Sound — 10
Impressive! Austria's Serenity gives us a great example of symphonic power metal with their second full length album Fallen Sanctuary. Under the label of Napalm Records, Serenity performs their music professionally and delivers melodic heavy metal, even progressive at times, full of melody, strong guitar riffs and symphonic, orchestral parts. The band's performance is at a high level (Georg Neuhauser (vocals), Thomas Buchberger (guitars), Mario Hirzinger (keyboards), Simon Holzknecht (bass), Andreas Schlipflinger (drums)). Especially Georg in vocals performs brilliantly, with his melodic voice, full of color, emotional and powerful, gives that extra something a band needs in this kind of music. The rhythm section is very tight and the tempo is fast at most times, slowing down at some points. Although it is obvious that Serenity is mainly based on their keyboards, symphonic parts and vocals, they do not fear the guitars, which are always in front, the metal riffs, solos and guitar melodies are constantly present. The album is filled with keyboards that are used as an essential part in the compositions, and play a substantial role together with the guitars in forming the Serenity sound. The result is sometimes majestic, sometimes melancholic and at all times really fulfilling.
Lyrics — 9
The vocal melodies have also been improved since the last album. In addition, some listeners might take issue with the band's vocalist, Georg Neuhauser. While his range is quite strong and his pitch is faultless, his accent comes through quite strongly in the songs. The pronunciation of some of his vowels can be especially noticeable, and I think some listeners might find it distracting. In some songs you will also hear some brutal vocals that give points to the final result.
Overall Impression — 9
While Serenity will always be seen as a Sonata Arctica clone to some people, that just isn't the case aside from the vocals. Fallen Sanctuary is a nice blend of symphonic metal with a strong dose of melodic elements. Certainly a band to watch for and definitely a band recommended for Sonata Arctica and Kamelot fans, Serenity is one step closer to making their own mark. The most impressive songa from the album are: Valatum, Coldness KIlls, Heartblood Symphony, All Light Reversed, Fairytales, Sheltered,, Oh Wait that is almost the Whole Album. This album is defenetly worth to buying it!