Serenity – Codex Atlanticus

The symphonic powerhouse from Austria has finally returned with their 5th full length album entitled “Codex Atlanticus”. This is a band with a sound filled to the marrow with pure symphonic power metal, which is normally not my cup of tea, but I’ll make an exception with this tasteful mixture of metal brew. When I was still a young boy, in my late twenties, I was seduced by their debut release, “Words Untold & Dreams Unlived”. It pulled me by both hands into the mystic and yet beautiful painted universe created of symphonic, haunting and epic melodies with a twist of progressive metal . Why did I surrender? Well, they did not just use a standard template of symphonic elements consisting of soundscapes flooded with bombastic orchestral sounds all over, they had pulled their own tricks out of their sleeves and added flavours of fast tempo yet hook filled riffs into the soup spiced up with the beautiful vocal lines delivered by Georg Neuhauser.

Almost nine years have passed since their debut on the metal scene, and they are still alive, kicking and stronger than ever – even with the departure of Thomas Buchberger (lead & rhythm guitars), who decided to keep focus on his full-time job and family life. I was heartbroken when Thomas announced his divorce from the band, but fear not fellow readers, the rest of the band have stood their ground as a solid symphonic metal band, and in terms of quality raised the bar further, expanding their own sound with more hook-filled and very melodic songs with focus on the simple guitar driven music – now solely delivered by the hands of the one and only Chris Hermsdörfer and the powerful vocal performance of Georg, who is now accompanied by Fabio D’Amore in the vocal department.

It was a wise choice by the band to select the two songs “Iniquity” and “Follow Me” as the first two appetizers from their upcoming album, both songs representing the high quality musicianship delivered on their latest creation. Infectious melodies are all over the place. This is lyric, melody and emotion meets technicality blended in a perfect way. Another highlight on the album is the song titled “Spirit in the Flesh”, which perfectly showcases George’s emotional and very charismatic voice in contrast to the incredible high notes produced by the voice of Fabio – yes, Fabio can actual sing besides slapping his fingers on the axe 🙂 . It’s not the only song getting some love by the tongue of Fabio, but also the fast and aggressive song “Sprouts of Terror” gets his fully attention. The ballad “My final Chapter” is a perfect slowdown of the album, and George once again sings his heart out with his emotional voice. They have cut down the use of female performances to a minimum on this album, which now only includes a few guest appearances by Amanda Somerville and Natascha Koch – both replacing Clementine Delauney, who joined Serenity on the predecessor “War of Ages”. The female voices are a perfect counterpart to George on “The Perfect Woman”, which copies the hit single “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) delivered by one of my favourite rock bands – Meat Loaf. Serenity isn’t just a copycat, and add their own trademark sound to the song transforming it into their own piece of work.

Serenity is a simplified version of mighty progressive power metal band Kamelot, no complex songstrutures or rhythm patterns included, but just simple yet catchy melodies with big orchestral sounds blended into the mix. Their previous effort “War of Ages” didn’t do anything good for their image imo, but I feel right at home again with “Codex Atlanticus”. It’s fantastic to have them back where they belong too – on the top shelf of symphonic power metal. Eight big red evil devils coming their way and well deserved it is.

Line-up:

  • George Neuhauser – Vocals
  • Fabio D’Amore – Bas & Vocals
  • Andreas Schipflinger – Drums
  • Chris “Cris Tan” Hermsdörfer – Guitars

Tracklist:

  1. Codex Atlanticus (2:01)
  2. Follow Me (4:00)
  3. Sprouts of Terror (5:25)
  4. Iniquity (5:45)
  5. Reason (4:21)
  6. My final Chapter (4:19)
  7. Caught in a Myth (5:43)
  8. Fate of Light (4:53)
  9. The perfect Woman (5:04)
  10. Spirit in the Flesh (5:11)
  11. The Order (5:34)

Playing time: 52:15 minutes

Release date: 29th of January, 2016

Label: Napalm Records

Website: www.serenity-band.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/serenityaustria

About Tommy Sonne Skøtt 1840 Articles
I began my writing career in the year of 2012 due to my love for the metal community, and have since moved onto a second role as the Tech-Wiz of PoM - taking good care of our website. My favourite music genres are Progressive Metal in all its different shapes and Melodic Death Metal.

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