F U L L . R E V I E W S


Kotipelto - Serenity - 2007 - Candlelight Records

Track Listing

1. Once Upon A Time
2. Sleep Well
3. Serenity
4. City Of Mysteries
5. King Anti-Midas
6. Angels Will Cry
7. After The Rain
8. Mr. Know-It-All
9. Dreams And Reality
10. Last Defender
"The Man With The Golden Voice" has returned with his third solo record to date, a neo-classical power metal release that is sure to please fans of Stratovarius while still going down other musical directions to incorporate a bit of diversity. Timo Kotipelto released his first solo venture in 2002 with the fantastic "Waiting For The Dawn". In 2004 he returned with "Coldness", and now he is back with "Serenity", available on Candlelight Records. His band is basically a who's who of Finnish metal stars, featuring guitarist Tuomas Wainola (Heartplay), bassist Lauri Porra (Stratovarius, Sinergy), keyboardist Janne Warman (Children Of Bodom), and drummer Rirka Rantanen (Warmen, Thunderstone), three of which are all members of Warmen as well. It is simply amazing how much talent is in that small frosty country.

I think this album has more of a classic metal feel than the albums prior to. I can hear bits and pieces of Rainbow, Deep Purple, Queensryche, and the progressive elements of Kotipelto's main band Stratovarius. His voice is brilliant here, firing on all cylinders through the faster sides while still soothing and smooth during his progressive moments. Tracks like "City Of Mysteries" and "Mr. Know-It-All" are nods to classic metal days, traditional cuts that ring with the glorious sounds of Rainbow and Saxon while laying down crisp leads and flowing keyboards. The album has a good hard rock vibe to it as well, with listens to "Sleep Well" and "Serenity" both braced with driving rhythm and choppy licks. Timo still stays true to his Stratovarius sound, weighing in with band-like numbers "Once Upon A Time" and "Angels Will Cry". I could have done without the sappy ballad "After The Rain", but fans of Kotipelto understand that those numbers will appear. The album ends with stirring epic "Last Defender", a gallop through light and dark with slower passages hitting bombastic portions and speeding up to power metal frenzies, all neatly embraced with the progressive keyboard arrangements. Guitarist Wainola is a madman, hitting huge leads throughout, highlighted by roaring fretwork on "Sleep Well", the band's first single I believe.



--EC 05.02.07

About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: KOTIPELTO
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SerenityKotipelto
2007
Eric Compton5/7/2007


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