top form. This particular performance was recorded in 2012, after Tolkki’s departure.

Speaking as an academic who’s also a heavy metal fan, this is a great research song. Blasting it on headphones while in an archive, poring through ancient manuscripts, looking for that one historical gem that no one has ever noticed before–this song is very appropriate!

Have a great weekend, and Shabbat Shalom! \m/

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