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True Power Metal Glory - 95%

alexxhighlander, April 5th, 2011

If you love melodic power metal and have loved it for at least ten years, you will love this album. It's that simple.

I’m talking about glory days power metal, from the time the unbeatable team made up of Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica and Edguy were putting out killer album after killer album and runners up Angra and a few others released top material as well.

I’m talking about vocals that are so goddamn sentimental that they actually choke you up even though the lyrics are so cheesy and your life is fine, while the huge choirs of angels sing in the background trying to carry you away to some distant wonderland.

I’m talking about killer guitar solos that pick the song up and throw it up in the air battling keyboard solos that turn it all into a mind-blowing duel, and a double bass barrage that will get you in the right mood for one hell of a ride, my friends.

With this line up, what else did you expect? There is not one single musician in Symfonia that could be called 'average' or just 'pretty good'. They all excel at what they do and have the experience and track record to back them up. They don’t have to prove themselves to anyone. Writing this album was probably as easy as it gets for these guys, as it truly does not explore any new grounds. Songs are simple, short and direct for the most part, with a total playing time of just under one hour.

Actually, I am glad they didn’t try and innovate or any such nonsense. I was afraid they might come up with such ‘innovative ideas’ as the ones that have plagued the genre in the past five years or so, with bands departing from their original sound in favor of even more dated forms of metal or hard rock, becoming boring and redundant in the process and completely losing their identities. You have nothing to fear with In Paradisum, as this is, I repeat, pure power metal glory.

The cover art could be better, and many will bash this album as being just 'more of the same' from guitarist Timo Tolkki. Well, they’re right. It’s more of the same ingenuity this guy brought to us on his best works with his former band. So I’m glad. As with regard to production, songwriting and musicianship, this album is nearly flawless.

Along with Cain’s Offering and Pathfinder, Symfonia have proven once again there is hope for power metal.