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Serenity

Serenity are an Austrian symphonic power metal band famous for big theatrical concept recordings based on historical figures and/or events. While they were originally formed in 2001, only one original member remains. The band's moniker comes from the science fiction film of the same name -- which was titled for the spaceship in the futurist sci-fi Western television series Firefly.

In 2001, influenced by the wealth of symphonic power metal that had been pouring out of the Netherlands since the mid-'90s, friends and musicians guitarist/vocalist Matthias Anker, lead guitarist Stefan Schipflinger, bassist Stefan Wanker, drummer Andreas Schipflinger, and keyboardist Mario Hirzinger formed Serenity. Almost all of the band's players possessed classical training and were extremely adept at their instruments. Early rehearsals resulted in auditions and paying shows. The next step was the self-recorded demo EP Starseed V.R. in 2002. Recorded for the purpose of attracting label attention, it proved a fave in international zines and in growing the group's reputation, but ultimately failed in its objective.

At the end of the following year, Anker decided to leave the band. Tasked with finding a new lead vocalist, Serenity reached out to a trio of musicians -- vocalist/songwriter Georg Neuhauser, guitarist Thomas Buchberger, and bassist Simon Holzknecht -- who had also cut their own demo and had been trying to find more players for their own band. Wanker was so impressed with the demo he felt compelled to fold them all into Serenity -- even though it meant he had to leave the band. Stefan Schipflinger followed him, leaving Andreas Schipflinger and Hirzinger with the new trio. Serenity regard this lineup as the true beginning of their professional career.

After a tremendously successful performance opening for Ronnie James Dio in 2004, Serenity recorded the demo EP Engraved Within in Germany. It was mixed by Jan Vacik (who would later become their producer). Released in 2005 with the same goal -- attracting a record deal -- it won rave reviews in the metal press across Europe and resulted in offers from a number of independent labels. Serenity declined them all. Instead, they toured Western Europe and stockpiled their earnings.

In 2006, they rolled the dice and self-recorded their debut long-player, Words Untold & Dreams Unlived, in Munich and Austria. Orchestral parts were cut in the Czech Republic and produced by Hans Valter. Their self-confidence (not to mention the high quality of the music and sleeve) attracted the attention of Austria's Napalm Records. A deal was reached and the album was issued internationally the following spring. Greeted by almost universal acclaim, the band toured ten European countries in support.

Immediately after the tour, Serenity began working on a new album. Throughout 2007 and into the spring of 2008, the band recorded Fallen Sanctuary in Munich with Vacik and a host of other producers and engineers, and even larger orchestras and choirs. It was rush-released in July, prefaced by the single and video "Velatum." Fallen Sanctuary was greeted by the metal press enthusiastically, and Serenity toured for nearly two years behind it. By 2010, Holzknecht had had enough. He left the band and was replaced by bassist Fabio D'Amore (ex-Pathosray and Fairyland).

Again, Serenity took almost no time off. That same year they entered the studio to begin recording a follow-up to Fallen Sanctuary. With Oliver Phillips producing (he had done orchestral arrangements and production on the previous album) and Vacik mixing (he had become a kind of creative and spiritual mentor to the band), Serenity's expansive vision grew grander still. They added the voice of American singer/songwriter Amanda Somerville to their mix. Death & Legacy was released in February of 2011. Reviews were again extremely positive and fan attendance at concerts increased to sellout proportions. They also began using female vocalists on the road. Cinematic videos were shot for two of the album's three singles, "The Chevalier" (based on the life of Casanova) and "When the Canvas Starts to Burn" (inspired by and dedicated to Renaissance painter Albrecht Dürer). On tour, the band hired French vocalist Clementine Delauney (she had appeared on several of their previous albums in a guest role). The on-stage rapport between Delauney and Neuhauser was dynamic on the band's cross-continental tour, which took them to the U.S. and the Prog Power Festival in Atlanta. In October of 2012, Hirzinger left Serenity as a member but still guested on-stage with them from time to time.

During breaks from the tour, Serenity had been recording a new album. Each song dealt with the life of a different historical character. Perhaps because it was recorded piecemeal, or because of its various subjects, War of Ages was an altogether darker and more intense affair than its predecessors. Delauney sang not only the female solo vocal parts but many of the choir segments as well. Just prior to its spring 2013 release, the band's website revealed the not so well kept secret that she had become a full-time member. The album was greeted with critical acclaim in Europe, America, and Asia. It netted a lone video single, "Wings of Madness," that featured Delauney as the Countess Bathory and Neuhauser as her husband. The band launched its support tour for War of Ages almost immediately after the album's release. They remained on the road with only short breaks well into 2014.

Serenity announced Buchberger's departure from the band in early 2015, but he had decided to leave the previous year -- he stayed on simply to finish touring obligations. He left open the possibility of playing on future recordings. Likewise, after only two years, Serenity and Delauney parted company. Undaunted, the band returned to the studio in 2015 with new guitarist Chris Hermsdörfer (aka Cris Tian) as a quartet. With producer Vacik and mixing engineer Thommy Tschuggnall, and orchestral arrangements by Luki Knoebl, Serenity framed their attack around Neuhauser's (and to a lesser extent D'Amore's) vocals -- though there were select female appearances by Somerville and Natascha Koch (Tasha.At). The conceptual centerpiece was the life of Leonardo da Vinci and the album title, Codex Atlanticus, was derived from da Vinci's 12-volume opus of writings and drawings. The single "Iniquity" was previewed on the Internet in advance of the album's release in January of 2016. ~ Thom Jurek
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Words Untold & Dreams Unlived

1. Canopus

2. Reduced To Nothingness

3. Words Untold (Instrumental)

4. Circle Of My Second Life

5. Engraved Within

6. Forever

7. Dreams Unlived (Instrumental)

8. Dead Man Walking

9. From Where The Dark Is Born

10. Thriven

x

Track List: Switchblade (Single)

x

Track List: War Of Ages

1. Wings Of Madness

2. The Art Of War

3. Shining Oasis

4. For Freedoms Sake

5. Age Of Glory

6. The Matricide

7. Symphony For The Quiet

8. Tannenberg

9. Legacy Of Tudors

10. Royal Pain

11. Fairytales

12. Love Of My Life

Comments

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@kalucena Serenity has at least a few other albums all of which are worth picking up especially the one right before War of Ages. Kamelot is another band worth picking up all the albums. Spotify may have them so it'd be cheaper but I do not know
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amazing bands with great melodies! Any more albums from them??
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They should put up codex atlantis, the other albums
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jonforce4109
Singer sounds like Morton...
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brian.copela n d 3 4
Where is Far From Home?
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rob.hotman
Thought I was listening to Sonata Arctica until I got about halfway through the song...
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blodgett.aj
They sound like a more talented version of Trivium's newest stuff, tbh. I'm fairly impressed.
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Listening to “Engraved Within;” the song seems cool; I like it, but the production is so compressed that the sound quality is somewhat disappointin g , and the musicianship seems hidden in an electronic wall of sound, instead of a revealing sound demonstratin g showmanship.
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Love this band!
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Amazing musicianship .
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I've heard like 7 songs from words unspoken and dreams unloved. Really liked them all. Very good stuff
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The singer reminds me of Klaus Meine. Yeah, I'm that old.
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Love, love serenity
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I like them a lot, the are from Austria and their lead singer is Georg Nehauser
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These guys sound great. I've never heard them before.
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They got more albums than this, for sure one
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Been following serenity for a few months and thought the same! Sounds like Europe's front man. Love the music being a musician. That hooked me in but been listening to Kamelot which Serenity came in. I love this genre. Covers what I love most.
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The lead singer reminds me a lot of Europe's Joey Tempest
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Awesome melody and harmony
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i was just searching up my name Serenity on pandora & i came up upon this & i love this music. this band is really dope.
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I love this band because they do such a good job with their rhythms and their vocal harmony. Such intricacy and complexity makes for interesting songs
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The most rock & metal stations on Pandora Radio!
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I always love me some Serenity, never ever get bored of them nor this station based on them. Just need to add the other albums!
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csandman1977
I really prefer female vocals with this kind of music but since I discovered this band they have climbed to the top of my list. This song is great but Death & Legacy is the better album. Love the historical aspect of the last 2 albums.

Missed my chance to see them during progpower in Atlanta and REALLY hoping they make it back...with Sonata, Nightwish and/or Delain.
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Their two other albums are pretty good too. Pandora pls!
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reedybryan8
Sooooo cooool!!!!
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Pandora needs to put the other albums they have on here. Very good band. Sounds amazing !!!!
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I thought it was the singer from SONATA ARCTICA as well. Billy squire...tha t was an embarrasing inacurate thing to say !
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I have NO IDEA how you got billy squier out of these guys...
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They are good, truly. But somebody's got to say it, they're good in a Billy Squier kind of way, maybe trying just a little TOO hard to look and sound just like a certain someone else. But yeah, good.
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Its a shame pandora doesn't have Serenity's other albums...
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lovin my progressive metal
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susygarcia82
Nop, is not Tony (Sonata Arctica)! The lead singer is Georg Neuhauser. I was looking at the website, it caught my attention their ocupation: Georg has a M.Sc. (geography and history) and is currently working on his doctoral thesis. Thomas Buchberger is an IT Engineer and webdesigner. Mario Hirzinger is a nurse in a kidney dialysis center. Andreas Schipflinger works in research & development technician (constructio n of cochlea implant system hearing aids). Fabio D'amore is sound engineer!
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darkwulf2000
man no death and legacy awesome album!
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bankrupt.tec h
I have to agree with Salvo and Metacom of 9 on those that listen to and like anything labeled "top 40" in the last 15 years or so....none of it can be classified as "music" ...Serenity and those bands in the progressive rock/metal // power metal are Music. Thanks again Pandora for showing me yet one more band to listen to that I had heard of :)
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metacom_of_9
"My friends, this is what we call "music." Those of you who listen to anything Top 40 at the moment may not be familiar with the word "music."

QFT
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heard petrucci(dre a m theatre)s.va i and j.satriani do several tunes together. ORGASMIC
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email pandora and ask them to add albums that are missing--the y will
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My friends, this is what we call "music." Those of you who listen to anything Top 40 at the moment may not be familiar with the word "music." This band should be listed in the dictionary under "pro."
Yeah, that good.
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danzada1
@Kyle: I was thinking the exact same thing...
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Damn this singer sounds like the guy in sonata arctica. great band by the way
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Does the lead singer sing the backup growls as well?
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Sounds like Tony, jeeze!
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peroxideprin c e s s
This band is really good :D
I think his voice sound like Tony Kakko's but not exactly the same. They have different accents.
Either way, I really like them!
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kenjb
Yes this song's vocals totally sound like Tony Kakko of Sonata Arctica. This is a very good band from Austria and the newer album Fallen Sanctuary is pretty good too...
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I agree with Rick, before I looked I totally thought this was Sonata Arctica. That's not necessarily a bad thing, although if it isn't Tony then I'd have to call this band generic.
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rickodrums
Is that Tony from Sonata Arctica on vocals? If not- sounds alot like him...
Report as inappropriate
mlb1232000
Hey Pandora, where is Serenity's Fallen Sanctuary disc? After all, their next release is due later this year!
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@Morgaine: Which song prompted that outburst of joy? Was it "From Where the Dark is Born"? Because that song is seriously all kinds of awesome.
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Yessssssssss s s s s s s ! Thank you, once again, Pandora!
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