Charging out of your speakers, like a progressive, power-encrusted Europe and singing songs relating to historical figures and events, comes the majestic Serenity. These melodic metalheads are a joy to behold, with their catchy songs and striking imagery. The music leaps out and mesmerizes, like a cobra hypnotizing its prey.
Codex Atlanticus is the fifth full-lengther by these ambitious Austrians. Their symphonic sonic overlays are impressive and they make a heavenly racket. The album was recorded with Andreas Schipflinger on drums, Georg Neuhauser on vocals, Fabio D’Amore on bass/vocals and Cris Tían on guitars. There are a number of guests on the release also, including the noted Amanda Somerville of Kiske/Somerville fame, who adds vocals to a couple of tracks.
Tracks weave around and the pace is fast moving, from the superb “Follow Me” to the ripping “Spirit In The Flesh” and all points in between. The vocals are melodic and powerful and the whole record drips with electric intent. It is an exercise in Euro Power Metal excellence, for sure. However, where it scores over other recent releases is that Serenity have learned from masters such as Sonata Arctica that the songs need to be memorable. This album is stuffed full of songs that stick around in your brain long after you’ve turned the music off. That is the true mark of excellence where pretty intricate and complex music is concerned.
However, whether it is my sense of humor or not, but naming one of your songs “Sprouts Of Terror” is asking for trouble – I had visions of giant vegetables menacing ancient villages. The song, though, is kicking and one of the best; just an unfortunate title!
The other issue I had is that the song “The Perfect Woman“, which, although a great eighties-type power ballad, has an unfortunate similarity to “Senza Una Donna” by Zucchero and Paul Young. If you get a chance, compare the two choruses…Very similar.
Those two gripes aside, this is a great record, full of catchy songs and great musicianship. Definitely an album which will not disappoint for those who love a bit of Symphonic Metal.