Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Serenity - War Of Ages (2013)

Serenity is a band that has always been excellent, but sorely overlooked. Their first two albums “Words Untold & Dreams Unlived” and “Fallen Sanctuary” didn’t really redefine symphonic music, they just improved upon it. They were a little bit heavier than their competition. Their follow up to those albums was “Death & Legacy.” With this album they really found their sound, ditching the overall heavier feel for a softer, more orchestral one. The shift really worked and it took them into territories I don’t think the band itself knew they could go. “The Chevalier” was an exceptional song that captured the early Romanticism period perfectly. Two years later, Serenity has released an album that not only tops “Death & Legacy,” it makes one forget that it even existed. This album is “War of Ages”.

One notable difference from previous efforts is the addition of the full time singer ClĂ©mentine Delauney. Her voice compliments Georg Neuhauser’s perfectly, and it’s a breath of fresh air for the band as a whole. The album kicks off with the explosive “Wings of Madness” which is a good show piece for Delauney and what she brought to the band. The beginning of the second track, “The Art of War” sounds like it should be on the soundtrack to gladiator movie. The choirs are soaring and incredibly epic. After “Shining Oasis,” the album slows down for “For Freedom’s Sake” and “Age of Glory.” When a symphonic metal album has a ballad on it, it tends to be very drab. Serenity has proved that they have a knack for writing enthralling ballads. “For Freedom’s Sake” is a beautiful piece of music that stands out as their most ambitious ballad yet. “The Matricide” and “Symphony For The Quiet” continue the album’s theme and are very solid. Then we get to “Tannenberg,” which has the best chorus on the album. It shows that their songwriting skills have improved immensely since their inception in 2001. The only gripe I have with this album is the closing track, “Royal Pain,” which doesn’t stack up to the rest of the tracks; it feels like it should have been elsewhere on the album.

Serenity has once again created a solid album that every fan of symphonic music should listen to. The addition of Delauney creates another layer of sound that puts the band above the rest. Everything from the vocal melodies to the guitar solos are leaps and bounds over their previous albums. This is one of the best albums so far this year and overall the best album Serenity has put out thus far in their career. Other symphonic bands need to listen and take notes because this is how it’s done, almost flawlessly.


- Brian DuBois

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