‘The Land of New Hope’ is is something your reviewer has never had the opportunity to review (a phrase I very rarely get to say these days), for it is a concept album and one that offers up a whole new genre for me. That genre is of metal opera.
Best known for his songwriting with metal scene legends Stratovarius Timo Tollki has decided to tackle something a little bit more akin to that bands original sound, whilst adding in a symphonic feel and sound to the work.
The tracks here are big, bold, memorable and inviting, which make this one spectacularly unique album. This is not what you would expect someone with this sort of musical pedigree to make, but therein lies its appeal.OK metal opera may not be something many rock fans will think they will enjoy. But if you give it a go you may well surprise yourself.
There is a cinematic feel to the sound and each track on offer brings with it a lovely snapshot of Tolkki’s vision and ideas behind the album.
”I sort of rediscovered myself musically in the process of making this album. I wrote the story first and then started composing the music.’ Said the Finnish metal legend.
With stunning artwork by Stanis W Decker and a host of renowned artists on board for the project (including Michael Kiske, Elize Ryd, Rob Rock, Russell Allen, Sharon Den Adel, Tony Kakko and Derek Sherinan) this is one concept album that ticks an awful lot of boxes.
Timo Tolkki’s Avalon – The Land of New Hope is available now on Frontiers Records.
By Phil Allely