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Finnish metal vocalist Timo Kotipelto is known predominantly for his work with Stratovarius, but once again he steps out of the role to front his own solo endeavor. The third installment from Kotipelto is the 10-track SERENITY, a collection of bang your head rockers and hold your handkerchief ballads driven by keyboards and '80s metal cliché with a discernible power metal gear shift controlling the action. Big drums, soaring vocals, and clinical riffs are in abundance here, so if you have an aversion to melodic metal without any sense of extremity, this would be one to skip over. However, if TNT, Symphony X, Dokken, and Europe still dominate your iPod shuffle, give this one a go.
- Mike SOS