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Fresh Releases Avalon — The Land of New Hope Genre: Metal Opera, Symphonic Metal, Power Metal, Heavy Metal Country: Finland Labels: Frontiers Records

Much was talked about Timo Tolkki's new project Avalon and its first album The Land of New Hope. The discussions abounded in fruity words and were often shaded with the unhidden grain of scepsis. The common feature of all those talks was an unstoppable comparison of the project with Tobi Sammet's Avantasia, which for long years set metal opera standards and format as the separate sub genre of modern metal. Actually, the news about Timo Tollki's rock opera on the niche melodic metal label Frontiers Records seemed as a regrettable try to become a “king of the hill” at the cost of the recent Avantasia album, which come out some months earlier (see DM #5). A few factors suspiciously crossed in the point of time and space, i.e. the release date, star guests and the only author or the heart of the project. The first single “Enshrined In My Memory” featuring

crystal vocals of Elize Ryd was like a cold shower for critics and dropped a grain of hope that everything will be different. The song is a typical Frontiers product with soft guitars and clear powerful vocals and rich keyboards. But the LP killed all those hopes with a straightforward, though melodic power metal. Timo Tolkki invited the same tough guys as himself, among them Elize Ryd, Rob Rock, Michael Kiske, Russell Allen, Sharon den Adel and Tony Kakko, as well as Alex Holzwarth on drums and both Jens Johansson and Derek Sherinian. Part of them have passed trial by fire in Avantasia which gave another spur for rumors. The Land of New Hope is the first of three Timo's concept albums about postapocalyptic shakes of the humanity and search of new worlds. The plot is so simple that I cannot help calling it beaten. In 2055 a bunch of fellows survive after the natural disaster (thank God, it's not a nuclear war or a zombie attack) and start to roam around the world in search of the land of new hope. In 10 tracks time they reach the point of no return and looming hope. At this point the first portion of the story is over, finished by an epic “The Land of New Hope” with Michael Kiske on vocals. I think, it's not a coincidence. Listen to Helloween's “The Keeper of the Seven Keys” and you'll understand it all. Generally speaking, The Land of New Hope did bring some revelations. Although it's far from the music Timo wrote before, this is the same string of power metal killers diluted by sweetly sung ballads. As a matter of fact, the tsunami which brought the most of damage to the world in the plot washed away that artificial plastic pathos and narcissism of power metal. One really gets the impression that the stranded will reach the promised land. We should say thank you to all the singers, who brilliantly did their job. After the release I had to revise my positive opinion

Daily Metal #7 (ENG)  

7th issue of the Ukrainian rock music webzine

Daily Metal #7 (ENG)  

7th issue of the Ukrainian rock music webzine

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