Released by: Amoury/Eagle Rock
Release Date: April 19th, 2011
Genre: Symphonic Metal/Power Metal
Timo Tolkki (STRATOVARIUS, REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE) – Guitar
André Matos (ANGRA, SHAAMAN, VIPER) – Vocals
Jari Kainulainen (STRATOVARIUS, EVERGREY) – Bass
Mikko Härkin (SONATA ARCTICA, KOTIPELTO) – Keyboards
Uli Kusch (MASTERPLAN, HELLOWEEN) – Drums
01. Fields Of Avalon
02. Come By The Hills
06. Pilgrim Road
07. In Paradisum
08. Rhapsody In Black
09. I Walk in Neon
10. Don’t Let me Go
Definitely one of the most expected projects of 2011 for me, even though I had no idea about it until very recently. It’s not just a random supergroup of a kind – except Mikko Härkin, who I have frankly never heard of, and Uli Kusch, whose name I’m aware of, this project consist of 3 of my (musical) childhood heroes. Jari Kainulainen and Timo Tolkki were the backbone of Stratovarius just in the golden era of the band, and Andre Matos used to be and still is the best power metal vocalist ever born (if not even the owner of the best male vocals on this planet). So well, I can’t really see how this line-up could possibly make a fail album, unless they would attempt to record a teen pop or dubstep album.
But let the actual listening take place before writing any misleading raving reviews. Fields of Avalon is opening the album, and it’s a classic Stratovarius uptempo tune Made In Tolkki. It certainly feels kinda strange hearing Andre singing this, as I’m used to hear Timo Kotipelto in such songs. Come by the Hills sounds even more like a Stratovarius song – I’d say like a revamped S.O.S. motive. It’s obvious these songs were written by Tolkki without any further assistance from other members. Santiago finally sounds more like classic Angra tune from Holy Land times, and you can instantly hear this one was written exactly for Andre’s voice. Then comes Alayna, quite typical Tolkki-penned acoustic ballad….and so on, and so on, I’m not too good when it comes to song-by-song reviews, so I’ll leave it to someone more skilled.
But maybe you noticed the main point of this album – this is a perfect fusion of Stratovarius and Angra, although with Tolkki being (probably) responsible for most of the songwriting, the Finnish band’s elements are prevailing. What you surely can’t find here are experiments of any kind – almost every song here will remind you of songs by the previously mentioned bands, and as such, the album will not disappoint people who are getting it based on the band’s line-up (people like me).
Though, I don’t think there should be any other reason to check out In Paradisum – if you consider yourself at least a bit advanced power metal fan, you already know who all these guys are, and you shall be trying to get the album by all costs. It’s creme de la creme of current power metal scene, and deserves to be rated as such, even though it brings nothing new but well performed entertaining melodic power metal.
Written by Eeepi
Ratings Eeepi 8/10