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Serenity: Fallen Sanctuary

Serenity is one of the best bands to arrive on the metal scene in quite some time. This album is a thing of beauty. The orchestral arrangements and huge choirs really add that progressive element to the music that puts this album in the upper echelon of metal releases I have heard this year. It does not hurt that Oliver Philips (Everon) contributed a helping hand in this area. I should also mention the strong voice of Georg Neuhauser. He is quickly becoming one of my favorite singers in the genre to go along with the likes of Mac (formally of Threshold) and Michael Ericksen (Circus Maximus). Man, does he have a clear soaring voice that really suits this style of music. This is not overly complicated music, but the more you listen the more is revealed as you peel back the layers of sound. And of course, when all is said and done, what would be an album like this without some outstanding melodies along the way. Some of the piano and keyboard melodies are simply outstanding. Serenity really delivers the goods creating many memorable moments that will stick with you long after the album is finished playing.

One of my favorite melodies can be heard in the tune "Coldness Kills". Orchestral choir, lovely violin sounds and dramatic symphonic elements really make this one easy on the ears. The emotional singing of Neuhauser adds to the effect and makes for an irresistible chorus. "To Stone She Turned" is a real rocker containing lots of crunchy riffs, drum fills, and another chorus that will have you tapping your feet. Gorgeous piano begins "Fairytales" creating a somber beginning. The orchestration conveys the sad mood effectively, reminding me at times of what Everon is able to achieve. Sandra Schleret adds her vocal talents, complimenting Neuhauser rather nicely. Also adding in the vocal department is Maggo Wenzel, contributing some well placed death vocals as in the song "Oceans of Ruby", somewhat similar to what Threshold achieved on Dead Reckoning with Dan Swano. That, combined with some neat sounding electronic elements makes this a fine way to end the album. This is a very well done melodic/symphonic metal release that should have metal fans licking their chops. My promo disc contains voice-overs telling me what I am listening to, which I found to be a bit distracting. Oh well, I guess I will have to purchase my own copy. I suggest you should do the same. Highly recommended!


Track Listing:
1) All Lights Reversed (6:20)
2) Rust of Coming Ages (4:32)
3) Coldness Kills (5:30)
4) To Stone She Turned (5:00)
5) Fairytales (4:56)
6) The Heartblood Symphony (5:29)
7) Velatum (4:31)
8) Derelict (4:28)
9) Sheltered (By the Obscure) (5:02)
10) Oceans of Ruby (4:16)

Added: October 14th 2008
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: The Band's Website
Hits: 5339
Language: english

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