Kotipelto – Serenity
01. Once Upon A Time
02. Sleep Well
04. City Of Mysteries
05. King Anti-Midas
06. Angels Will Cry
07. After The Rain
08. Mr Know-It-All
09. Dream And Reality
10. Last Defender
11. Sleep Well [Japanese bonus] [acoustic version]
12. Serenity [Japanese bonus] [acoustic version]
No need to present Mr Kotipelto. Being the singer of the famous Finnish combo Stratovarius since a lot of time now, Timo also releases some solo album sometime. “Waiting For The Dawn” was released in 2002 and “Coldness” in 2004. Those albums were both a bit classic, not really different than his work with Stratovarius but it wasn’t so bad and since that I had the chance to see him live, I can tell you that the sound was cool and pleasant. “Serenity” is a bit different however, a bit more “Hard FM” and well, no doubt that this change will be beneficial for the band.
Fast rhythms, hyper melodic riffs, and happy melodies, no doubt we’re in front of release which comes from Finland. Though, even if the new Kotipelto sounds a lot (and that’s normal on a side) like the music of Stratovarius, it’s obvious that the Finnish singer decided to take some risks with this release. Now, we’re not only in front of a simple Finnish Power Metal and “Serenity” has some nice Hard FM sonorities in its compositions. It’s a good thing because it’s a bit like a break with Power and definitely, Kotipelto must do a break with Stratovarius if he wants to succeed in his solo career. This mix of Power (because it’s an album of Power first) with some Hard Rock choruses and melodies is original and in reason of this new thing, “Serenity” is probably the best album of Kotipelto.
All is not perfect though. Some songs like “King Anti-Midas” are a bit boring and sound too much like some Stratovarius ones and finally the break between the two bands is not so obvious. Also, I really think that Kotipelto should try to do something darker because sometime, musically like with the lyrics it’s a bit too much like some “happy flower” stuff. On the other hand the production is great with a perfect sound and when you know that Lauri Porra (Stratovarius) is the bassist, Mirka Rantanan (Thunderstone) is the drummer and that finally Jane Wirman (COB) is the keyboardist it cannot be bad interpreted.
“Serenity” is the best album of the solo career of Timo Kotipelto. A bit different than his previous releases, this album will please the fans of Stratovarius like the ones who like Hard Rock. But don’t misunderstand me, it’s not perfect too and I would like to see a real break with the Finnish Power Metal influences but at least this time it’s a bit different and that’s a great thing for the future of the band. Who know, if they follow this road, maybe that one day Kotipelto alone will find the same success than Stratovarius…
Band profile: Kotipelto