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Timo Tolkki's Avalon: The Enigma Birth
Timo Tolkki's Avalon - The Enigma Birth Album Art

Timo Tolkki's Avalon: The Enigma Birth

Symphonic Power Metal
4.5/5.0

With an album title that sounds like the name of the latest James Rollins' novel, guitarist, songwriter, and producer Timo Tolkki returns with his Avalon project on the Frontiers Music label. The Enigmatic Birth is the fourth studio recording in the series and, as with past recordings features an abundance of guest vocalists. A full list follows the review, but the voices include Caterina Nix, James LaBrie, and the fabulous Fabio Lione.

Timo Tolkki - Click For Larger Image

Timo Tolkki

For fans of European power metal, Tolkki and Avalon needs little introduction or description. Simply choose your best adjectives for the music: epic and bombastic, fast and heavy, or outrageous and enormous. You've got the power metal vocabulary covered. The Enigmatic Birth is the perfect power metal storm of roaring riffs, melodic vocals and large vocal arrangements, a rhythm section with gallop and groove, synth orchestration for lush embellishment and, finally (drum roll, please) Tolkki's fret board pyrotechnics (which often duel with synth solos). The multiple vocalists add many other characteristics to the songs: variety, diversity, and different vocal interpretations, but also perplexing choices. While I haven't heard Pellek in sometime, he's seems to be an odd choice, even out of his element, for power metal. Otherwise, bombastic power metal ensues with Master Of Hell, The Enigmatic Birth, Truth, and Beauty And War. More subtle variants which transpose steadiness with speed come with anthems like Memories, Beautiful Lie, and The Fire And The Sinner. I Just Collapse has the most sublime beginning to suggest a possible ballad, but eventually the riffs rise and things get heavy. Yet these things are once more juxtaposed with Caterina Nix's vocal segments that ride over some fine bass work. All things considered, with The Enigmatic Birth Timo Tolkki and his Avalon project deliver another fine album of bombastic power metal with all the typical musical tropes associated with genre. What else would you expect? Recommended.


The Songs & The Vocalists

The Enigma Birth feat. Pellek
I Just Collapse feat. Caterina Nix
Memories feat. Caterina Nix, Brittney Slayes
Master Of Hell feat. Raphael Mendes
Beautiful Lie feat. James LaBrie
Truth feat. Jake E
Another Day feat. Marina La Torraca
Beauty And War feat. Raphael Mendes
Dreaming feat. Fabio Lione
The Fire And The Sinner feat. Jake E, Brittney Slayes
Time feat. Marina La Torraca
Without Fear feat. Fabio Lione




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The Take Away

With The Enigmatic Birth Timo Tolkki and his Avalon project deliver another fine album of bombastic power metal with all the typical musical tropes associated with genre. What else would you expect? Recommended.

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