Serenity – Codex Atlanticus


serenity codex atlanticus album cover

One of Europe’s finest symphonic power metal bands, Serenity released their spellbinding fifth studio album, Codex Atlanticus this year. The Austrian quartet has truly put together a masterpiece and start 2016 on top of their game. Codex Atlanticus is an album that will blow you away from beginning to end. The musical elements such as the huge, sprawling chorus’s and the epic orchestra along with the skilful storytelling creates the feeling that you’re going on a journey and you really are.

The album starts off, as you would expect from a symphonic metal album, with an instrumental track. The title track really sets the mood for the album and gives the listener a taste of what to expect. Serenity’s music is driven almost entirely on speed. The instrumental opening for instance, eventually plummets into the ferocious, “Follow Me,” wjich a groove led track that’s sparkled with marvelous romantic melodies, a grande orchestra and not to mention Georg Neuhauser’s dreamlike vocals. There are of course some slower moments and ballad tracks that you would expect from a band like Serenity. Tracks like “My Final Chapter” isn’t as faced paced as others featured on the album and is more focused on the orchestral elements rather than the fierce power metal guitar. ‘The Perfect Moment’ is a classic romantic ballad track with a power metal twist. The song also features a guest performance from Amanda Somerville whose angelic voice is enchanting.

Although the album is incredible, in a sub-genre where there are so many clichés it’s hard to avoid them mainly because symphonic metal and power metal are such a niche musical style. While Serenity are a band in the sub-genre that have managed to create their own recognizable sound, they’re not a band that manage to explore new territories within their style. There’s no new ideas presented here and if you were looking to hear something different than the norm from the band you might be disappointed. Moreover, the last half of the album is much stronger than the first. This isn’t saying that the first half of the album is bad, there are still some great stand out tracks like “Iniquity” and “Reason” but these songs don’t stand out as much as the last few do.  “Caught in a Myth” and “Spirit in the Flesh” are truly powerful tracks and really showcase the band’s talent at writing intricate music. Plus the mesmerizing guitar sections make a serious impact because of their addictive melodies. Although this album isn’t one hundred percent perfect, Serenity are a band where people know what to expect going into an album and if you love their crazy, power and symphonic metal hybrid style, then you’ll love the new album.

Despite the flaws, Codex Atlanticus is a great addition to be band’s discography and is definitely worth your time, especially if you’re into the likes of Blind Guardian and Kamelot. Furthermore, if this album is anything to go by, 2016 is looking to be a promising year for metal music.

Track list:

1. Codex Atlanticus
2. Follow me
3. Sprouts of Terror
4. Iniquity
5. Reason
6. My Final Chapter
7. Caught in a myth
8. Fate of Light
9. The Perfect woman
10. Spirit in the flesh
11. The Order

Playing time: 01:04:52
Release date: 29th January 2016
Label: Nuclear Blast

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