|Review: Serenity - Death & Legacy|
|Death & Legacy|
Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2011
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: March 11, 2011
Reviewed by: MetalMike
for:Death & Legacy
I am a sucker for Power Metal, the happier and more symphonic, the better. That said, my standards have steadily risen over the years as more bands jump on the double-kick bandwagon. Serenity's Death & Legacy certainly looked to be solid release, but then I started listening...
From the Carmina Burana-like vocals on "New Horizons," to the Progressive-tinged "When Canvas Starts to Burn," to the mesmerizing chorus of "To India's Shore," this album is simply majestic. The songwriting is outstanding and there are no weak tracks. The band members' individual performances are top notch and the playing is tight, without strangling the emotion of the songs. Even the subject matter, Templars, Age of Discovery explorers, kings, queens and scientists, is larger than life. And it's all in balance, with no one musician or song overshadowing another. Even more impressive is the array of guests and how seamlessly their performances are integrated into the album. Sirenia's Ailyn, Amanda Somerville from Avantasia and Delian's Charlotte Wessels all duet with singer Georg Neuhauser to create beautiful ballads like "The Chevalier." Even Lanvall from Edenbridge wrote and performed the Middle Eastern-influenced instrumental "Below Eastern Skies," which flows easily into "Beyond Destert Sands." Neuhauser's singing (and pronunciation) is a bit reminiscent of Tony Kakko, but his voice is strong and after a few listens, this becomes less noticeable. Overall, the album doesn't seek to blow you away with pure Power Metal bombast (though there is plenty) and that allows the songs speak for themselves.
Death & Legacy belongs in a lot of collections, but fans of Tarja-era Nightwish, Edenbridge, Avantasia, early Sonata Arctica, etc. should not be caught dead without it. Any serious discussion about Symphonic Power Metal should now include Serenity. That is, if you can stop singing songs from Death & Legacy long enough to have a conversation.
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