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Serenity - 'Codex Atlanticus' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/16/82/9c/serenity-codex-atlanticus-78-1456175566.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 22, 2016    
 
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A good album and one that Serenity fans will grow to enjoy.

It's been a period of change for Serenity; long time guitarist Thomas Buchberger has departed the ranks and vocalist Clèmentine Delauney, who caused such a transformation in the band's sound on 2013's 'War Of Ages', is no longer in evidence either. In fact, at the present time Serenity are a three-piece consisting of singer Georg Neuhauser, bassist Fabio D'Amore and drummer Andreas Schipflinger, the band's "live guitarist", Chris Hermsdörfer, handling six-string duties on their fifth album, 'Codex Atlanticus'.

However, it's not only the personnel that has changed for Serenity, their journey deeper into Symphonic territory having continued at pace. So oddly, as this German/Austrian/Italian outfit look to regain one of their more obvious (almost) unique selling points – namely being Male-Fronted in a genre dominated by female singers – so they seem set to cash in another, that of still focusing on guitars over strings, pipes and theatrics.

Not that '...Atlanticus', an album based round the life of Leonardo Da Vinci, is bad, but is it immediately recognisable as Serenity? Well, not really. Instead, 'Caught In A Myth' or 'Follow Me' sound incredibly Nightwish-like (with excellent male vocals, of course) and while both these tracks and the rest of the album do convince, it's a little unexpected at this stage in Serenity's evolution for them to begin sounding more like other acts and less like themselves.

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With claims from the band that '...Atlanticus' could be "the soundtrack for Game Of Thrones", it's little surprising that bombast and symphony dominate on 'Reason', while 'My Final Chapter' introduces some obligatory pipes before a smooth attack yet basically eschews guitars for much of its length. Add in that 'The Perfect Woman' could honestly be a boy band ballad, then if you're looking for a hard-hitting blast in the vein of early Serenity, you'll have to dig deep to find it here.

'Codex Atlanticus' is a good album and one that Serenity fans will grow to enjoy. That said, its initial impact seems tethered by the style of its attack and, in truth, it finds Serenity still searching for a sound they want to call their own.

Unfortunately, they're further from finding it now than they were three albums ago.

Steven Reid

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