Before the release date, we had four singles that were out in the world. Those four being ‘The Wicked Ruled the Night’, ‘The Moonflower Society’, ‘Misplaced About the Angels’ and ‘The Inmost Light’. Those four are the reason why I’m so sure this album is going to be amazing once again. Especially ‘The Moonflower Society’ had me hooked right away. Bob Catley is joining on this one. The video shows this person who seems like he feels alone and left out. He starts his journey alone and it doesn’t always go smoothly, but then he finds this circus full of other people or creatures who feel left out. And a lot of individuals who feel left out together, are not left out anymore. It shows that in the end, there’s always someone that cares, you just have to have hope and continue your journey. This is all on top of amazing music. A keyboard and a electric guitar create the main riff in the intro and the melody that comes back throughout this song. Then there’s this amazing breakdown with all individual instruments finding harmony with one another. Come to think of it, it sounds like the instruments are following the journey of our main character in this story.
‘The Wicked Rule the Night’ starts very mysterious and dark, then a classic power metal scream kicks this song off into a guitar solo and another amazing scream, this time by Ralf Scheepers from Primal Fear. His voice really adds intensity to this song. ‘You can turn the page, the image will remain. We’re in your dreams’. This lyric says it all.
‘Misplaced About the Angels’ is very calm an soothing. On this one, Floor Jansen is joining Tobias Sammet to sing this song. I love how the song builds up towards the chorus. You hear every little vain in that song giving it one extra push to make the chorus come out so great. It feels as if this song is alive.
‘The Inmost Light features Micheal Kiske, and his voice is just, I don’t know, the man can reach every note you ask him to sing. But I have to say, Tobi can sing very well too. In this song, the two show their skills with the high notes in this song, alternating between each other. Not like in a battle, but as friends who both go for the top to make the song come out the best it possibly could be.
Let’s have a look still at the first song of this album; ‘Welcome to the Shadows’. Like the title suggests, a mysterious tone opens the song. The organ sound on it even makes you look behind you if nothing’s there. Then the song combusts into this choir sounding chorus that gives you goose bumps. Happy ones, not scary ones. All of a sudden the shadows don’t seem that scary anymore. You let the music take you away and absorb you.
‘Kill the Pain Away’ opens with full on choirs on top of electric guitars in harmony. I turned this one up so loud on my headphones, the music is just so beautiful. Everything matches everything, like a perfect harmony of instruments and voices. In between all these harmonies, there’s a short but very fast guitar solo. Tobi is joined by Floor Jansen again. There are so many little details that every time you hear the song, you hear another sound, another line, another instrument. Very beautifully done.
Jorn Lande joins on ‘I Tame the Storm‘. The song is smooth and slips through your fingers before you know it, while ‘Paper Plane’ is the power ballad of this album. A song about letting go and let the wind take you places. Ronnie Atkins joins on this one.
‘Rhyme and Reason’ comes in fast. Eric Martin joins on this one. From the fast start we go yet again to amazing harmonies in the chorus, and then again to fast guitars. Eric Martin takes the verses to another level, and so does Tobi on the choruses. The fast but short solo adds another element to the song.
Geoff Tate from Queensryche loans his vocals for ‘Scars’. Another song that is over before you know it. It doesn’t blow me away as much as some of the other songs on the album. It has less harmonies on it and doesn’t build up to one high. It stays on it’s level throughout the song. The fade out at the end is another subtle thing that rings in your headphones for quite some time.
Closer ‘Arabesque’ opens slowly with drums and then even bagpipes join in. The longer you listen, the more instruments you’ll hear. After about a minute, the bagpipes get traded in for electric guitars. After that, it all fades for a few seconds and it’s just drums and Tobi, but then also drums and Jorn Lande, and later harmonies and the amazing voice of Michael Kiske with on the background a choir. Only the one and only mastermind of power metal thinks about this. It’s simply amazing. So many things together joining as one.
Avantasia brings us ones again top notch power metal. The choruses are very harmonious. There’s power, there’s beauty, there’s calm, it’s all there. On top of that, Tobi has invited a lot of friends on this one too, in fact, this is the most guest artist featured on an Avantasia album yet. Each individual’s voice is used in a specific way that it fits best in the song.
I love the subtlety, the little things in the songs. There are bells behind some songs that just give it a little magical touch. All the harmonies, I don’t want to know how many hours of work are in there to get it to match so perfectly. Once again, Avantasia has created a beautiful album full of emotions and stories to unravel. My high expectations were met. Join Avantasia on this story through dark magical woods, created inside this dream world. It might seem scary and unreal, but maybe it’s not so scary and unreal after all if you dare to dream.
- Music / Songwriting 10/10
- Vocals / Lyrics 9/10
- Mix / Production 10/10
- Artwork & Packaging 10/10
- Originality 10/10
Once again, Avantasia has created a beautiful album full of emotions and stories to unravel. My high expectations were met. Join Avantasia on this story through dark magical woods, created inside this dream world. It might seem scary and unreal, but maybe it’s not so scary and unreal after all if you dare to dream.