Let's me tell you about Avantasia once again. They are star assembly power metal project created by Tobias Sammet. They are first intended for a metal opera project for an act of the same name, Avantasia. In which, two discs were released , Avantasia - The Metal Opera. Nevertheless, these two albums were a great success. The assembly of super vocalists such as Michael Kiske, Kai Hansen, Rob Rock, Andre Matos re-established the genre heavily, create a wave of many other conceptual "metal opera" in power metal. The success encourage the founder, Tobias Sammet, to continued this project and made it a regular metal act. Since then, several discs had been released, all contained the trademark of Avantasia, catchy tunes sings by extremely competent power metal vocalist in the field. Thus let us see their newest album here, Ghostlights set to released in 29 January 2016.
The best thing about Ghostlights is still about its line up. Tobias Sammet had comes to another milestone by inviting bigger and bigger names to sing in Avantasia. Let's first listen to the opener "Mystery of a Blood Red Rose", which sing by Tobias himself. It is a good opener capturing the best of Avantasia vibes, melodic intro, imaginative lyrics with piano accompaniment in the first verses. The chorus is easily grasped by listener. After that opener, the real storm descend to the second song. "Let the Storm Descend Upon You" is 12 minutes epic battle between singer Jorn Lande, Ronnie Atkins (of Pretty Maids) and Robert Mason ( veteran from the '80s bands). All of them narrated the premise of Ghoslights story line, in very decent power metal spirit. After the storm is Dee Snider singing in "The Haunting", as the title suggested, this haunting song is best sing by the Twisted Sisters frontman. When Tobi invited guest to sing here, he also composed the song to be match with the singer's background. In "Seduction of Decay" performed by Geoff Tate, the song become Queensrÿche-esque with heavily progressive metal in the background. This extended best to Michael Kiske's parts in "Ghostlights", which easily reference to his days in Helloween with all that fast galloping beat and ultra high pitch singing. Things lighter in "Draconian Love" sings by seasoned Herbie Langhans (Sinbreed, Seventh Avenue). The fame of Marco Hietala also landed him voices in Avantasia. In "Master of the Pendulum" this time not much Nightwish likeliness only the middle riff and the title is closest thing. "Isle of Evermore" by Sharon den Adel is of course also easy to shared with Within Temptation collection. After this slow interlude, we are way back to catchy guitar riff in "Babylon Vampyres". The provocative song title of "Lucifer" started out as piano ballad then evolved into full blast song.
All the song will make up your day if you are power metal listener. As in Avantasia standard, they are superb in writing and musics. The many references to each guest vocalist original band proved that Avantasia is reaching for every possible angle and fans. Though the songs are continuation of every past Avantasia albums, Ghostlights will find it place among their fans because the materials are as good as before. Another masterpiece from the band.
Metal Harem class: ********** nine stars out of ten
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Avantasia - Ghostlights (2016)
1. "Mystery of a Blood Red Rose" 3:51
2. "Let the Storm Descend Upon You" - Jørn Lande, Ronnie Atkins, Robert Mason 12:09
3. "The Haunting" - Dee Snider 4:42
4. "Seduction of Decay" - Geoff Tate 7:18
5. "Ghostlights" - Michael Kiske, Lande 5:43
6. "Draconian Love" - Herbie Langhans 4:58
7. "Master of the Pendulum" - Marco Hietala 5:01
8. "Isle of Evermore" - Sharon den Adel 4:28
9. "Babylon Vampyres" - Mason 7:09
10. "Lucifer" - Lande 3:48
11. "Unchain the Light" - Atkins, Kiske 5:03
12. "A Restless Heart and Obsidian Skies" - Bob Catley 5:53
13. "Wake up to the Moon" (Digibook bonus) Kiske, Lande, Catley, Atkins, Mason 4:43