First of all I'd like to say that I don't like these promos with shortened songs. But oh well it's better than nothing I guess and definitely better than the voicover ones. Onto the so called review now.
Timo Kotipelto is back with his third soloalbum and you know what you get. Nothing new under the sun here. If you like Waiting For The Dawn and Coldness you will definitely like the new one Serenity as well. Oh yes, it's nothing revolutionary about this record, rather generic metal but I really do like it. Who cares if it's generic as long as it's this well done? Timo's voice is either a hit or a miss and for me it's a hit. Yes, he still can't pronounce some words correctly in English and yes, he gets up a little too high sometimes but I can live with that. I really think he is a very good singer as long as he doesn't sing ballads.
The album starts off with the pretty fast song Once Upon A Time followed by two very good midtempo songs. Sleep Well, the first single from the album, and the title track. Those three songs set the standard high for the rest of the album. Next out is City Of Mysteries, another midtempo song which is by no means bad but not as good as the previous songs. Track five is my absolute favourite on the album, King Anti-Midas, a fast song with a chorus that have been stuck to my mind since I first heard it. Halfway into the album we have one great song, three very good songs and one good song. Angels Will Cry is yet another fast song and it's as good as the other ones. Great melodies, nice guitar riffs and the keyboard fits into the music perfectly.
Here comes the crashlanding of the album since I have a hard time when Timo sings ballads. After The Rain is nothing for me even though he doesn't get up as high as he sometimes does but still I hardly can't stand the voice. It's better than many of the Stratovarius ballads he sings on but still nothing for me. Luckily the next song Mr. Know-It-All is right back on track again. A faster song with a very nice guitar riff. Dreams And Reality is an ok song but it doesn't really come to par with most of the other ones on the album. Last Defender is the album's closing song and also the epic song on here with its 8+ mins.
So what's the verdict on the album? As you already might have understood I like this album. My only complaint is that the album is too short. The could have squeezed in on or two more songs at the end. I've been a fan of Stratovarius since I first heard Against The Wind some time long ago and the last couple of Strato discs haven't exactly rocked the earth (or maybe they have but not for the right reason), even though the last one was a step in the right direction but no way near the classic albums. Therefore it's nice to get these solo albums every now and then as a reminder of how good it really can be. Let's just hope that the next Stratovarius album will be a great one but until then this will do well.