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Review: Kotipelto - Serenity

Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2007
Duration: 39:31
Tracks: 10
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: February 14, 2008
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Readers Rating

Rated 2.53/5 (50.59%) (17 Votes)

Upon airing the first three tracks, it is obvious that Serenity is Kotipelto's finest solo work to date. The famed vocalist of Finnish Power Metal giants Stratovarius has dabbled with this sort of thing in the past, but unlike 2002's Waiting for the Dawn, or 2004's slightly better Coldness, Serenity shows Kotipelto in fine form, in terms of both performance and songwriting. I assume this has something to do with the credits being split between the vocalist and new guitarist Tuomas Wainola, but whatever it is, it gives Serenity a crunch that was absent on his previous solo outings. For those unfamiliar with Timo's solo work, it is certainly more commercial and laid back than his work in Stratovarius, with a greater focus on melody than instrumental deluge. This has provided hits and misses in the past but thankfully, Serenity is more dynamic with a larger array of ideas and better execution.

The Finnvox production is fabulous and his backing band consisting of Thunderstone drummer Mirka Rantanen, Children of Bodom synth-smith Janne Wirman, ex-Sinergy bassist Lauri Porra and the aforementioned Wainola blaze their way through the melody soaked soundscape with aplomb. Generally, Serenity takes the best elemental components from both solo albums and melds them together to create a cogent piece of work. "Once Upon A Time" and "Angels Will Cry" are what Stratovarius should be doing instead of wallowing in Tolkki's self-indulgent neurosis, and "Sleep Well" is one of the catchiest tracks the man has penned to date, giving us a clear refrain and catchy verse for our listening pleasure. Those expecting anything but hyper-fluffy melodic Power Metal had better look elsewhere, but the casual Strato-fan should find much to enjoy here, and if you're going to try out any of the Kot's solo work, this is the one to lead with.

Other related information on the site
Review: Coldness (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: Serenity (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Waiting for the Dawn (reviewed by Christian Renner)
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