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19 May 2014 - 08:46:23 pm

TIMO TOLKKI's AVALON - Angels Of The Apocalypse (2014)

TIMO TOLKKI's AVALON - Angels Of The Apocalypse (2014) full 
Former Stratovarius Finnish guitar wizard Timo Tolkki returns with the sophomore album of his project TIMO TOLKKI's AVALON; "Angels Of The Apocalypse", to be released on May 16 in Europe and May 20 in North America by Frontiers Records.

If you enjoyed the previous record, you will dig this one too; lavish production values and pomposity galore with some sweeping melodies and several star guests on lead vocals.
Previously the concept was of a future dying Earth and survivors seeking a new land. Now, Tolkki takes on the future Apocalypse, where the four Elements are pretty pissed about what has happened to the Earth, and they send out four angels in their names, fire, wind, earth, and water, to usher in judgment day.
As usual, the story is played out in epic fashion with Tolkki's large and bombastic symphonic power with his equally epic guitar solos and featuring a bevy metal superstars on vocals. These include Floor Jansen (Nightwish) Simone Simons (Epica), Fabio Lione (Rhapsody of Fire), David DeFeis (Virgin Steele), Zachary Stevens (Circle II Circle, ex- Savatage), Elize Ryd (Amaranthe) and Chilean singer Caterina Nix.

There are strictly nine songs with one introduction and a final piece acting as bookends to the main section in the middle. Opener "Jerusalem Is Falling" thumps hard as it drives onwards with some weight and thunder thanks to the big riffs and huge bottom end.
The following song is the first single "Design The Century" which provides a sufficient hook and carries a solid arrangement. "Rise of the 4th Reich" is deep as well, but the male vocals (DeFeis) gives it a raw sound.

Title track is the moment where the album offers something truly ostentatious taking the listener on a journey lasting for just under nine and a half minutes. It races along, but it also has immense symphonic layer that gets even more beefed up by the crashing drums. 
Alternatively, against all the thunder and lightning, Tolkki can throw in a song with a dangerously catchy groove, melody, and refrain; "Design The Century", featuring the wonderful Flor Jansen. 
Other highlights include the tender and powerful ballad "You'll Bleed Forever" and "Neon Sirens" which possesses an anthem-like quality incorporated amongst the prevalent guitars.

"Angels Of The Apocalypse" compounds what was started last year by Tolkki's Avalon, and is for those who appreciate the qualities of Avantasia and bands of that ilk. If you have an ear for sympho metal melodies and convoluted storylines providing an added dimension to the listening experience, then there's something to get out of hearing "Angels Of The Apocalypse".
However, in my opinion songwriting is not as strong as on the previous album. Yet, this new album has its moments of brilliance insuring there's good reason to investigate further for new listeners.
As said at the beginning, if you enjoyed the previous Timo Tolkki's Avalon record you will dig this one as well.


01. Song for Eden
02. Jerusalem Is Falling
03. Design the Century
04. Rise of the 4th Reich
05. Stargate Atlantis
06. You'll Bleed Forever
07. The Paradise Lost
08. Neons Sirens
09. High Above of Me
10. Angels of the Apocalypse
11. Garden of Eden

Timo Tolkki - Guitars, Bass, Keyboards
Antti Ikonen - Keyboards
Tuomo Lassila - Drums

Guest Musicians:
Floor Jansen - Vocals (Nightwish, ReVamp, Star One)
Fabio Lione - Vocals (Rhapsody of Fire, Angra, Vision Divine)
Simone Simons - Vocals (Epica)
David DeFeis - Vocals (Virgin Steele, ex-Jack Starr's Burning Starr)
Elize Ryd - Vocals (Amaranthe)
Zak Stevens - Vocals (Circle II Circle, ex- Savatage)
Caterina Nix - Vocals
Nicholas Jeudy - Orchestrations

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