by MythofRock

Timo Tolkki finally returns with a new album and fortunately, his work sounds just like want. This means that Tolkki is back with a fine European power metal album that is reminiscent of his glorious days with Stratovarius. In “The Enigma Birth” we have melody, power and speed, all the ingredients of euro power metal, all the characteristics of a really nice selection of great songs, which will satisfy even the demanding listener. The album starts with the fascinating euro power metal hymn “The Enigma Birth”, a song which stands like a summary of what is going to follow. Then we get to “I Just Collapse”, a song with beautiful vocal lines and many melodic hooks, and to “Memories”, a composition with a fantastic arrangement, a haunting atmosphere, surely one of the album’s top moments. “Master of Hell” is an amazing heavy metal track, which will stick to you as soon as you listen to the catchy refrain. “Beautiful Lie” is a more proggy composition with startling vocal melodies, and “Truth” is an ear-catching euro power metal song, which will make you want to bang your head! “Another Day” is so ethereal, so emotive and heartfelt and comes in contrast with the heavy rocker song which follows, “Beauty And War” – its main guitar riff is impressive and leads this euro power metal hit to perfection. The ninth track, “Dreaming”, is probably the best song in the album – it sounds so dramatic, so epic and thrilling, with a monumental performance by Fabio Lione, an excellent guitar work by Tolkki and an awesome song structure. “The Fire and the Sinner” is the shivering ballad of the album and “Time” is a euro power metal moment that will please every fan of the genre. The album ends with “Without Fear”, a typical, exciting Timo Tolkki-penned composition that could belong to Stratovarius’ “Episode” and/or “Visions”. “The Enigma Birth” proves that Tolkki hasn’t lost his inspiration – he is a song writing genius, a charismatic guitarist, a mainman, who knows how to make his musical dreams come true. His new Avalon record has extraordinary performances, so much passion, fine musicianship and a great feeling! If you like Tolkki’s power metal works, you will love this new album. In my personal opinion, there are moments the overall sound could be even better, but that’s a trivial detail. This album is a killer one!

♦ 8/10

Dimitris Zacharopoulos


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