TIMO TOLKKI’S AVALON – The Enigma Birth
- by J.N.
- Posted on 31-07-2021
"The Enigma Birth" by Timo Tolkki’s Avalon is the fourth album by the project and arguably the most accomplished and musically satisfying one in their discography yet. With an impressive cast of musically gifted people such as James Labrie, Caterina Nix, Fabio Lione, and Marina La Torraca appearing on the record, this is essentially a symphonic power metal opus that is filled to the brim with galloping riffs, majestic atmospheres, soaring vocals, and grandiose melodies. More often than not, these particular types of projects consisting of lofty and bombastic metal are either a mixed bag in terms of quality or simply underwhelming. Luckily, this LP fares a little better than many others that I have come across.
Weaving a rich tapestry of melodies together and churning out a whole damn arsenal of epic parts and thunderous passages, these twelve tracks are technically dazzling and contain many interesting layers, and Timo Tolkki’s (ex-Stratovarius) guitar-wizardry is impressive. The production is as crisp and massive as they come but is also a bit sterile and devoid of warmth. The different vocalists all leave their mark on the tunes, and I like the way in which they color the material and add nuances and variety to the affair. The melancholy "I Just Collapse" is a catchy treat and "Beautiful Lie" is pretty memorable too. The anthemic album closer "Without Fear" is also instantly appealing and a real aggressive metal delight. The main problem with "The Enigma Birth" is that it is uneven and that it sounds and feels slightly cold and lifeless in some respects. While I certainly admire, appreciate, and enjoy certain parts and aspects of the record, I am not utterly blown away or convinced by it, but like I said, I think it is the most noteworthy one by Avalon yet, so check it out if you are familiar with their past work.