The history of SERENITY starts in 2001, when the band was born with the intention to follow the distinct path of Progressive Metal with some Melodic finishing touches. The band had been building a considerable reputation until 2003 when some significant line-up changes took place. Three of the founding members had to leave SERENITY giving the impression that the band could came to a dead end. Proving the saying every cloud has a silver lining more than right, these changes eventually brought the band into the limelight. The new additions renewed the band's interest to work on new material. On the early of August the band grabbed the opportunity and took the role of the opening act for the short artist with the great voice, Ronnie James Dio.
The demo entitled Engraved Within received the positive reaction of the Metal scene to that degree that they earned the title of Demo of the Month in the German magazines Rock Hard and Metal Hammer. SERENITY boldly decided to self-finance their maiden release in order to get the best record deal possible. This happened a year after this release with the contract offer by Napalm Records in April of 2007.
The first thing you notice after the very first CD spins is that the sound production is top notch; everything sounds crystal clear and in place. The keyboards and the orchestration breathe beside the Progressive Metal leads and fast paced guitar riffs. Canopus is the title of the album opener comprising a staccato rhythm and some beautiful keyboard melodies. The voice of Mr. Neuhauser is high pitched and clearly belongs to the European Power Metal scene and fits the music in some extent. The classic guitar arpeggios of Worlds Untold are a short intro to Circle Of My 2nd Life that kicks in with some catchy keyboard melodies and guitars that look towards the DREAM THEATER camp. Fortunately, the compositions are not too complicated and the listener stays focused without being bored but the massive tempo and melody changes. The clever use in Engraved Within of the piano beside the rhythm guitars has something from the glory days of SAVATAGE while the sing-along chorus lines and the powerful ending give the song the title of the 'best album track.' The sound production proves its worth in Forever where power meets melody; there is some serious keyboard work that leads the listener to the slow tempo break somewhere in the middle of the song. After the instrumental and piano-based Dreams Unlived there is Dead Man Walking where the rhythm guitars and the chorus melody bring to mind the band BRAINSTORM. The band implements the Power versus Melody pattern in all its extent in From Where The Dark Is Born creating an almost personal sound. The DREAM THEATER keyboard influences become clear in the last track of the album, Thriven.
Well, this is definately an impressive work taking in serious account that it is a debut release. Some additional work could be done towards the vocals that sometimes seem to be restricted in the high pitches and can not follow the music complexity. I think the European Metal scene will receive with open arms this freshly formed band that has already raised my expectations for their next addition in their back catalogue.
Canopus Reduced To Nothingness Words Untold (Instrumental) Circle Of My 2nd Life Engraved Within Forever Dreams Unlived (Instrumental) Dead Man Walking From Where The Dark Is Born Thriven
Georg Neuhauser - Vocals Simon Holzknecht - Bass Mario Hirzinger - Keys, Backing Vocals Thomas Buchberger - Guitars Andreas Schipflinger - Drums