Symfonia bursts out of the gate with “Fields Of Avalon,” a classic power metal type track with shredding guitars and soaring vocals from Matos. His high pitched croon is in fine form throughout In Paradisum. Every song is painstakingly arranged and the production is very polished and crystal clear. The first half of “Santiago” has a bit more bite and sounds less clinical, everything comes to a screeching halt with a slow interlude, then the shredding resumes to the end.
With Tolkki at the forefront, there are a lot of similarities to Stratovarius, which has both positives and negatives. Symfonia has a familiar and instantly recognizable sound, but on the other hand there's not a lot of originality or freshness. They do mix things up, going from up tempo power metal to moderate tempo melodic metal to ballads like “Alayna.”
The title track is the most ambitious on the album, a 9 plus minute epic that's sometimes cinematic, other times more stripped down, with numerous shifts of tempo and intensity throughout. There are also plenty of solos from Tolkki. When it comes to catchiness, “Rhapsody In Black” takes the crown. It's a mid-tempo track with a singalong chorus, very accessible and memorable.
There are some great moments on In Paradisum, but also a few duds and misfires. Still, there's plenty for fans of bands like Stratovarius and Edguy to sink their teeth into.
(released April 19, 2011 on Armoury Records)