SERENITY

Power Metal • Austria
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Serenity is a melodic power metal band, formed in 2001. They released a demo called Starseed V.R. in 2002, with their initial lineup, but everyone except Andreas Schipflinger and keyboardist Mario Hirzinger left in 2004, and so they had to start anew. After refilling their lineup with singer Georg Neuhauser, guitarist Thomas Buchberger and bassist Simon Holzknecht, they had a group that would stay fully intact until 2010.

In 2005 they released another demo titled Engraved Within, which saw the band changing to a heavier style than they were playing before, while still maintaining the focus on melodies. Four songs from the demo were re-recorded for their full length debut Words Untold & Dreams Unlived, which was released in 2007. This album and the 2008 follow up Fallen Sanctuary, both featured a more progressive compared to their later works, though they have remained a power metal band in all stages
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War Of AgesWar Of Ages
Napalm Records 2016
$7.48
$7.47 (used)
LionheartLionheart
Napalm Records 2017
$10.78
$6.50 (used)
Codex AtlanticusCodex Atlanticus
Napalm Records 2016
$7.47
$6.47 (used)
Fallen SanctuaryFallen Sanctuary
Napalm Records 2016
$7.48
$6.48 (used)
Death And LegacyDeath And Legacy
Napalm Records 2011
$10.50
$7.93 (used)
Words Untold & Dreams UnlivedWords Untold & Dreams Unlived
Napalm Records 2016
$7.43
$5.45 (used)
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Serenity: International Flute Orchestra (2006) (cd5786) Serenity: International Flute Orchestra (2006) (cd5786) USD $14.85 Buy It Now 2 days
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SERENITY Discography

SERENITY albums / top albums

SERENITY Words Untold & Dreams Unlived album cover 3.90 | 5 ratings
Words Untold & Dreams Unlived
Power Metal 2007
SERENITY Fallen Sanctuary album cover 4.30 | 5 ratings
Fallen Sanctuary
Power Metal 2008
SERENITY Death & Legacy album cover 4.17 | 6 ratings
Death & Legacy
Power Metal 2011
SERENITY War Of Ages album cover 4.30 | 6 ratings
War Of Ages
Power Metal 2013
SERENITY Codex Atlanticus album cover 4.44 | 5 ratings
Codex Atlanticus
Power Metal 2016
SERENITY Lionheart album cover 4.83 | 2 ratings
Lionheart
Power Metal 2017

SERENITY EPs & splits

SERENITY live albums

SERENITY demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

SERENITY Starseed V.R. album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Starseed V.R.
Power Metal 2002
SERENITY Engraved Within album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Engraved Within
Power Metal 2005

SERENITY re-issues & compilations

SERENITY singles (2)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Serenade of Flames
Power Metal 2011
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Wings of Madness
Power Metal 2013

SERENITY movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

SERENITY Reviews

SERENITY Lionheart

Album · 2017 · Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
DippoMagoo
At this point, it’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of symphonic power metal, and it’s also no secret that out of all bands to play that style of music, Austrian band Serenity is easily my all-time favorite. Ever since I heard their third album Death & Legacy for the first time, I’ve been absolutely in love with their brand of epic, cinematic symphonic metal mixed with speedy power metal, and everything they’ve done before and after that album has left me almost as impressed as that release did. Their previous release Codex Atlanticus was perhaps their weakest release since their second album Fallen Sanctuary, which came before their current sound had fully developed, yet it still kept me thoroughly entertained, so obviously I was excited when I heard the band was planning on releasing their sixth full-length album, Lionheart, less than two years later. Well, that release is now almost here, and I can say once again the band has delivered in a big way! In fact, this time I’d say they’ve stepped up their game once again, delivering a more consistently impressive album than Codex Atlanticus, and even perhaps matching Death & Legacy (only time will tell on that one.)

One thing working in the band’s favor this time around is that Lionheart is actually their first release since Fallen Sanctuary to not feature any lineup changes, which has allowed more time for the current members to work together and build off what they had going on their previous release. In particular, guitarist Chris Hermsdörfer showed a lot of potential on Codex Atlanticus, throwing in some heavier riffs than expected at times, and also including some very nice solos, but throughout most of the tracks, it felt as if he was being limited a bit. This time around, while the orchestras and vocals are obviously still as important to the music as ever and remain the main focus, Chris has been given a ton of room to work with on most of the tracks, and he uses a thicker, more modernized guitar sound at times, which adds an extra edge to the music, and some of the riffs here are quite aggressive but they fit in with the songs perfectly, while his solo work is very beautiful and melodic, like it was on the previous album, except even better. It does make sense that the guitar work would be a bit heavier and have a more expanded role on this album, as the overall theme of the album tells the tale of Richard 1 (often known as Richard the Lionheart) and so a lot of the songs talk about epic battles and achievements, which allows room for the heavy guitars to come in, while the orchestras and vocal melodies are still as epic and ever, and also very much fit in with the tone of the lyrics.

Of course, this being a Serenity album, there’s also a softer side to the music, which comes through on many of the tracks, and there are some very emotional lyrics at times, especially on tracks like the ballad “Heaven”, the sort of power ballad “My Fantasy” and the epic closer “The Final Crusade”. These are all tracks where the vocals take the leading role, and of course, Georg Neuhauser delivers the goods as always. He has a warm, beautiful tone to his voice that works perfectly on the softer tracks, allowing the melodies to really shine through, and as always he sounds like a much calmer, smoother singing version of Tony Kakko. At the same time, he can put in a bit of extra power to fit in well during the heavier passages, and as always he does a fantastic job on the epic choruses, which are very much in full supply on this album. As always, though, he also gets a bit of extra help on a few tracks, both from bassist Fabio D’Amore, whose more aggressive, animated vocals fit in well on the heavier track “Stand and Fight”, as well as from two female guest vocalists, who both work very well with Georg and help provide some of the biggest highlights of the album.

As expected, the album kicks off with a brief but epic orchestral intro, which very much feels like it would fit in perfectly as part of a film score, with epic choir vocals used to add extra flavor. This feel carries over to the start of the opening song “United”, which opens softly with orchestras and keys, before the lead guitar kicks in with some nice melodic leads, and the album officially gets underway. Like some of Serenity’s classic openers, this is a more mid-paced affair, though the presence of heavy guitars during the verses helps add an extra layer to the music, to go along with the orchestras and Georg’s vocals, which are both as epic and amazing as ever. The heavy verses give way to the chorus, which is of course insanely epic and well sung as always, as well as being engaging and very catchy. The guitars actually get even heavier during the second verse and Georg sings a bit deeper and with more power than usual, which is pretty awesome. Towards the end of the track there’s an epic guitar solo, which really shows Chris’s skills off, and then we get an incredible final run through the chorus. All in all, it’s a perfect album opener, which at times brings back memories of when I first heard “New Horizon” from Death & Legacy, and was immediately blown away.

In case that song didn’t already set the bar high, the title track comes next and is an absolute masterpiece! It comes flying out of the gate with some nice folk melodies, and the verses keep the momentum going, charging along at a very fast pace, and overall it’s a track that very much feels like classic Euro power metal, complete with an epic, very speedy chorus that is of course as insanely catchy as one would expect from a Serenity single. Georg is in top form as always, the choir vocals are epic, and the guitar work is again heavy in bursts, and Chris once again delivers an excellent melodic solo in the middle. The end of the track is also a highlight, as the folk melodies return and we even get some epic marching drums to close out the track. Easily one of the best tracks on the album, though things hardly go downhill afterward. Next is “Hero”, another track where the guitar work really stands out. It kicks off with easily some of heaviest, most brutal sounding riffs I’ve ever heard on a Serenity album, and after a brief calmer section where Georg steals the show, the song continues moving at a fast pace, and is another instantly memorable track, where the orchestra, guitars, and vocals blend together to create something truly special. The chorus is once again a highlight, and the heavy riffs are used pretty much constantly throughout, especially in the middle right before giving way to an extended softer passage where the orchestra and vocals take over. After that is yet another speedy track in “Rising High”, though on this track the guitars are a bit softer and have more of a classic power metal sound. It’s another fast-paced track with energetic verses, complete with one of the catchiest choruses on the album, and another excellent guitar solo in the second half.

Things settle down for a bit after that track, with the only full ballad on the album, “Heaven”. It’s the kind of epic, folk-infused ballad the band always does well, with some nice folk melodies throughout, which blend in well with the piano and orchestra, and of course, Georg’s beautiful vocals feel right at home on this kind of song. The chorus is again excellent, very catchy and very beautiful at the same time. There’s a nice guitar solo in between verses, before we get the first guest appearance on the album from Faun vocalist Katja Moslehner, who has a very soft and lovely voice that carries the second verse and chorus for a while, though the song gets, even more, epic when Georg comes back in and the two sing together for the final chorus. Serenity is always excellent at delivering ballads, and if anything this is one of their very best efforts to date. The following track may disappoint some folks, as the title “King’s Landing” is sure to make fans of the HBO series Game of Thrones excited, with that being the name of one of the show’s main settings, but in fact the song has nothing to do with that series at all, and is instead a simple, but very beautiful piano interlude that offers a slowed down take on some of the melodies found on the next track.

Which takes us into the second half, where “Eternal Victory” kicks things off at a high tempo once again, following another nice folk section at the beginning. It’s another very speedy track, with some excellent guitar leads to go along with the epic orchestras, and it has another fantastic, super catchy chorus, which uses choir vocals effectively, as well as some very fun verses, and another great guitar solo. The final run through the chorus dials the choir vocals up to an 11 and is simply incredible. Next, is “Stand and Fight”, perhaps the catchiest song on the entire album, and yet another speedy track that delivers the goods. It begins with a brief tease at the chorus before the guitars kick in and we get some heavy riffs during the verses, to go along with some very animated vocals performed by Fabio, before Georg takes over just in time for the chorus, and sings along with some epic choirs. The instrumental section is again brilliant, as first, we get an extended orchestral section where the symphonic elements are used in full force, and then we get another amazing guitar solo. Overall, it’s yet another major standout track and for sure one of my favorites on the album.

After that the track, the pace slows down a bit for the final four tracks, though the quality doesn’t let up at all. Next is “The Fortress (of Blood and Sand)”, the kind of hard-hitting mid-paced track the band had a ton of on their earlier albums, and here it’s done very effectively, with the verses offering a nice contrast between aggressive guitars and Georg’s soft vocals, while the chorus is melodic and very catchy as always, and of course the solo section gets heavier again and is pretty awesome. The following track “Empire” is slightly speedier and more melodic, though it’s still more mid-paced than many of the earlier tracks. It has some very epic vocal melodies as always and features another one of the stronger choruses on the album, especially the final run through. Though it’s a softer track, Chris is again given room to showcase his skills during the middle section, with some heavy riffs, and as always he adds an extra guitar presence that I felt was missing a bit from the previous three albums.

Things go softer again as we head towards the end, with “My Fantasy” starting off feeling like a ballad, with some nice piano work and soft male vocals. I can’t tell if these are performed by Fabio or someone else, but they”re definitely not done by Georg, as they sound different from him. Whoever is singing there, they do a nice job of setting the tone for the song, before the guitars kick in and the track turns into more of a power ballad, with Georg leading the way as always, providing some of his best vocals during the chorus. As always, there’s some great guitar work, later on, this time with a very emotional guitar solo, which leads the way to the final run through of the chorus, and ends the song on a high note. Last, but certainly not least, we have the epic closing track “The Final Crusade”. This is a lot calmer than most Serenity closing tracks, opening with some nice acoustic guitar work before settling into a mid-paced groove, and it stays at this tempo the whole way through, with some relaxing but fairly engaging verses, which give way to the most surprising section on the album, that being a brief extreme metal passage where some harsh vocals are included. The growls sound pretty cool and add extra flavor to the track, leading into a very emotional and exciting chorus, where Georg delivers some of the most powerful vocals I’ve ever heard from him. It’s a beautiful song the whole way through, but the highlight of the track, and perhaps even the entire album, comes in the final two minutes, as Sleeping Romance vocalist Federica Lanna comes in at first during a beautiful piano section, then sings with Georg during the chorus, and she closes out the album with an absolutely beautiful final run through of the chorus, along with some amazing guitar work in the background. Serenity has always delivered some amazing closing tracks, but I think this one may be their very best yet.

I always have very high expectations when I listen to a Serenity album, as they’re far and away my favorite symphonic power metal band in the world, and that happens to be my favorite genre of all, but once again the band has managed to blow me away with Lionheart, delivering one of their very best albums to date. It contains the kind of epic, orchestral symphonic metal fans of the band have come to expect, with some very melodic and emotional tracks, enhanced by excellent female vocals on a couple tracks, and it, of course, has the epic mid-paced tracks the band has always excelled at, but it also has some of their best speedier tracks to date, as well as an increased use of heavy guitar work to further enhance the songs. It’s easily the best album of its kind I’ve heard since Death & Legacy, even surpassing the two previous efforts from the band, Codex Atlanticus and War of Ages. Longtime fans of the band are sure to love it, and I’d highly recommend it to any fans of symphonic power metal as well, as the genre doesn’t get any better than this!

originally written for myglobalmind.com (https://myglobalmind.com/2017/10/25/serenity-lionheart-review/)

SERENITY Codex Atlanticus

Album · 2016 · Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
DippoMagoo
The year 2016 is off to a strong start, with January featuring new releases from some of my favorite bands like Avantasia, Rhapsody of Fire and of course Dream Theater. However, the album I was most excited for going into the year was not one of those but Codex Atlanticus, the fifth full length release from Austrian symphonic power metal band Serenity, who I discovered back in 2011, with their incredible third album Death & Legacy, which over time become one of my top 5 favorites albums. That album marked somewhat of a turning point for the band as before they had played a more complex and progressive style of power metal, and they delivered two excellent albums in that style, where on Death & Legacy they took a turn to more of a cinematic symphonic metal sound, with a major focus on orchestras and huge vocal melodies, and it also had a few nice duets featuring three guest female vocalists. This approach was taken further on War of Ages, with the addition of Clementine Delauney as a co-lead vocalist, but in between then and now the band decided they had gone as far as they could with that sound and decided to part ways with Clementine, leaving Georg Neuhauser as their lone vocalist. This and the departure of longtime guitarist Thomas Buchberger left me curious as to how Codex Atlantcus would sound, but suffice to say Serenity has blown me away once again and delivered an album roughly on par with War of Ages and just barely behind Death & Legacy.

While the lineup changes led me to expect a major overhaul in their music, I’m surprised to report that Codex Atlanticus instantly feels familiar but with a few nice twists to make it stand out. Like its two immediate predecessors, it is a concept album dealing with historical themes, this time focusing specifically on Leonardo da Vinci. The lyrics are quite interesting and well delivered, as always. Musically this feels in some ways like a continuation of their previous albums, especially Death & Legacy, with a few little surprises thrown in. For the most part, it’s the vocal melodies and orchestras that dominate the tracks and these elements are just as prominent and as impressive as ever, but new guitarist Chris Hermsdörfer has acquitted himself very well here and fits in perfectly with the band. On most tracks he’s more limited to helping with the rhythm and serving as a backdrop to the main elements, but there’s a few parts throughout where he gets to fully let loose and he does an impressive job.

Of course, one of those main elements is vocalist Georg Neuhauser, who has become one of my favorite melodic metal singers over the past few years. He has a very warm voice that sounds similar to Sonata Arctica vocalist Tony Kakko, but with a much lighter tone and a smoother, less over the top delivery. He’s one of the best I’ve heard when it comes to getting everything he can out of huge vocal melodies, which of course the songs provide a ton of, and while he sounds very calm throughout, when he’s asked to reach for bigger notes, especially towards the end of tracks when the choruses pick up, he delivers big every time.

After the expected but very nice orchestral intro track, the first proper song “Follow Me” enters in slowly with some nice piano work, before Hermsdörfer is allowed to show off his skill with a pretty killer riff, and the song picks up the pace and turns into the kind of fun up tempo symphonic power metal opener they excel at, except with occasional bursts of heaviness that only add to the already excellent track. Between the guitar work, the orchestras and the chorus, it’s definitely one of my favorites on the album. Next is the more surprising “Sprouts of Terror”, another fast paced track where the guitars are even more prominent and sound a bit thrashy at points, this feeling further enhanced by the more aggressive sounding secondary male vocals, though Georg eventually comes in to bring some melody in to the song, and it ends up being another instant winner. Fans will have already heard “Iniquity” a slower more orchestra and vocal driven track, which features some excellent choir vocals as well as some really nice backing male vocals during its impressive chorus. When I first heard the song I wasn’t overly impressed with it, but over time it has grown on me and I’ve become quite fond of it.

Around this point, the album settles in to more usual Serenity territory, with “Reason” in particular feeling like it would have fit in perfectly next to some of the speedier tracks on Death & Legacy, and it once again features a truly phenomenal chorus that instantly made it one of my favorites. The last rendition of it is especially breathtaking. This feeling of familiarity continues somewhat on both the mid tempo track “Caught in a Myth”, and the slightly faster and heavier track “Fate of Light, but on both tracks the guitar work is impressive and helps them stand out. The latter in particular has a really awesome shredding solo in the middle. Closing track “The Order” is another speedy track that opens with piano and features a slow opening verse, before speeding up for the chorus and it doesn’t let up from that point on.

The album features two ballads, which are both excellent. First is “My Final Chapter”, a slightly folk infused track that fully focuses on the orchestras and serves as an excellent showcase for Georg’s voice, while “The Perfect Woman” has more of a rock opera feel to it, and features some slightly upbeat though very light sounding parts, as well as some excellent guest female vocals during a very memorable part in the middle. Lastly, we have “Spirit in the Flesh”, another heavier, somewhat speedy track which once again features a second male voice (I can’t tell if it’s the same one as on “Sprouts of Terror, but he does sound a bit similar.) He leads during much of the chorus and his delivery is a bit more raw compared to Georg, but it has a certain charm to it and adds some energy to the track. My favorite part of the song is the final chorus, where Georg does an absolutely beautiful rendition of it, before the other singer comes in to finish it off.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, due to the key lineup changes, but in the end Codex Atlanticus is yet another exceptional album from Serenity, that continues with the ultra melodic, somewhat theatrical style they began on Death & Legacy, while adding in a bit of extra heaviness and some other nice touches to make it stand out. It serves as an excellent showcase for vocalist Georg Neuhauser while still feeling like a true team effort, and it contains 10 incredibly catchy songs sure to remain stuck in my head for some time to come. Obviously it’s a must hear for fans of the band, and I also highly recommend for fans of symphonic power metal and melodic metal in general.

(originally written for myglobalmind.com: http://myglobalmind.com/2016/01/17/serenity-codex-atlanticus-review/)

SERENITY War Of Ages

Album · 2013 · Power Metal
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War of Ages (2013) is the fourth full-length album by Austrian power metal act Serenity. After experimenting with a small group of guest female vocalists on their last album Death & Legacy (2011) the band has brought in Clémentine Delauney (ex-Whyzdom) as a full time member of the band. Clémentine was not actually among the vocalists who were guests on Death & Legacy but had been a touring member with the band since 2011 and was added to the main line-up in early 2013.

While War of Ages is my personal introduction to Serenity’s music, I think it’s important to note that the inclusion of Clémentine Delauney can’t have affected the band’s sound all that much, because her contributions here are playing very much second fiddle to established male vocalist Georg Neuhauser. His voice fits Serenity’s brand of symphonic power metal really well, but having brought Clémentine Delauney in full time I would like to have heard more vocal interplay between the two, as there is evidence to be found during the album that the two could work really well together in a dual lead role, rather than the ‘backing vocalist who occasionally sings lead’ role that Clémentine Delauney has been regulated to at the moment.

The music on the album is all very good; obviously the work of an established and skilled band who know what they’re good at and don’t feel the need to experiment, meaning War of Ages won’t throw many surprises at you even if, like me, this is your first Serenity album. A few songs, such as Shining Oasis, have underlying progressive elements but they are welded into the sound so that they aren’t exactly obvious if you’re only listening casually. Otherwise the album follows the sort of patterns that you’d expect from a symphonic power metal album of the current era – fast paced songs with the symphonic backing creating an epic sound topped off by crystal clear vocals, with the obligatory ballad song included in the form of For Freedom's Sake. Props to Serenity though, seeing as they shown themselves one of the power metal bands in the minority group who can include a ballad without it wrecking the flow of the album. Not an album highlight by any means, but tastefully done. The only thing really missing from the current formula is a longer, extra progressive track (which usually appears towards the end, if not the last track, of an album) but Serenity does show here that they don’t have to elongate their songs to be progressive. The gem of the album’s tracks is Legacy of Tudors, but honourable mentions to The Art of War, Shining Oasis and Symphony for the Quiet as well.

War of Ages is a great power metal album if you like the sort of really pure voiced music as made popular by acts such as Falconer and Kamelot, and is an especially recommended listen if you enjoyed the latter band’s latest release Silverthorn. An exceptional tier rating is just about deserved for the consistent high quality but it lacks enough real belters in the evin of Legacy of Tudors to push it up there with the true classics of the genre.

86/100

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven: http://metaltube.freeforums.org/serenity-war-of-ages-t2998.html)

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