The Scandinavian countries are well known for death metal and black metal, but Scandinavia also gave us plenty of power metal revival and progressive metal recordings in the '90s and 2000s. In Finland, singer Timo Kotipelto is among the Scandinavians who has played a major role in that scene, first as the lead singer of Stratovarius (a band he joined in 1994, although Stratovarius' original lineup was formed in 1982), then as leader of his self-named band Kotipelto. Serenity has one foot in power metal and the other in the poppier side of progressive rock: think of this disc as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest by way of Dream Theater by way of Journey and Kansas. When Timo Kotipelto hits the high notes, it is hard to miss the influence of Priest's Rob Halford, and while he doesn't have the gruffness of Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson, the writing on tracks like "Angels Will Cry," "Last Defender," and "Once Upon a Time" certainly brings to mind Maiden's writing. Serenity, however, often projects a pop glossiness that recalls the more middle of the road arena rock bands of the late '70s and early '80s. Serenity is never poppy in a hair band kind of way, but is frequently poppy in a way that brings to mind a band like Survivor. Take "Sleep Well," for example, that track has a catchy hook that would have made it a logical contender for AOR airplay during the Reagan years. Had this 2007 release been available back in 1983, "Sleep Well" would have been right at home on an AOR play list alongside the non-metal arena rock of Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" and the melodic power metal of Dio's "Rainbow in the Dark." This totally derivative CD never pretends to be the least bit groundbreaking, although it is a generally decent effort that will appeal to those who appreciate '80s metal but don't consider themselves metal purists.