Album review: TIMO TOLKKI’S AVALON – The Land of New Hope


Ex-Stratovarius mainman Timo Tolkki returns again with a new project after relative failures with both Revolution Renaissance and Symfonia. Stratovarius was Tolkki’s band from 1986 through to 2008 when after 4 years of turmoil Tolkki called it a day. Stratovarius returned with a new guitarist and new success whilst Tolkki struggled on…

“The Land of New Hope” is, as the wonderful cover artwork states, “a Metal Opera”. This immediately brings to mind Avantasia and that comparison is actually not far off the mark. Tolkki has written a concept piece concerning a group of survivors of worldwide destruction searching for a mythical “Eden” and has assembled a wonderful cast of performers including the amazing Elize Ryd (Amaranthe), “Sir” Russell Allen (Symphony X) Michael Kiske and Rob Rock on vocals, Jens Johansson and Derek Sherinan on keyboards and Alex Holzwarth (Rhapsody) on drums with Tolkki himself handling bass and guitar duties.

At its best, such as on the wonderful “Enshrined in My Memory” with the delightful Elize on vocals and “In the Name of the Rose”, this is up there with the best but there are just too many songs that just don’t quite hit the same high standard…but that’s not to say they aren’t good. “We Will Find a Way” sounds like a Stratovarius-Avantasia mash-up and the Rob Rock solo numbers “The Magic of the Night” and “To the Edge of the Earth” sound like pure (but classic) Stratovarius. “Shine” featuring Elize and Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation) is missing a truly memorable melody which is a shame. Ballad “I’ll Sing You Home” is superb though and the closing Michael Kiske lead epic title track reminds me of his tenure with Helloween around the “Keeper” era…but again just misses that special something to these ears.

Could have been superb and up there with Avantasia but just misses out – still a return to form for Timo Tolkki and hopes are high for his next “Metal Opera”…


Phil Berisford


The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk Sunday 24 January, 16:00 EST, 21:00 GMT

More about Josh:

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 20 December 2020 and announces the results of the Popular Poll for Best of 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 20 December 2020 and includes Pete’s best of the year selections

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 25 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 ART OF ILLUSION X Marks The Spot (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 THE DEAD DAISIES Holy Ground (SPV)
14:00-16:00 TED & MAJELLA Divine Timing (indie)

Power Plays w/c 25 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)

THE WEDDING PRESENT We Should Be Together (Scopitones)
MIDNITE CITY Crawlin’ In The Dirt (Roulette Media)
JOSEPH WILLIAMS Never Saw You Coming (Mascot)
ALEX JAMES BRIERLEY Go With The Flow (indie)
THE UNDERCLASS The One (indie)
MASON HILL DNA (7Hz Recordings)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in ALBUM REVIEWS, ALBUM REVIEWS (Mobile), All Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply