Serenity are fond of concept albums like many symphonic metal bands. Their latest album “Codex Atlanticus” tells the story of Leonardo Di Vinci. That should be pretty easy, right? The good news is that Serenity are an intelligent band that regardless of the size and scope of what they are attempting, it never comes off as silly or cheesy. Their conviction comes through nicely in both the music and certainly the lyrical content.
Frontman Georg Neuhauser has an amazing voice and he is back to being the sole voice of the band. There are some guest female vocals but it’s more as a highlight. This gives the band a true direction. Musically, “Codex Atlanticus” isn’t going to change how you view Serenity. They are quite cinematic and rely heavily on orchestral arrangements. It’s what makes the band who they are.
That’s good and bad in some ways. Certainly they should do what works best but it makes for a bit of a “sameness” to many of the tracks. Some of them are more dynamic than others. “Fate of Light” is an outstanding song and stands out for me. But the tempo is frequently the same on many tracks and the drumming is quite sterile. The emotion is more in the vocals and the orchestra. I wish the drumming was more massive and perhaps less about keeping time.
Fans of symphonic metal and concept albums will find much to enjoy on “Codex Atlanticus.” It’s another chapter in the career of Serenity and leader Georg Neuhauser, who keeps the ball rolling after a very good album by his side project Phantasma last year. “Codex Atlanticus” is like a cinematic feast without the actual movie.
1. Codex Atlanticus
2. Follow Me
3. Sprouts of Terror
6. My Final Chapter
7. Caught in a Myth
8. Fate of Light
9. The Perfect Woman
10. Spirit in the Flesh
11. The Order
Label: Napalm Records
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