Timo Tolkki's Avalon - Angels Of The Apocalypse
Frontiers Records
Melodic Power Metal
11 songs (50:23)
Release year: 2014
Frontiers Records
Reviewed by Joel
Timo Tolkki is definitely a name, that needs no introduction within the circles of Power Metal. The founder of the band Stratovarius, who left the band's namesake to its remaining members. This left Tolkki with the ability to create a new project, in his own vision, and that was last years, Timo Tolkki's Avalon: Land of New Hope. Part 2 is upon us, with new guest vocals, and one returning guest comes back into the fold.

Song of Eden features the a cappela vocals of the one and only, Fabio Lione(Rhapsody of Fire). He sings softly and precise, and it is very well done. I like this idea better than the usual big symphonic track, that usually opens up a disc like this. Jerusalem is Falling starts where Song of Eden left off, and WOW! What a great track. Epic and symphonic Power Metal, and the usual strong vocals from Lione. Design the Century is the first single, and first to feature the emotional and passionate vocals of Floor Jansen(Nightwish, Revamp, ex-After Forever). You can watch the video here. The song has some similarities to Tolkki's first single off the last disc, Enshrined In My Memory, that featured Elize Ryd of Amaranthe. Rise of the 4th Reich featuring David Defeis(Virgin Steele), is probably my least favorite track. I am really not a fan of his raspy style of metal vocals. Though I do like bands like Manowar, and others from that generation(though I was in my very adolescence then!), I believe the vocals detract from the song. The final song to feature Fabio Lione on vocals, is the melodic Stargate Atlantis. This song could have been an early Stratovarius song if it met a mid-paced Rhapsody of Fire, song off either Symphony of Enchanted Lands musically. Again Lione's vocals, as usual are strong and passionate. This guy just never sounds "Off" when he sings, regardless of the project he is on. This song does feature an extended guitar solo, one of the few longer ones on the disc. Its a testament to Tolkki's talent as a songwriter, that each of his solos fits the songs they are in perfectly, and do not over stay their welcome or invite extra-noodling(wankery, if you like that term better!) into the fold. The next two songs feature Floor Jansen on vocals. The speedy intro of The Paradise Lost, features strings and double bass drums. While the verses featuring some great syncopated drumming, keyboards, and the guitars themselves sit farther back in the mix. There is a tempo change three minutes in, where the guitars come to life, in the form a Tolkki solo.

The beautiful, You'll Bleed Forever is next, and Jansen's vocal are soft and passionate. If your a fan of her vocals, this is a must listen. A definite highlight to the whole disc, and even though its a ballad, it will grab your attention by her amazing performance. Also don't forget the amazing guitar solo, near the end of this song. The melodic hard rock/metal of Neon Sirens, should get you headbanging, with its infectious opening riff, The song features Zak Stevens(Circle II Circle, ex-Savatage), and I will admit it right here, he has always been one of my favorite vocalist. This song sounds like it was perfectly written for him, with its mid-paced heaviness, and his soulful vocals. The lyrics leave a lot to be desired, but Stevens's performance is very well done. High Above Me and the epic nine minuter Angel's of the Apocalypse feature only female singers. The first one is the piano ballad that features Caterina Nix(I had never heard of this Chilean singer before, but her voice fits perfectly with the others, and its quite pretty). The other two are more well known in Elize Ryd and the operatic and always consistent, Simone Simmons(Epica. Again I must mention the guitar solo(sorry!), but WOW! It adds a whole different dynamic to the song, and it takes it to a whole new level. The latter song I mentioned, adds Floor Jansen back into the mix, with the other three ladies. What you get here is definitely EPIC(see I used capital letters, so you know its EPIC!) and is probably one of the best tracks on the disc. What it does best, it helps the story bring itself from climax to closure all within its nine minute plus running time. If you can find one song to listen too, this would definitely be the one, but you would be missing out on the story.

If you liked Land Of New Hope. there is no question you should enjoy this as well. I do miss the vocals of Michael Kiske, but I believe Fabio Lione added his own signature style to the songs. Floor Jansen, is definitely a leading lady, and performs amazingly. Newcomer Caterina Nix is definitely someone to follow, and it was nice to see Elize Ryd return. What will Tolkki have in mind for us next, whatever it might be, he has created two amazing discs full of talent, great songwriting, and a reminder that he still is at the top of his game, and that we should pay attention.
Killing Songs :
All but Rise of the 4th Reich
Joel quoted 83 / 100
Other albums by Timo Tolkki's Avalon that we have reviewed:
Timo Tolkki's Avalon - Land of New Hope reviewed by Chris and quoted 85 / 100
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