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Timo Tolkki's Avalon: Return To Eden
Timo Tolkki's Avalon - Return To Eden Music Review

Timo Tolkki's Avalon: Return To Eden

Melodic Symphonic Power Metal
4.5/5.0

After a five year hiatus, Finnish guitar legend Timo Tolkki drops the third album in his Avalon project, Return To Eden. If you recall Tolkki writes the songs, plays guitar, and produces with each album. But he's also helped along by guest musicians and vocalists. This album's vocal cast is quite impressive, featuring Dutch singer Anneke Van Giersbergen (ex-The Gathering), Zak Stevens (ex-Savatage), Todd Michael Hall (Riot V), Mariangela Demurtas (Tristania, Ardours), and Eduard Hovinga (ex-Elegy).

Timo Tolkki - Click For Larger Image

Timo Tolkki

You will also recall that Tolkki is one of the kings and veterans of European, and Finnish, power metal, thanks to his stint with Stratovarius. Essentially, his songs are crafted around two prominent things, the vocal arrangements and his vigorous and impressive guitar work. These things are embellished by abundant melody and harmony, bright keyboards, and lush symphonic layers, all of which, in turn, are moved along by power metal gallop and groove. In the end all things lead to Tolkki dropping an tantalizing and soaring solo, or two.

As for the songs, if you love Tolkki's take on symphonic power metal, you will not be disappointed with a single tune. Nevertheless, I was partial to a few favorites. One was the more symphonic title cut which also featured three vocalists: Hall, Demurtas, and Stevens. Another stand out song was Hear My Call a simply stirring and emotionally charged melodic metal tune featuring Van Giersbergen. Vocalist Mariangela Demurtas gets her chance to do a ballad with Godsend, a rising anthem thick with riffs and billowing with Tolkki guitar work. For pure power metal rock, Now And Forever has plenty of gallop and groove, and Todd Michael Hall sounds marvelous. Overall, Timo Tolkki's Return To Eden may be the best Avalon album of the bunch: strong songs with exceptional vocals and powerful guitar work. Easily recommended.


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The Bottom Line

Timo Tolkki's Return To Eden may be the best Avalon album of the bunch: strong songs with exceptional vocals and powerful guitar work. Easily recommended.

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