Serenity
Fallen Sanctuary

I knew this would be some sort of power metal after one glance at the cover art and logo. What I didn’t know was how damn good these guys are.  I will admit I love power metal, but I don’t waste my time with mediocre, sub par acts.  These guys know what they’re doing, and they know how to do it well.  I’m going to try and make this a short review because you don’t need to waste time with my ramblings when you could be ordering this album.

To pin down their sound, I’d say Threshold meets Vanden Plas meets Scar Symmetry, with a little Sonata Arctica.  Pretty much the expected symphonic power/prog, but doesn’t suffer from being so easily labeled.  Listening to this album, genres and labels seem irrelevant.  Opener “All Lights Revealed” starts with a contemplating piano (plus synth stings) and Georg Neuhauser’s consistanly amazing vocals over it.  One concern is how expressively he sings, almost giving a rock opera feel.  Some people my find it a bit in excess, but it puts me right at home.  After the intro we find Serentiy’s true color’s exposed: epic, hard hitting melodic metal.  Complete with dramatic orchestra hits, duo guitar harmonized lines, anthemic choruses, layered choir-like vocals.  And it’s all so well done.  Plenty of keyboards are present, but always used to great effect.  Sometimes emphasizing the neo-classical side, but never shying away from a good mono synth solo.   I really need to point out how great these guys are at writing a catchy melody.  Always bathed in this feeling of epic rapture, they seep into your brain and never go away.  Makes me want to don some Renaissance garb and strike poses on top of a mountain.  I love it.   

This album is thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish.  It’s well paced and never managed to bore me.   I do wish they incorperated female vocals and growls more often.  “Fairytales” features Sandra Schleret of Elis while “Rust of Comming Ages” and “Oceans of Ruby” feature some well done (though sparse) growls.  It seems rather odd to use them so sparingly (though I understand the guest apperance).  Other than that, this album falls into place like sitting in an old and worn recliner.  I’ve been had this album playing on my ipod non stop for the past week.  No, it’s not innovative or notably unique.  But they’re better than most bands in this genre.  Pretty much blows Kamelot out of the water.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Belgarath
October 18th, 2008

Comments

  1. Commented by: gabaghoul

    really enjoying this too – great hooky melodies and top-notch delivery.


  2. Commented by: ceno

    I completely concur with this review. This album is one huge catch for the matter of melodies. And though the Threshold’s and Sonata Arctica’s influences are sometimes too obvious, these guys are in the league of their own. Their debut “Words Untold And Dreams Unlived” is also very good, at least on a par with this one. Like Belgarath, I wish they did growls a bit more often. These growls, much like on Threshold’s Dead Reckoning, sound damn good and present an excellent contrast to the overall melodic material, imo.

    Btw, thank you, Belagarath, for saving me some time with writing this. I was going to do it sooner or later. :lol:


  3. Commented by: Belgarath

    Dirty job but someone had to do it :p


  4. Commented by: Nick

    what a great band analogy, scar symmetry sonata and vanden plas, haha. Good review. Shitty album artwork.


  5. Commented by: gabaghoul

    help… can’t stop playing this album!


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