ARTIST:

TIMO TOLKKI'S AVALON

(FINLAND)
TITLE:

THE ENIGMA BIRTH

(2021)
LABEL:

FRONTIERS RECORDS

GENRE:

MELODIC METAL

TAGS:
Concept-album, Epic, Female vocals, Guitar-Hero, High-pitched vocals, Symphonic
""The Enigma Birth" remains in the line of its predecessors with a classic speed-power metal formula served once again by Timo Tolkki with mastery but without apparent enthusiasm or the slightest risk."
LOLOCELTIC (05.08.2021)  
2/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

Faced with the absence of a new Stratovarius album since "Eternal" (2015), some may have thought that they could quench their thirst for melodic metal with the former leader of the Finnish band. However, the latter's trilogy with his project Tomi Tolkki's Avalon left many doubting. In spite of a nice line-up of guests, he was regularly content to offer a stereotyped formula without any particular attraction. Back with "The Enigma Birth", the guitarist-composer tries once again to bring back to him the fans in need of his original formation as well as those of the format commonly called metal-opera.

For this, he remains surrounded by talented Italian musicians as well as many guest singers among which Fabio Lione and Caterina Nix who make their return after "Angel Of The Apocalypse" (2014). Between new YouTube stars and members of reference formations, there seems to be a balance here allowing to consider a certain variety. However, from the eponymous title, the recipe looks like a reheated of what the master of the place has been serving us for decades, classic speed-power metal relying on a rhythmic at full blast and without nuance. And then there is this production unworthy of this musical genre, cruelly lacking depth and scope. Add to that the vocals of a Pellek (Damnation Angels) who forgot that he was not in one of his demonstrations on his YouTube channel and abusing of high pitches as useless as unbearable and you get an introduction that will discourage many.

However, not everything is to throw away in this "The Enigma Birth". 'Beautiful Lie' incorporates some electro touches that bring a little originality to an efficient track with a catchy chorus on which James LaBrie (Dream Theater) gives a nice performance. The heavy melodic of 'Truth' is relatively classic but it touches the goal and benefits from a beautiful interpretation of Jake E. (ex-Amaranthe, Cyrha). 'Dreaming' is epic and monumental and sees Fabio Lione (Angra, ex-Rhapsody) giving himself without reserve. As for 'The Fire And The Sinner', it is a pity that it suffers from a fade-out ending which spoils a little this catchy power ballad enriched by the beautiful combination of the voices of Jake E. and Brittney Slayes (Unleash The Archers). We will also note the performances of Raphael Mendes (Icon Of Sin) on 'Master Of Hell' and 'Beauty And War' which give an idea of what Stratovarius tracks would sound like sung by Bruce Dickinson, as this singer is a true clone of the legendary Iron Maiden frontman.

As for the rest, apart from the soothing ballad 'Another Day', the endless 'Time' with a chorus repeated to the point of disgust and a 'Without Fear' that shamelessly sinks into stereotypes, there is nothing fundamentally unpleasant. The main problem comes from a formula served for the thousandth time, with mastery certainly, but without real enthusiasm or risk-taking. "The Enigma Birth" remains in the line of its predecessors, without us being able to know if its creator has locked himself in this artistic straitjacket or if the approach comes from his label.


More informations on http://tolkki.org/





TRACK LISTING:
01. The Enigma Birth (feat. Pellek) - 4:33
02. I Just Collapse (feat. Caterina Nix) - 6:13
03. Memories (feat. Caterina Nix & Brittney Slayes) - 5:43
04. Master Of Hell (feat. Raphael Mendes) - 3:51
05. Beautiful Lie (feat. James Labrie) - 3:51
06. Truth (feat. Jake E.) - 3:48
07. Another Day (feat. Marina La Torraca) - 5:04
08. Beauty And War (feat. Raphael Mendes) - 5:17
09. Dreaming (feat. Fabio Leone) - 6:30
10. The Fire And The Sinner (feat. Jake E. & Brittney Slayes) - 3:05
11. Time (feat. Marina La Torraca) - 5:58)
12. Without Fear (feat. Fabio Leone) - 4:50

LINEUP:
Andrea Arcangeli: Basse
Antonio Agate : Claviers / Piano
Marco Lazzarini: Batterie
Timo Tolkki: Guitares
Aldo Lonobile : Guitares / Invité
Brittney Slayes: Chant / Invité
Caterina Nix: Chant / Invité
Fabio Lione: Chant / Invité
Federico Maraucci: Guitares / Invité
Jake E: Chant / Invité
James Labrie: Chant / Invité
Marina La Torraca: Chant / Invité
Pellek: Chant / Invité
Raphael Mendes: Chant / Invité
   
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