Timo Tolkki's Avalon - Angels Of The Apocalypse (2014)

Not wanted to lose the momentum from his 2013 Avalon releases, Timo Tolkki hastily sequel-ed the project Avalon with "Angels Of The Apocalypse". As we know, Timo was building his camp to become the next metal opera arc a la Avantasia.  The force of guest singers now combining Floor Jansen, Simone Simons and Elize Ryd in one album, is already one thing. Fabio Lione, David DeFeis and Zak Stevens completely the male line up.

On this second album, Timo doing something out of his routine, most of the songs composed in more aggressive and darker feel. A good thing to heard from Timo. We got to listen "Jerusalem Is Falling" as the opening song. Aggressive intro fulfilled with thick layer of orchestrations already showing new face of Avalon. Fabio Lione takes control on this songs. His voice maybe better compared to his performance in Vision Divine rather than in Rhapsody of Fire on this style of music. "Design the Century" saw Floor Jansen laid down hers. The song is hardly touch the background of Floor Jansen as in Nightwish, ReVamp or After Forever. This song is focus on softer voice, lower notes and not much required operatic voices. We may detected Floor Jansen likely force her style to fit Avalon request. Floor Jansen sing another two songs. The number of slur notes in "The Paradise Lost" are something different we can heard from F.J. At least on the song "You'll Bleed Forever", Floor restore her power with beautiful rendition on this slow ballad.

On contrary to many reviewers, I think David DeFeis instead doing his toy in "Rise of the 4th Reich". Anyone who listen to Virgin Steele may agree that his aggressive rough voice fit the song well. This song is one of the best in the album, imo. On the familiar power metal tune by Timo, we got "Stargate Atlantis", which is back to Stratovarius and Revolution Renaissance sounds. Making this also their strong number.

Zachary Stevens from Circle II Circle has no problem putting "Neons Sirens" into expected powerful psyche-dark metal. "High Above of Me" is  Timo Tolkki's operatic ballad, performed by three different character voices. The album climax with "Angels of the Apocalypse" symbolized into four angelic voices of Floor, Caterina, Elize and Simone.

While last year "The Land of New Hope" is really giving new hope, "Angels Of The Apocalypse" is risky for being apocalyptic. Timo is doing something out of his specialty. By hiring David DeFeis, Fabio and Zac, obviously Timo aims at darker output, hoping a lesser cheesy power metal. While Rob Rock and Michael Kiske seems naturally fit into Avalon style, the guest singers on Angels.. is noticeable fighting this new style. One other thing is the guitar solos still enjoy its "melodic" mode. In general, Angels... is distance away as a sequel from The Land of New Hope. Nothing wrong with its and most of the stuffs still familiar to Stratovarius listener. The present of six world class singers is the main reason to grab this one fast.

Recommends songs: Rise of the 4th Reich, Stargate Atlantis, High Above of Me

Metal Harem class: ******* seven stars out of ten 

Timo Tolkki's Avalon - Angels Of The Apocalypse (2014)
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01. Song for Eden - Fabio Lione 00:46
02. Jerusalem Is Falling - Fabio Lione 05:19
03. Design the Century - Floor Jansen 04:25
04. Rise of the 4th Reich - David DeFeis 04:43
05. Stargate Atlantis - Fabio Lione 03:51
06. You'll Bleed Forever - Floor Jansen 04:16
07. The Paradise Lost - Floor Jansen 05:44
08. Neons Sirens - Zac Stevens 04:42
09. High Above of Me - Caterina Nix, Elize Ryd, Simone Simons 05:20
10. Angels of the Apocalypse - Floor Jansen, Caterina Nix, Elize Ryd, Simone Simons 09:07
11. Garden of Eden 02:10

Line Up:
Timo Tolkki - Guitars, Bass, Keyboards (ex-Revolution Renaissance, ex-Symfonia, ex-Stratovarius)
Antti Ikonen - Keyboards (Timo Tolkki,  ex-Stratovarius)
Tuomo Lassila - Drums (Conquest, Timo Tolkki,  ex-Stratovarius)

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

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