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Please don’t be lured into thinking this is yet another bog standard symphonic female fronted band in the vein of Nightwish, Within Temptation or any number of others. Now, while I have nothing against those, there has been such a proliferation of these types of bands in recent years that I have stupidly bypassed Serenity, only hearing the occasional track. More fool me, because if their previous three albums are half as good as ‘War Of Ages’ then I have been missing out on something pretty good! Serenity were formed in Austria and have actually been around since 2001, but did not release their debut album until 2007. ‘War Of Ages’ sees the studio debut of new female vocalist Clemetine Delauney (ex-Whyzdom), to sing alongside male vocalist Georg Neuhauser. She has actually been performing live with the band for a couple of years now and whether that grounding and the fact that the band usually rely on guest female singers has created a more stable camp with which to up the quality of songwriting, I will not know until I have checked out their previous work but this is a brilliant album that, in my opinion, is almost split into two halves.

Tracks 1-5 are what I call the Kamelot half and Tracks 6-10 are what I call the Sonata Arctica half. Just about all of the tracks could fit on any album by either of those two bands and I did have to check a number of times to make sure Tony Kakko, Thomas Youngblood, Roy Khan or Tommy Karevik were not actually guests on this, such is the similarity at times, especially in the vocal department. That’s not to say Serenity are mere clones of those two bands, they certainly aren’t, managing to put their own stamp on things very nicely, but as Kamelot and Sonata are two of my favourite bands I had to mention it. Add to the terrific vocals some sterling musicianship courtesy of guitarist Thomas Buchberger, bassist Fabio D’Amore and drummer Andreas Schipflinger (what a fabulous name!) and you have a CD that almost eclipses the new Kamelot album, ‘Silverthorn’, such is its quality. ‘The Art Of War’, ‘Age Of Glory’, ‘The Matricide’, ‘Tannenberg’ and ‘Legacy Of Tudors’ are all fabulous songs that had me grinning from ear to ear on first listen. Lyrically, this is also amazing with Neuhauser proving what an expert he is in his chosen field of history. This album has been a genuine surprise and a pleasure to listen to, which just goes to show you, never judge a band by its vocalist!
Napalm Records
Review by Rick Tilley
22nd March 2013
1) Wings of Madness
2) The Art of War
3) Shining Oasis
4) For Freedom's Sake
5) Age of Glory
6) The Matricide
7) Symphony for the Quiet
8) Tannenberg
9) Legacy of Tudors
10) Royal Pain
"...a CD that almost eclipses the new Kamelot album, ‘Silverthorn’, such is its quality."