|Review: Serenity - Fallen Sanctuary|
Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2008
Genre: Progressive Power Metal
Review online: September 21, 2008
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
When I hear that a band is being compared to Kamelot, I take notice. Serenity are an Austrian band putting out their second disc of prog-tinted Power Metal, and while I don't really get the Kamelot comparisons, I can see that people who love Kamelot would dig this band, because I sure do.
Serenity play pure melodic Power Metal that reminds me of Excalion or Pathosray — catchy metal with some prog stylings, but not too much. The first three songs here are all pretty damned stellar, with "Coldness Kills" being absolutely brilliant, filled with subtle orchestration and searing vocals. Singer Georg Neuhauser is the star of the show here with his clear, sharp vocal work. He sounds a bit like Sonata Arctica's Tony Kakko, only way better. The production is absolutely first-class, and the vocal mix puts Neuhauser front and center — the kind of recording job where you swear you can hear the guy's nose hairs — it's a demanding position for a singer, as it leaves no room for error, but he rises to the challenge with an amazing performance.
Other standouts on the album include "Velatum", "Derelict" and the powerful "Oceans Of Ruby". Some of the other tunes are not as strong, with "To Stone She Turned" and "Fairytales" being rather forgettable. But even at their weakest Serenity sound powerful and remain listenable, even when they are not compelling. Fallen Sanctuary is not flawless, but it's certainly an excellent slice of Power Metal.
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