Rating:
7.8
Serenity - War Of Ages
22 March 2013


01. Wings Of Madness
02. The Art Of War
03. Shining Oasis
04. For Freedom's Sake
05. Age Of Glory
06. The Matricide
07. Symphony For The Quiet
08. Tannenberg
09. Legacy Of Tudors
10. Royal Pain
11. Fairytales [Ballad version] [Limited Edition bonus]
12. Love Of My Life [Queen cover] [Limited Edition bonus]


A fine balance is struck in the latest release from symphonic power stalwarts Serenity. The historical themes which run the course of War Of Ages are fitted to a tempered set of tracks which carry an inner strength uncommon of the subgenre.

The most remarkable quality is the exercise of restraint as it withholds an over exuberant display of symphonic embellishments, preferring instead to reveal such inner strength through a heavy consistency. The orchestras and keys take an integral role of course, as befitting the style, but don't blunt the metallic edge which operates as the core of the band's sound. There are a few tracks which manage to elevate things to higher ground such "Legacy Of Tudors" with its quaint minstrel-conceived intro or "Shining Oasis" with the shimmered keyboards and its particularly obvious channelling of Kamelot.

As such, inevitable comparisons to Kamelot will arise and much like them Serenity's performance is something to behold in its exercise of restraint. They don't go overboard with the symphonic elements and the heavy sound to be found here isn't drowned out at all. If anything the opposite is the case, as the orchestrations often fall behind in the mix and rarely rear their head with any kind of flamboyance. This will likely be a relief for some listeners and a downside for others.

The piano pieces are well-used throughout, such as in the ballad "For Freedom's Sake" and the brief yet effective grace added to some heavier upbeat tracks like "Symphony For The Quiet". Here the piano initiates the song and proceeds to complacently occupy the background behind the debonair vocal lines of Georg Neuhaser. The permanent addition of vocalist Clementine Delauney makes for a supportive and essential one as her voice grants the album a further contrasting layer.

Symphonic metal can often produce sounds which seem superfluous or without any weight when there is far too much emphasis placed upon the symphonic rather than the metal components. Serenity manage to avoid this pitfall and as an end result War Of Ages offers a consistently catchy set of power metal oriented symphonic tracks.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8


Band profile: Serenity
Album: War Of Ages


 



Written on 31.03.2013 by
R'Vannith
R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.
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Susan - 31.03.2013 at 07:31  
I listened to their last album a moderate amount. It was good and I really wanted to like it more but it was the kind of album that you forgot about as soon as it ended, despite the fact that it seemed quite good while it was playing.

Judging from your words, War Of Ages seems more promising! Thanks dude, I will check this out.
The Shape 1973 - 31.03.2013 at 14:54  
Still listening to it and so far it seems better than the last effort. Fallen Sanctuary is still my favourite album though.
Wraith000 - 31.03.2013 at 17:11  
Good review.
Ivor - 31.03.2013 at 17:45  
Upon first listen I found it rather entertaining until it turned Kamelot halfway through and became irritating. It leveled out a bit towards the end, I think. I'll have to give it another chance at some point, it did sound promising.

I.
R'Vannith - 01.04.2013 at 07:24  
Written by Susan on 31.03.2013 at 07:31

I listened to their last album a moderate amount. It was good and I really wanted to like it more but it was the kind of album that you forgot about as soon as it ended, despite the fact that it seemed quite good while it was playing.

Judging from your words, War Of Ages seems more promising! Thanks dude, I will check this out.


I thought the same about the previous one, I had it mind when I said that some symphonic metal can seem superfluous. It just doesn't stick sometimes if they don't get the balance right, which I'd say was a problem with the last album. Seems to me they did a much better job on this one.

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