Released: 2013, Napalm Records
2013 has started strong for the Austrian melodic/symphonic Power Metal scene with albums by veterans Edenbridge, Serenity and Visions Of Atlantis, so please to enjoy my reviews of all these new albums in this mini-feature.
Serenity have returned with their fourth album, WAR OF AGES. The band is still on Napalm and they have had a few minor changes. They have added Fabio D’Amore (Fairyland) on bass which was a good fit because he was a guest on the last album, DEATH & LEGACY. One other change is the band seems to be content to try to stand on it’s own skills and merits. For example on the last album they had guests vocalists Ailyn from Sirenia, Amanda from Epica, and Charlotte from Delain as well as contributions from members of Edenbridge nad Fairyland. This time, all those, admittedly wonderful, guest vocalists have been replaced by Serenity’s new permanent vocalist, Clementine Delauney. The younger French singer is a real find. Her vocals are high and clear but not in the soprano range. She compliments Georg very nicely and although her presence is strong they don’t overuse her talents. Georg’s tone is still reminiscent of Tony Kakko and perhaps Roy Kahn but that is a good thing.
Like with most of the albums in this genre, the production is immaculate, big, crystal clear, shining bright production, very bombastic and epic in tone, tempo and arrangement. There is still always the omnipresent buzzing metal intensity underlying all the songs that give them just enough bite, at just the point when you think the orchestration might overwhelm the song. I really like the darker guitar tone of the cut ‘Matricide’. Serenity still haven’t forgotten to include the speed as heard on the ripping intro to the cut ‘Symphony For The Quiet’, before it drops into a slower section then another burst of speed and back and forth it goes very nicely juxtaposing Metal vs. orchestral. It’s a highlight of the album in my mind. The band also revisit some eastern musical themes in the song, ‘Shining Oasis’.
Serenity has not really deviated from their signature sound and I am thankful. WAR OF AGES is another fine collection of symphonic Power Metal, loaded with melody, quality writing and it as good or even better than anything they have done in the past.