How Many Guests In One Record, Pt.II.
Avantasia is a symphonic/power metal band created by German power metal front-man, Tobias Sammet, of Edguy. This is the third release in the recent trilogy of albums he has created, starting with 2008's "The Scarecrow" and 2010's "The Wicked Symphony." This release, as with the previous two, have a lot of guests on it.
The first track on here is titled Stargazers. This opening track features multiple guests on it, including Jorn Lande, Symphony X's Russel Allen, and ex-Helloween vocalist Michael Kiske. This track is much more orchestral, as the rest of the album is, compared to the previous album. This track is a bit more progressive, moving from driving rock riffs into more harmonized mellow leads midway through the track. This track really carries the rest of the album, as this is a high caliber track.
The next track is the title-track, Angel of Babylon, once again featuring Jorn Lande. This track continues the 80s vibe from the last album, with a big chorus and strong riffs. The difference being, comparing this song, and really the rest of the album, is that even though these songs are shorter, they seem more progressive, mid-tempo, and symphonic than those found on "The Wicked Symphony."
The third track is called Your Love Is Evil. This is one of the few tracks on this album to feature only Tobias on vocals. This track is really carried by Tobias' vocals, as opposed to the previous two tracks which had strong orchestration and guitar riffs. This track, as many might have anticipated, is a power-ballad type of song; though it's a bit more up-tempo compared to previous songs of the same nature. The guitar solo on this track is a bit more rock based in nature when compared to the rest of the track which is fairly sorrowful and moody.
The next track is called Death Is Just A Feeling, featuring Jon Oliva. This track really reflects the Jon Oliva style, as it is very theatrical sounding. This is probably the most orchestral track on the album so far, with the basis of the guitars being a lot more simplistic than other tracks. This track also features very little from Tobias, in comparison to other tracks, in terms of vocals, with Oliva carrying the song mostly on his own.
The following track is titled Rat Race, and, again, features Jorn Lande. This track juxtaposes the last track, as this is much more up-tempo and features a driving drum beat. This track is also much more rock'n'roll styled and is probably a lot easier to get into then the last track was.
The sixth track is called Down In The Dark, with Jorn on vocals again. This carries on with more simplistic riffs and more straightforward song structure from the last track. The epic and retro-80s chorus also returns, although this track isn't nearly as fast as the last was.
The seventh track is another track with only Tobias on vocals, titled Blowing Out The Flame. This is the real ballad of the album, with the mellowest and most sorrowful vibe on both this, and the previous album. Don't let this fool you into thinking that this song isn't heavy, it's still a power-ballad, it just has all the right elements of a good one. The use of piano, strings, and acoustic guitars brings it all home for anyone who loves this sort of song.
The next track is Symphony of Life with Cloudy Yang. This is another sorrowful and melancholy track, with Yang's vocals carrying the weight of the song. Since this is the only track to actually feature "lead" female vocals, not ones in the choirs, it actually makes this track a bit more unique. Yang's voice is similar in style to Cristina Scabbia's of Lacuna Coil, where it is very melodic sounding, but is clearly able to sing heavier.
After the last two melancholy songs, this next one is much more up-beat and rockin'. This track is called Alone I Remember, with, you guessed it, Jorn Lande on it again. This track is another one to break out of the more metal style mold, being very much of a bluesy rock song. Jorn's vocals suit this song to a t, bring that Whitesnake vibe home.
The second to last track is called Promised Land, with Jorn Lande and Michael Kiske on it again. This song is really refreshing after the last track, this one is heavier and more power metal. Pretty much the usual thing found in power metal is found in this song, fast melodic riffs, a driving beat, and soaring vocals.
The final track is Journey to Arcadia with Jorn Lande and Bob Catley. This track carries with it a bit of a ballad vibe, but is much more symphonic and rock sounding. This track has a bit more valleys than the other ballads on here, as this song has both a rock and a slow ballad feeling and moves from moody and slower verses through heavy choruses and a moving guitar solo.
Overall, this album is much more diverse than the last one, "The Wicked Symphony," was and makes it more enjoyable. From the ballads to the heavier rock and power metal songs, Tobias has fired all of his loads, and succeeds at hitting his mark. The more symphonic and rock approach to this album suits his style much more.
Overall Score: 9Highlights: Stargazers, Death Is Just A Feeling, Alone I Remember, Promised Land, Journey to Arcadia