Timo Tolkki's Avalon - Angels Of The Apocalypse review
|Band:||Timo Tolkki's Avalon|
|Album:||Angels Of The Apocalypse|
|Release date:||May 2014|
01. Song For Eden [Feat. Fabio Lione]
02. Jerusalem Is Falling [Feat. Fabio Lione]
03. Design The Century [Feat. Floor Jansen]
04. Rise Of The 4th Reich [Feat. David DeFeis]
05. Stargate Atlantis [Feat. Fabio Lione]
06. The Paradise Lost [Feat. Floor Jansen]
07. You'll Bleed Forever [Feat. Floor Jansen]
08. Neon Sirens [Feat. Zak Stevens]
09. High Above Of Me [Feat. Simone Simons, Caterina Nix & Elize Ryd]
10. Angels Of The Apocalypse [Feat. Simone Simons, Caterina Nix, Floor Jansen & Elize Ryd]
11. Garden Of Eden
Loyal to his one-album-per-year rule, Timo Tolkki releases Avalon's sophomore album, once again featuring the crème de la crème of power metal.
The only vocalist featured in last year's album that made it into this one is Amaranthe's rising star Elize Ryd, flanked by such a stunning list of singers as ReVamp and Nightwish's Floor Jansen, Epica's Simone Simons, Virgin Steele's David DeFeis and the recently ubiquitous Fabio Lione. The fact that the separation from Stratovarius is still an open wound is shown by the presence of Antti Ikonen on keys and Tuomo Lassila on drums, two ex-Strato members back in the days of 1994's Dreamspace, just as if Timo just wanted to challenge the current Stratovarius line-up, that now aren't doing too shabby.
Angels Of The Apocalypse, though having a stunningly similar structure as last year's The Land Of The New Hope, is characterized by a way darker atmosphere and an overall heavier sound, which is not a bad thing, recalling how cheesy the aforementioned 2013 album is. This time, moreover, Timo tried to unbind his music from the boundaries of typical power metal, being just "Stargate Atlantis" the first "typical" track here. Continuously jumping from male to female vocalist and from gothic to rockish tendencies, the album strives to remain captivating, sometimes even unsettling the listener due to a feeling of disunity emerging on some occasions.
But this obviously has its positive sides since, if The Land Of The New Hope sounded way too generic, Angels Of The Apocalypse shows off a bunch of interesting ideas, some of which could have been pushed a little more, as in "Rise Of The 4th Reich", also crippled by a somehow weird mix. This last is still dominated by Timo's guitarwork, especially in the solos, even if this is not as blatant as it was in Avalon's debut, where it reached almost painful levels.
Solos deserve a special mention since, finally, Tolkki's guitar sings for us once again. Not with frantic, super-fast duels with keys as those we were used to enjoying in Stratovarius, but with slower, more thoughtful guitar solos that, though risking to end up a little stale in the long run, still maintain their poetry.
Every singer does his duty, without stunning performances such as last year's Kiske or disappointments in Tony Kakko and Russell Allen, again from The Land Of The New Hope, while Tuomo Lassila manages to deliver every time a little more than mere homework and Antti Ikonen is more helpful in song construction than in soloing, and to whom just a little succession of notes is more than enough to show off his skills: it's the case of the simple, slow and beautiful melody that rules the album outro, "Garden Of Eden".
In conclusion, Angels Of The Apocalypse is a really enjoyable album, from start to finish, that suggests that Avalon might really be the best environment for Timo Tolkki, after the experiences in Revolution Renaissance and Symfonia. Anyway, this is still far from Timo's personal Visions.
Written on 15.05.2014 by
Hopefully you won't agree with me, diversity of opinions is what makes metal so beautiful and varied.
So... critics and advices absolutely welcome.
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