"In Paradisum"

 By Colonel Angus

X marks the spot with this one; or should I say “ex” as each member of Symfonia is an ex member of a well known power metal band.  Timo Tolkki and Jari Kainulainen are both from Stratovarius while Andre Matos used to lend his vocals to Angra and Uli Kusch and Mikko Harkin are both ex members of Helloween and Sonata Arctica respectively.  Symfonia is a power metal super group with each member bringing their own style into the mix.  In my opinion, the real star of this project is Matos.  He delivers one of his best vocal performances on In Paradism.  Angra fans will certainly gravitate towards this record based on his performance alone.  The other players are no slouches either; let’s face it, all of these guys are top players and all of them put in great performances throughout the disk.

Now although everyone is a great at their respective instruments does not mean a great record.  Its kind of odd for me that a group of musicians that are know for their power metal chops would actually fare better on the tunes that are less power metal and more melodic metal.  To my ears, tracks like “Fields Of Avalon” and “ Santiago ” are a little too “color by numbers” power metal for my tastes.  It is all well and good but nothing special and a lot of it just sounds the same.  Thankfully, most of In Paradisum relies more on the melodic side of this power metal outfit.  “Rhapsody In Black”, “Come By The Hills” and the Celtic flavored “ Pilgrim Road ” are all great tunes and show a little diversity.  Of course, no power metal album would be complete without an epic song and the title track takes care of that very nicely.  It may be a longest tune on this disk but has enough twists and turns to keep it interesting.

 In Paradisum is being released by Armoury/Eagle Rock in April 2011 and I would recommend getting it.  It may not be the most original sounding record but when it is played by these top notch performers, you can’t help but enjoy it.  I would also get it sooner than later.  Summer-time is approaching and this would make a great disk to throw in the car for those longer trips.