The third chapter of the amazing metal opera of TIMO TOLKKI'S AVALON is ready to be released this June through Frontiers Music s.r.l. Apart from the amazing and extremely talented Timo Tolkki on guitars, the band consists of Andrea Buratto on bass, Antonio Agate on piano and keyboards, Giulio Capone on drums and Aldo Lonobile on guitars.
Aldo Lonobile is well-known from his work with the Italian power/prog metal masters Secret Sphere. Lonobile helped Timo Tolkki with the producion of the new album and helped him, also, with the recording of the various musicians who guest on the album. The amazing vocal cast appearing this time includes renowned 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).
The whole album is an ode to symphonic power metal sound and features excellent performances by these amazing singers, great arrangements, an almost perfect guitar work, tons of melodies and, in general, this album is one of its best of its kind.
The first impressive moment of the new opus comes with the furious and neo-classical hymn of "Promises"! Man this is just awesome! Todd Michael Hall takes command on lead vocals here and transforms this song into a melodic metal gem. Very Malmsteen-esque regarding the guitars and with a fantastic melody in it, this track is a killer one! The epic "Return To Eden" and the beautiful "Hear My Call" (feat. Anneke Van Giersbergen) are two tunes that will be loved by each and every fan of the classic Epic/Symphonic sound out there. "Miles Away" features a more progressive sound in it while in "Limits" Tolkki 'walks' to some edgier, speedy 'paths'. Especially in "Limits" we are dealing with one of the heaviest and more 'metal' songs out of "Return To Eden". In "Wasted Dreams", we have yet another highlight out of the new opus. More heavy rocking with a chorus line to die for and these amazing guitar lines in front row; what else should I ask for?
In conlusion, TIMO TOLLKI'S AVALON newest "Return To Eden" is a great and very enjoyable opus all the way. A big applause, except Tolkki, goes also to Frontiers Music that dares to release more 'risky' projects and the final result justifies the Italian based label. The fans of the guitar-driven classic Symphonic and Epic power metal stuff should check out this album asap.
Rating : 8,5/10