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Review: Timo Tolkki's Avalon - Angels of the Apocalypse
Timo Tolkki's Avalon
Angels of the Apocalypse

Label: Frontiers Records
Year released: 2014
Duration: 50:23
Tracks: 11
Genre: Power Metal


Review online: November 5, 2014
Reviewed by: MetalMike
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Rated 2/5 (40%) (15 Votes)

Most metal fans should be familiar with Finnish guitarist Timo Tolkki from his time as one of the driving forces behind Stratovarius, a band he infamously departed from in the mid-2000s. Tolkki has struggled to find a niche since leaving his most successful project, going through a series of bands, projects and guest appearances in the intervening years. His current band, Timo Tolkki's Avalon have released a second album in 2014, Angels of the Apocalypse, with current cohorts Antii Ikonen (keyboards) and Tuomo Lassila (drums) and a host of well-known Melodic Metal singers including David DeFeis (Virgin Steele), Simone Simons (Epica), Fabio Lione (Rhapsody) and Floor Jansen (Nightwish), among others. While all that may sound like a recipe for something special, the actual results are disappointing.

Firstly, where's the bass? Tolkki handles both the guitar (his primary instrument) and bass, but the mix is decidedly light. Second, if you are looking for something even remotely new and interesting, look elsewhere as Angels of the Apocalypse stays well within the confines of what has been done before and ends up as nothing more than a collection of clichés. There are a preponderance of ballads, which are fine for showcasing the beautiful voices of the female singers, but cause the album to drag. The rest of the songs are mostly mid-paced and feature riffs and keyboard runs you've heard a thousand times. Even the crummy vocal effects DeFeis used on Virgin Steele's Black Light Bacchanalia are present, except on "Neon Sirens," when he sounds like Axl Rose.

So, with Angels of the Apocalypse, Tolkki's struggle to regain some measure of relevance continues. If you simply cannot live without every Melodic Metal album or anything by Tolkki, I guess you'll need to pick this one up, otherwise, walk away.

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