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Review: Serenity - War of Ages
War of Ages

Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2013
Duration: 54:11
Tracks: 10
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 3/5

Review online: May 27, 2013
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
War of Ages

Rated 4/5 (80%) (18 Votes)

I was excited to get ahold of this, and then I found it just wasn't grabbing me like 2011's great Death & Legacy. It took me a while to pin down exactly what was bothering me about it, so I've been sitting on this one for months now. This is the fourth album in Serenity's career, which has seen them get better with each release, until this one.

The problem with this release is that Serenity have shifted the focus of the music completely to the vocals. Now, with a singer of the caliber of Georg Neuhauser they might be forgiven for this, but the problem is that it has robbed them of both their visceral emotion and their compositional complexity. Listen to the propulsive riffs of "The Chevalier" off Death & Legacy and the difference will stand out sharply. Everything on this album has been shoved into the background to serve as a foundation for the vocals.

Adding another full-time singer in Clementine Delauney has only made this tendency worse. Not to say there are not riffs on this album, but they are nowhere near as good as the ones on the last album, and they never take center stage. It doesn't help that the vocal melodies are just not as good as they were last time out, with a lot of poppy harmonies and dull choruses. You get a few good moments on songs like "Age of Glory" and "Symphony for the Quiet" (and a genuinely great opening lick on "Tannenberg"), but there's a formula at work here. You get a 'symphonic' sounding opener to grab your attention, and then everyone gets off the stage so Neuhauser can take the spotlight.

On an album of 10 songs they don't manage even one you will remember or want to sing along with. In all, a huge disappointment as this band moves from symphonic metal to a more vocal-oriented pop direction. Let's hope their next one is much better than this.

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