Releasedate: March 22nd 2013
Recordlabel: Napalm Records
The weather has been stormy over the past couple of months for Serenity. Founder keyboardist Mario Hirzinger decided to leave the band after his love for Symphonic Metal has perished over the years. Yet Serenity has strengthened their line up with female vocalist Clémentine Delauney. She has aided the band on tours for a while and now she is part of the steady line up.
So how will these changes affect Serenity’s latest record? For the people that do not know them, if you are into Kamelot and/or Sonata Arctica, you will probably like Serenity as well. Lead singer Georg Neuhauser’s voice has very strong similarities with that of Sonata’s Tony Kakko.
Opening track Wings of Madness immediately gets your attention; powerful guitars together with the orchestra give the song some power. The song starts great, building layers of different instruments and voices, and keeps a nice pace over the whole song. The same can be said about The Art of War, another powerful song with some nice keyboard parts and a cool guitar solo in it.
Serenity delved into history and wrote the songs on this album about ancient wars and brings you to times in which Napoleon, Alexander the Great and Henry VIII lived. This gives the lyrics some variety over the standard power metal clichés.
Shining Oasis has a more progressive sound over it and definitely gives some 1001 nights feeling into your living room. Following is the ballad For Freedom’s Sake. I have mixed feelings about this song. The first part of Georg’s singing and the first part of Clémentine’s part should make you feel the sadness and emotion, but just not hit the spot. Yet the second half and combined singing sounds great!
Age of Glory is one of those songs that keep you entertained. It just does not have a dull moment. Fast paced drums and strumming together with great singing makes this a fun song to listen to. There is only one downside to the song. Near the end there are some repeated lines from Clémentine which in my opinion they should have mixed it a bit better. Now the lines sound the same, where some volume differences as if there were layers would have been better.
We switch back to a bit more progressive style with The Matrice. This song has a very catchy chorus which had me whistling along during the second listening session. The middle section of the song reminded me a bit of the beginning of Delain’s Mother Machine because of the sound of hammers hitting an anvil.
I would love to see a video of Symphony of the Quiet. Imagine a ballroom when the song starts, yet it quickly continues to fast paced guitars and drums. The song mixes fast sessions with some slower ones pretty good, and brought a smile to my face. Guitar solos during this song can easily be compared to the likes of those in Kamelot. This song is definitely one of my favorites!
I don’t know what it is about Tannenberg, but this song does something for me. The chorus is pretty standard, but still good. But there is something else. The guitar sound during the slower parts in the beginning of the song just sound cool.
Next to Symphony of the Quiet, one of my personal favorite songs of the album is definitely Legacy of the Tudors. This fast song has a nice guitar riff in it and the lyrics, vocals and rhythm of the song just mix in fantastically. Last song on the album is Royal Pain, which according to Georg is a tribute to the Austrian Habsburger family.
Serenity really gets better over time. I must compliment them on how they turned the changes in band line up to their advantage and delivered a great album. There are a couple of different styles on the album like some progressive and some symphonic songs. It’s clear that the addition of Clémentine to the band has mostly added to the variety of the songs. If you are a fan of Kamelot and Sonata Arctica, definitely check this album out!
Wings Of Madness
The Art Of War
For Freedom’s Sake
Age Of Glory
Symphony For The Quiet
Legacy Of Tudors