Serenity - Fallen Sanctuary
Napalm Records
Symphonic Power Metal
11 songs (54:40)
Release year: 2008
Serenity, Napalm Records
Reviewed by Thomas

Serenity pretty much forced power metal back into my life with their debut Words Untold & Dream Unlived. I guess the thing that attracted me the most was their tiny but cool progressive twists and turns. Despite their progressive elements, it was very accessible with extremely catchy melodies and quite good quality overall. This one is even easier to get into, and the quality of the songs are slightly better. Fallen Sanctuary has improved in many ways, but is at the same time a small step back.

Firstly, the band has abandoned most, if not all of their progressive roots. You won't find anything like Thriven here. This is one of the main reasons that this was a little easier to get. Secondly, the overall quality of the songs are much better. There are almost no fillers here, except the really generic and slumberous ballad Fairytales. The improvements are many, and mainly regarding the matters I questioned in my review of Words Untold... There are plenty of huge orchestrations here to spice the music up a great deal. There are more emotive guitar-playing and ripping solos, which was almost absent on their debut. In addition to that, the vocal performance is slightly better and there are no generic space-wasters nor any pointless inteludes either. The main step back for my part is the lack of progressive twists. The stuff they did on Words Untold... was very cool. They were good at it, and it was a definite attention-grabber for my proggy soul.

If you're one of the tRvE kVlt people that absolutely despise catchiness in metal, you should really look elsewhere. The same goes for cheese-haters. I used to be one of those, but I gotta admit that despite the cheesy lyrics that seem to dominate this, it's really damn enjoyable. This is packed with thrilling and catchy melodies, double bass pounding, and huge choruses. All Lights Reserved sets the standard, even though it starts off with a rather calm piano intro. The band basically follows the same formula troughout the whole record, except the mentioned snooze-fest that is Fairytales and the compelling and much better ballad Journey's End which happen to be the record's bonus track. Some of the songs are better than others, and the exciting and heavy To Stone She Turned is the first real highlight of the album. The lively verse builds up to an intense chorus that immediately grabs your attention.

Serenity continues to churn out quality songs troughout the rest of the record, and songs like the shapeshifting anthem Velatum, the heavy and almost violent Derelict and the melodic and mighty Oceans of Ruby makes this highly enjoyable and most entertaining. I'm really looking forward to future releases by this band. They've released two killer albums in two years, the latter slightly better than the former. Maybe we will get a new one late in '09?

Killing Songs :
To Stone She Turned, Velatun, Derelict, Sheltered (By The Obscure), Oceans of Ruby, Journey's End)
Thomas quoted 88 / 100
Other albums by Serenity that we have reviewed:
Serenity - Codex Atlanticus reviewed by Joel and quoted 90 / 100
Serenity - War of Ages reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Serenity - Death & Legacy reviewed by Goat and quoted 83 / 100
Serenity - Words Untold & Dreams Unlived reviewed by Thomas and quoted 83 / 100
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