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Symfonia – In Paradisum: Review

On April 19, the symphonic power metal supergroup Symfonia is due to release their first album entitled In Paradisum. It features Timo Tolkki, André Matos, Uli Kusch, Mikko Härkin, and Jari Kainulainen; names which would probably only mean something to those who are more familiarized with the power metal scene. With such an arsenal of talent, I was severely disappointed by what came out of it.

The Music (rating: B-)

  1. Fields of Avalon
  2. Come By the Hills
  3. Santiago
  4. Alayna
  5. Forevermore
  6. Pilgrim Road
  7. Rhapsody in Black
  8. I Walk in Neon
  9. Don’t Let Me Go

In Paradisum is basically everything that one expects from symphonic power metal; high-pitched vocals, hard double-bass drumming, palm-muted riffs, epic feel, etc. There is some down-paced heavy metal and a couple of ballads here and there, but very little is done here to surpass the genre’s boundaries. And when power metal is just average, it is often quite painfully average…

From such an all-star cast, In Paradisum turns out to be a hugely disappointing non all-star release. The riffs are rather dry, and the support (drums and bass) is also lackluster. There is very little done on the keyboards that stands out much. At times, the vocal tone sounds a bit too forced and unnatural. And furthermore, the instruments rarely (if ever) have that perfect click with one another. It is clear that the talent is there – the solos and powerful vocals usually showcase this. However, the songwriting is extremely predictable and is what is expected from the average band in the scene. By reputation, Symfonia is no average band. Unfortunately, In Paradisum is only an average album.

If you are a fan of any of the featured musicians in this record, you are most likely to be disappointed by the underwhelming experience that is In Paradisum. It is an extremely safe release in which the quality is not reflective of the band’s reputation. The instrumental performance and songwriting are not poor by any means, just far from standout. Nothing too memorable is given with this release, except maybe the heart-breaking disappointment. But all in all this is not a bad album, just not one that must be heard.

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