Release DetailsLABEL Napalm Records
RELEASED ON 4/30/2007
Words Untold & Dreams Unlived
posted on 5/2007 By:
Literally, every word I have ever read regarding this album has been overwhelmingly negative. For a while I had myself believing that some writer had cut and pasted the same review in every dark corner of our metal web world. I thought to myself, "How the hell could one band elicit such a universally distasteful reaction?" You know how you become curious about something because so many people hate it (JFAC, 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain, Go-gurt, etc.)? Well, curiosity got the best of me. Funny thing is, I discovered that, while not exactly memorable, Serenity's Words Untold & Dreams Unlived isn't nearly as bad as other writers would have you believe.
Sure, Serenity doesn't always sound so "powerful" or even "progressive," but they do sound tight enough as a band to warrant just a little respect. My reputation (wait...what reputation? ) might be at stake here, but I almost like a few of these songs. I could do without the flaming "Dreams Unlived" instrumental, but "Engraved Within" and "Forever" are complex, multi-layered and epic heavy songs. You're not going to feel like a 'roid-poppin', red-blooded musclehead after listening to the fluffier filler like "Circle of My 2nd Life" or the limp opener "Canopus," but you will find solace in the speedier, more traditional-sounding tracks.
I say this about a lot of bands, but almost no where is this more true: Serenity sounds best playing fast. When the band crushes the keyboard with a cold, hard fist to let the guitar speak for itself, this third album of theirs ain't too shabby. Thomas Buchberger is a very capable guitarist and he plays with a confidence that gives the recording a much thicker sound. The vocals, on the other hand, are a mixed bag. Mario Hirzinger has a pleasant enough voice but there's a slightly whiny quality to it that will become more noticeable the deeper you are into the album. He's neither as commanding as Hansi Kursch (Blind Guardian) nor as smooth as Andy Kuntz (Vanden Plas), who could easily carry almost any ballad, no matter how lame. It would have been nice to have a singer here that could truly write and carry a chorus because much of Words Untold goes in one ear and right out the other.
There you have it: a not-so-memorable album from a mediocre Austrian band playing progressive power metal. Expect thick riffs, anti-climactic choruses and serviceable albeit unimpressive vocals. If you are REALLY into European prog metal, you might want to check this out. All others should approach with caution, if at all. Remember, an album doesn't have to suck completely to not deserve your money. It's the middle of the road releases you have to watch out for.
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