Serenity - The Last Knight

Serenity The Last Knight cover
The Last Knight
Napalm Records
I’ve never been the biggest champion of Austria’s Serenity, heck, I’ve always found them too light and by the numbers for my tastes, but it would be somewhat of a shame to not recognize that Georg Neuhauser has matured into a reasonably good singer, through their seven album and his other extracurricular bands.
They seem to have begun a concept album cycle, with 2017’s “Lionheart”, which was dedicated to the British monarch Richard the 1st. This one seems dedicated to the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian the 1st.
Despite their preoccupation with heroism and warfare, Serenity’s material has always been rather too refined, light and lacking oomph. I mean, I’d take them any day over any epic metal band with a singer that sings in a completely different key than everybody else and pitches like a yelping bitch, but still, that’s no great achievement; their style could be described as a band that would like to sound like Kamelot but ends up closer to latter day Sonata Arctica, which is not exactly singing them praises.
Also past the first couple of songs, the somewhat catchy “Invictus” and “Set the World on Fire”, things tend to settle for a plodding mid-tempo and quickly become boring. At best sounds like uninspired maudlin Kamelot ie “My Kingdom Comes” or when the tempo picks up ie “Wings of Pride” like a faster paced Kamelot, with a bit of Rhapsody thrown in for good measure.
What’s new Tyrolean pussycats? I suppose the only other exception is the “somewhat” heavier “Down to Hell”, which shows a glimmer of promise, which keyboards try to douse, but guitars keep alive, but just barely. But it’s nowhere nearly enough interesting to keep the listener glued to the album, not by a long mile.
With a decent singer, being one of their better aspects, but pretty weak and banal songwriting and arrangements, Serenity cannot hope to exceed a certain level that of a buy on opener for a larger band…
With a band like Serenity that hasn’t really “made it” after twenty years and more than a few albums, I dunno what might be keeping them coming back, but more power to them for not giving up. And my comforts to their fans, who will have to endure more of the same-y mid-tempo pish for years to come.