REVIEW: SERENITY – “War Of Ages”
Posted by Metal Divas
Serenity is known as a good power metal band, however with the permanent addition of vocalist Clémentine Delauney and the release of their fourth studio album; Serenity is no more “just” a good band, but a great symphonic metal band. “War Of Ages” is the turning point for Serenity and to put it in simple words, it’s a “magnum opus”!
Hailing from Austria, Serenity is a symphonic power metal band which is well-known to the fans of power and female fronted metal. Founded in 2004, they have released one demo EP and four studio albums with “War Of Ages” being their latest release via Napalm Records. One can also say, “War Of Ages” being the band’s crown and jewels so far. Unfortunately founding member and keyboard player Mario Hirzinger has decided to part ways with the band and perhaps his timing couldn’t be any worse – if we may say.
Musically, Serenity’s “War Of Ages” is a peerless amalgam of Kamelot, Avantasia and Sonata Arctica rendered to perfection. The bands charisma awards their individuality with opener “Wings Of Madness“, which is a first-class symphonic metal tune. You can tell right away Clémentine’s and Georg’s chemistry is magnificent as the song builds to a melodic chorus with wonderful vocal lines. Clémentine’s theatrical type of voice accompanies Georg softly and creates a mystic atmosphere throughout the entire record.
The up-tempo “The Art Of War” follows next and the dynamics take a turn with double bass drumming before we enter a “Shining Oasis” and listen to an adventurous Georg singing in oriental musical scales. Time to slow down a little bit, with a mournful ballad entitled “For Freedom’s Sake” and in which Clémentine really shines. Some people may say she reminds of Sharon Den Adel but I disagree. if you ask me, her performance is more thespian.
Both “Age Of Glory” and “The Matricide” speed things up reminding us of the band’s power metal heritage, while being slightly more guitar-oriented and balanced. It is safe to say the musicianship is very high and the songs are very well done. Serenity build their brand and character by having wonderful harmonies, memorable melodies and a fair amount of symphonic elements. A good example is “Symphony For The Quiet” which incorporates all of the above. One of the album highlights follows next, “Tannenberg” – my personal favorite. Vocalist Georg Neuhauser really showcases his talent in this one as he delivers perhaps the best performance of his career, so far.
“Legacy Of Tudors” is next on the highlights list with it’s epic a-cappella, choir intro. Thomas Buchberger delivers a crushing guitar solo in this one, my favorite on the record. “Royal Pain” which is the last song on the album could be described as the pure sound of Serenity. Clémentine’s participation is much more prominent and seals the deal for the band.
Overall “War Of Ages” is a remarkably good album with exceptional melodies and an attention to songwriting and details attitude. Also in the positives is the artwork, which is phenomenal and does fair justice to the band’s music. Serenity writes music which is themed on historical facts and personalities with an illusive way, thanks to Georg’s advanced knowledge on the subject. They create musical journeys in time and space and they attain to capture our imagination. “War Of Ages” is a triumph and a bright star in the symphonic metal scene. Definitely their best album so far and highly recommended to all fans.
RATING: 8 / 10
“War Of Ages” – Track list:
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
09. Legacy Of Tudors
10. Royal Pain
11. Fairytales (Bonus track – piano version)
12. Love Of My Life (Bonus track – Queen cover)
Georg Neuhauser – Vocals
Clémentine Delauney – Vocals
Thomas Buchberger – Guitars
Mario Hirzinger – Keyboards
Fabio D’Amore – Bass
Andreas Schipflinger – Drums