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Serenity: Fallen Sanctuary
Progressive/Power Metal
Rating: 4.5/5.0

There's been some great progressive music hitting the streets lately. Presto Ballet's 'The Lost Art Of Time Travel' (review) and Seventh Wonder's 'Mercy Falls' (review) are two excellent examples of a great revival of this much imitated and much maligned genre. Add to this list Austria's Serenity. Their fourth release 'Fallen Sanctuary' is a superb album displaying inventive creativity and skilled maturity.

'Fallen Sanctuary's' musical motif is grand with epic, sweeping and symphonic arrangements coursing through the album. It has the elemental complexity of progressive style with strength of power metal. Additional significant characteristics are the powerful vocals of Georg Neuhauser and the glimmering keyboard work of Mario Hirzinger. All these aspects come through on some important songs including 'Rust Of Coming Ages,' a sweeping arrangement which blends some heavy riffs and great fret work. 'Coldness Kills' is another track epic in scope, a fully melodic prog number with outstanding vocals and a tremendous chorus. Midway through we find the powerful ballad-like song 'Fairytales, which is made more beautiful by the vocals of Sandra Schleret (Elis, Eyes Of Eden, Dreams Of Sanity). Yet, the best work is found in the second half of 'Fallen Sanctuary' beginning with 'Velatum' with its stirring vocal arrangement. 'Derelict' begins with a smooth piano intro only to develop into a massive prog number with heavy riffs and a fiery guitar solo. 'Sheltered By The Obscure' displays Hr. Hirzinger's premier talent on keyboard. And 'Oceans Of Ruby,' which has the strength of power metal, delivers a critical and lavish movement of acoustic piano and guitar in its internal segue. These are the highlights, and though there is small bit of redundancy as on 'To Stone She Turned' and 'The Heartblood Symphony,' 'Fallen Sanctuary' is a consistent and solid work.

Serenity's 'Fallen Sanctuary' is by far their finest work. This band hits the mark throughout the entire album. Epic and powerful, 'Fallen Sanctuary' is great work of progressive metal and rock. Highly recommended!
   - Craig Hartranft


In Short

Serenity returns with their finest work to date with 'Fallen Sanctuary.' Epic in proportion, the songs resound with grand arrangements of power and melody. 'Fallen Sanctuary is an impressive performance.

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