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Shit. - 30%

Empyreal, April 5th, 2011

Right from the cover art you can tell this won’t be any good. I mean, there are more pinks and purples on there than on most Disney princess artworks! Don’t you people have any testicles at all? Fuck. Symfonia is the newest Timo Tolkki project and In Paradisum is their debut. Being that Tolkki has pretty much released worse and worse versions of the same old generic power metal for more than a decade now, it’s easy to assume this is a huge pile of monkey droppings and just skip it altogether. But it’s more than that! It’s a huge pile of monkey droppings made by a bunch of guys who have been playing this music for a long time! Oh the joys. Let’s make this a quick one.

Andre Matos is on vocals and his performance once again makes me think he’s had too much helium for breakfast. Uli Kusch on drums…well, won’t be long until he’s out, as he never stays in any band for very long anymore. The other members, assembled from random components of Stratovarius and Sonata Arctica, do competently, too, but it’s all just so piecemeal, so uninspiring. Haven’t we heard this a hundred times before? The production is excellent on this, but the songwriting is tepid and the opposite of anything remotely exciting. Nothing here is done in a way that makes me want to hear those old ideas again, either.

And it all succumbs so violently to the usual Tolkki clichés that will make anyone familiar with them want to vomit excessively. They’re like bad acne: overlong songs, repetitive, slow riffing, an influx of sappy, overly sentimental bathos and a lack of any balls. Songs like the woeful title track or the pointless, overly hyperactive “Santiago” underscore all the problems with this by themselves: directionless crap with too many parts that have nothing to do with one another. More fecal matter like “Rhapsody in Black” and “I Walk in Neon” starts cropping up especially toward the end of the album. Could be worse, though; we could have another “Mother Gaia” on our hands…eugh.

This is a very listenable album for the most part, but after a listen or two, it will start to offend you just by way of how shitty the songwriting is, and how lacking in any modicum of passion this all is. In Paradisum is moribund, uncreative hack work by a man who hasn’t had a good songwriting idea in a long, long time, and you should be ashamed if you actually buy into it. Fraudulent, meaningless junk for lobotomy patients and chimpanzees. One more for the incinerator.

Originally written for http://www.metalcrypt.com