• 8.8/10
    TIMO TOLKKI’S AVALON - The Enigma Birth - 8.8/10


Label: Frontiers Music s.r.l.
Release date: June 18, 2021

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Maestro of Metal

Finnish guitarist and Power Metal Legend Timo Tolkki (ex-Stratovarius) has done it again, bringing us an all-star cast of singers on Timo Tolkki’s Avalon – The Enigma Birth. This album features the voices of James LaBrie (Dream Theater), Jake E. (ex-Amaranthe, Cyrha), Marina La Torraca (Phantom Elite, Exit Eden), Brittney Hayes (Unleash The Archers), Raphael Mendes (Icon Of Sin), Fabio Lione (Rhapsody, Angra, Eternal Idol), Caterina Nix (Chaos Magic), and YouTube vocal star Pellek. Backing up this cast is Andrea Arcangeli (DGM) on bass, Marco Lazzarini (Secret Sphere, Hell in the Club) on drums, and Antonio Agate (Sweet Oblivion) on keys & orchestration.

A Night at The Opera

The Enigma Birth is the 4th album in the Avalon Metal Opera series, a project which Timo Tolkki started back in 2012 when he decided to expand his musical horizons post Stratovarius. Over the past year, Timo started working on songs and once again connected with Aldo Lonobile (Secret Sphere, Archon Angel, Sweet Oblivion) to craft music for a new album. With Lonobile overseeing the production, the main work on “The Enigma Birth” was completed in the winter of 2020.  On The Enigma of Birth you have Tolkki’s trademark fast songs with super catchy hooks, outstanding mid-tempo songs, and a couple of great power ballads thrown in the mix for a balanced album that ranges from Power Metal, to Symphonic and Melodic Metal.

Final Notes

The album has some very strong tracks throughout, with James LaBrie on “Beautiful Lie” layering several vocals into a great performance that echoes back to early Dream Theater. “Master of Hell” featuring Raphael Mendes may be the strongest track on the album, as his uncanny vocal performance reminds us of Bruce Dickinson. Overall, The Enigma Birth is a very strong album, tied together by the fantastic guitar work that has all of the finesse and skill we have come to expect from Timo Tolkki. This album is both listenable and memorable, and belongs in your album collection.

Timo Tolkki standing with his stratocaster.


Timo Tolkki – Guitars
Andrea Arcangeli – Bass
Marco Lazzarini – Drums
Antonio Agate – Keys & Orchestra
Additional guitars by Federico Maraucci and Aldo Lonobile


The Enigma Birth – Pellek
I Just Collapse – Caterina Nix
Memories – Caterina Nix , Brittney Slayes
Master Of Hell – Raphael Mendes
Beautiful Lie – James LaBrie
Truth – Jake E
Another Day – Marina La Torraca
Beauty And War – Raphael Mendes
Dreaming – Fabio Lione
The Fire And The Sinner – Jake E and Brittney Slayes
Time – Marina La Torraca
Without Fear – Fabio Lione

The Enigma Birth – Tracklist

  1. The Enigma Birth
  2. I Just Collapse
  3. Memories
  4. Master Of Hell
  5. Beautiful Lie
  6. Truth
  7. Another Day
  8. Beauty And War
  9. Dreaming
  10. The Fire And The Sinner
  11. Time
  12. Without Fear


  • Bryce Van Patten

    Bryce is an audio engineer and a graphic designer here at Metal Express Radio. From the day he purchased his first album (Machine Head by Deep Purple), he has had a passion for heavy music, which has influenced his whole life. Bryce is from the great Pacific Northwest in USA, and has played in metal bands like Babylon, Holy Terror, The Wild Dogs, Warhead and Egypt through the 80s. He had his first interview for the Portland, Oregon publication The Rock Rag with guitarist Paul Gilbert in his Racer X days. Then he was honored to get to have drinks, and talk for an hour with the legendary Dan McCafferty of Nazareth for his second interview. In 2013, he spent an amazing hour talking to Andi Deris of Helloween, which was the high point of his heavy metal journalism.   In the year 2001, he formed Man in Black Music Publishing. They released recordings by several local bands, and in the spirit of the old Metal Massacre compilations, he created a 2-album series called The Defenders of Metal. The albums featured classic styled Metal bands from all around the world, with bands from Australia to England, and from Argentina to Russia. Currently, he is the producer/creator/vocalist of the Metal band The Black Tuesdays.

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