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Timo Tolkki's Avalon: Angels of the Apocalypse

After leaving Stratovarius in 2007 I remember reading a few years later about a possible reunion of Timo Tolikki and other Stratovarius members that had appeared on their third album Dreamscape. With the plan being to record another, and so given how good those early Stratovarius albums were I was very keen for any new recording. Though this unfortunately didn't eventuate Timo's second Avalon release does includes two of those ex. band mates keyboardist Antti Ikonen and drummer Tuomo Lassila, while Timo Tolkki also plays the keyboards plus bass and guitar.

Angels of the Apocalypse is the second in what is planned to be a metal opera trilogy. Like the first album The Land Of New Hope there are multiple guest vocalists, this time there is Floor Jansen, Simone Simons, Fabio Lione, David DeFeis, Zachary Stevens, Elize Ryd and Caterina Nix. The idea with Angels of the Apocalypse was to go in a "heavier and darker direction" inline with this album's destructive theme. Also capturing that theme so very well which I can't review Angels of the Apocalypse without commenting on is that fantastic cover art, I don't have a physical copy so can only assume the rest is equally as good.

The much sort after Fabio Lione (Rhapsody Of Fire) has had his share of guest appearances and he appears on the lively symphonic metal tune "Jerusalem Is Falling" a solid track which sounds miles better than "Rise Of The 4th Reich" where the mix and vocals just don't do it for me at all. Where as Floor Jansen (Nightwish/ReVamp) sounds just fine on "Design The Century" shame the song isn't more inspiring. The epic title track "Angels Of The Apocalypse" is one of the few numbers that gets it semi right but with the exception of vocals it's hardly anything to rave on about. What Angels of the Apocalypse is in desperate need of is those memorable tracks to draw you back, the kind of songs Tolkki has given us so many times in the past.

There is no denying Timo Tolikk's song writing ability you just have to take a look through Stratovarius's back catalogue to find classic after classic. Angels of the Apocalypse probably wont be remembered as another, more so a "what could have been" release especially given those who were on board for this album.

Track Listing
1. Song For Eden
2. Jerusalem Is Falling
3. Design The Century
4. Rise Of The 4th Reich
5. Stargate Atlantis
6. You'll Bleed Forever
7. The Paradise Lost
8. Neon Sirens
9. High Above Of Me
10. Angels Of The Apocalypse
11. Garden Of Eden

Added: May 18th 2014
Reviewer: Scott Jessup
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Language: english

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