and March seem to be Power and Symphonic month at Napalm Records as the
label brings us the new Power Quest, the new Visions Of Atlantis
album and also the third album from Austria’s Serenity.
a genre that seems to bring out the best musicians around, this new
album 'Death & Legacy’ keeps up that tradition as Georg
Neuhauser, Thomas Buchberger, Mario Hirzinger, Andreas Schipflinger and
new bassist Fabio D’Amore. Who bring forth another glorious guitar fuelled
slice of Symphonic Metal while taking a look at some of histories most dominant
figures. People like Christopher Columbus, Giacomo Casanova, Sir Francis Drake,
Queen Elizabeth I and more are brought to life in stunning musical tales of glory
album gets underway with the intro ‘Set Sail To’, a real tour de
force to get the old Symphonic juices flowing, and I mean flowing. A
swirling mix of towering keys and guitars that lays down the foundations
for the opener proper ‘New Horizons’. A barnstorming tale of British
sailing legend Sir Francis Drake as he set sail in 1579 for the
America’s and despite numerous storms, battles and wrong turns, he
becomes the first Englishman to cross the mighty Pacific Ocean.
All this is
captured so beautifully in glorious power driven metal you can almost
smell the salty seas.
one of the greatest sailors to the greatest lover of them all, Casanova.
‘The Chevalier’ explodes into life, with a monster intro of
keyboards, drums and guitars, before Georg Neuhauser brings a massive
vocal which is complimented with a stunning duet with Ailyn
(Sirenia). This is just the first of three guest female vocals that add something a
little special to proceedings.
album continues with the rampaging tales of the high seas once more with
tragic story of Bartolomeu
Dias, who could have been the first man to reach India by sea via
Africa’s west coast and the treacherous Cape Of Good Hope. This is
bombastic sonic Symphonic Metal at it’s very best. A rampaging guitar
fest from Thomas Buchberger is backed all the way with some stunning
orchestrations from the keys of Mario Hirzinger.
tales of the Knights Templar have gone down throughout history from the
Crusades to the Arthurian legend, but the last grand master of the order Jaques
de Molay, on the day of his execution, thought he and the templars would
be forgotten with his demise. Little did he know the tales would become
legend and ‘Heavenly Mission’ tells of his tale. Again a monstrous
slice of Symphonic story telling. A stunning musical piece that just
sweeps you along on a carpet of melodic rich power and myth.
is a short interlude mid album with ‘Prayer’, which is just that, a
prayer of a Spanish soldier’s wife as her husband sailed away with the
army of Hernan
is just a short interlude as it's on with the power once more with
‘State of Siege’, as this soldiers tale of the siege
of Tenochtitlán where Cortés
his soldiers into a bloody battle to defeat the Aztec Empire. This
soldier just wanted to get out and return home to his wife and family.
Like the album opener proper, there is a depth of vision in the
music around this track, you can almost smell the musket power and the
futility of battle as one mans courage is fated against one man lust for
back to the high seas and the fall from grace of Sir Francis Drake in
the eyes of one England’s greatest monarchs ‘Queen Elizabeth I', as
12.000 men strong and true were lost in the battle to defeat the Spanish
Armada. This haunting melody tells of him begging for a second chance
from his Queen and country. Again we see Neuhauser duet with another
queen of metal Amanda Somerville on this
more mellow but compelling slice of sonic metal.
lessons would have been a lot more interesting if they’d been put to
music as this album shows and the history lesson continues with the tale
of German Renaissance Painter Albrecht
Duerer with ‘When Canvas Starts To Burn’, who between the 15th
and 16th century changed the art world. This heavy and double
kick drum filled spectacle is almost as through provoking as the mans
work. The light and colours shines through not as brush strokes but
third of our guest female vocals comes on ‘Serenade of Flames’ with
Charlotte Wessel. A tale of Medieval times as Heinrich Kramer, inquisitor
and author of The Hammer Of Witches instructs during the witch trials,
with Wessel delivering a haunting melody that will touch the very soul,
as she portrays a young girl on her last night on this earth before she
is put to the stake.
tempo is picked up big style as the guitars and bass on ‘Youngest of
Widows’ brings the story of the last days of Maria Stuart, who was
better known as Mary Queen of Scots to life, with a real power driven
attack which is led by Neuhauser who delivers one of his finest vocals
of he entire album on this one,. From the end will start the beginning
is a touch of Eastern promise with another short interlude ‘Below
Eastern Skies’, then it's back to the power driven Symphonic Metal with
‘Beyond Desert Sands’, which tells of Marco Polo and his
adventures. Some say fantasized but as Polo states on his death bed
those fools want me to finally tell the truth about my journeys, but
that’s what I have always done, and I haven’t nearly told half of
what I have seen …”
another rampaging slice of pure genius story telling from the
if massive orchestration are your forte then ‘To India’s Shore’ is
the one for you. This one is what the genre is all about, a huge keyboard
presence is interwoven with some stunning guitar solo’s and a massive
massive rhythm section, all gift wrapped in a simply stunning vocal.
the story behind the song that is of Columbus finally winning over his
Queen as she gives the go ahead to his famous journey.
is another interlude to the next track ‘My Legacy’. Put simply it’s the
words of Galileo as he finally realizes he has lost his sight ... “Oh
mio Dio, perché è così buio? Non è il sorger del giorno, eppur gli
augelli cantano le loro melodie? Cecità! E’ la fine! Il grande
osservator del cielo è giunto in fondo alla sua vita … e la luce ha
abbandonato i suoi occhi, per sempre! Che ne sarà di me …”
Legacy’ is Galileo’s story told in epic guitar filled excellence,
with huge bass and drum tones throughout. Again filled with stunning
keyboards, a real corker to wrap up what is a truly stunning album.
I said before, history never seemed so inviting and hats off to the band
for bringing these tales to life in a form that is concept metal without
being too concept if you know what I mean.
1. Set Sail
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