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Jan 06

Avantasia – Ghostlights (2016)

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Avantasia - Ghostlights - Artwork

The lords of ‘a world beyond human imagination’ have returned as Avantasia is ready to release worldwide their new album Ghostlights. On this album, we see a reminiscence on the sound of Avantasia to some of their early works like the Metal Operas (I & II) and The Scarecrow era.

Avantasia’s Ghostlights kicks off with Mystery Of A Blood Red Rose a song that definitely brings memories of Metal Opera I with the freshness of The Scarecrow, interesting enough this song is fronted by Tobias Sammet on its entirely. Let’s The Storm Descend Upon You, the line-up of vocalists on this song is just top-notch it counts with the likes of Jorn Lande (Jorn, ex- Masterplan), Ronnie Atkins (Pretty Maids) and Robert Mason (Warrant, ex-Lynch Mob), the dynamic of this song is dictated not only for how catchy it is, but for  how the melody dictates the song’s structure, the sure thing about this song is how well Sammet, Lande, and Mason delivered a theatrical conversation through the whole song.

The Haunting is a more dramatic and operatic piece that showcase a Dee Snider (Twisted Sister) torn apart in a musical journey that reflects a mix of Tim Burton‘s soundtrack with a Nightwishian touch. Seduction of Decay is not the song that I was personally expecting, as Geoff Tate drags the song into a low vocals abysm, unfortunately. Musically speaking the song is potentially good, but the vocal effort overcast this potential. Ghostlights, is a fast but festive song in which that Kiske / Lande association delivers an entire worth listening performance on this record, I wonder if they have ever considered recording an album together. This is another piece that should be added to the Avantasia live set list.

Draconian Love has this interesting 70’s/ 90’s goth vibe going on, and the performance of Herbie Langhans (Sinbreed, Beyond The Bridge) with Tobias Sammet, sounds a bit like something out of a Tiamat or a Samael album, a really electronic kind of gothic rock piece. Master Of The Pendulum, kicks off slow and dark then it grows to be the heaviest and fastest track in the album, the participation of Marco Hietala reminds me a lot to his work with Tarot. a heavy metal piece at its best.

By far this album is way superior to its predecessor, and it have left me on awe at different moments. Isle of Evermore sounds like a modern touch ballad but with a 90’s feeling that fits Sharon Den Adel really well, her duet with Sammet is just amazingly precise and the way that they interact through the whole song is just so powerful and magical. Babylon Vampires is that classical Avantasia fast-riffing song that put emphasis on the great dueling vocals between Sammet & Mason. A real classic sound to the Avantasia‘s legacy that features a lot of guitar solos in the middle of the song which make it really hard not to head bang.

Lucifer has this slow ballad style thing opening the song that if fools you for a minute that it would continue like that, then it grows into this heavy and powerful song that fits the entrance of Jorn Lande quite well. Unchain The Light is one of the immense songs on this record, it’s catchy and big, definitely one of those songs to sing along live. The vocal work of Kiske & Atkins is just impressive for this track.Ghostlights‘s closes with A Restless Heart and Obsidian Skies, a great song to complete this new Avantasia Masterpiece. Bob Catley‘s work is phenomenal on this song.

Impressive is the only word I can choose to describe Avantasia‘s Ghostlights. Tobias Sammet delivers a one of a kind heavy metal opera that will crawl into your brain from that first listening to the point that you will catch yourself humming Babylon Vampires or Draconian Love by the time you finished listening to the album for the third or four times. Ghostlights‘s is not due until the end of January and 2016 is only 6 days old, but this album it’s already making the line to be one of best the albums of the year if not the best album of the year.

5 out of 5 Rating: ★★★★★

AVANTASIA

Tracklist:

1. Mystery Of A Blood Red Rose
2. Let The Storm Descend Upon You
3. The Haunting
4. Seduction Of Decay
5. Ghostlights
6. Draconian Love
7. Master Of The Pendulum
8. Isle Of Evermore
9. Babylon Vampyres
10. Lucifer
11. Unchain The Light
12. A Restless Heart And Obsidian Skies

Genre: Heavy/Power/Operatic Metal

Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Playing Time: 70 minutes

Line Up:

 

Sasha Paeth – Rhythm Guitars, Lead Guitars, Bass, Additional Keys
Michael Rodenberg – Orchestration, Keys
Tobias Sammet – Additional Keys, Bass
Oliver Hartmann – Lead Guitars
Bruce Kulick- Lead Guitars
Felix Bohnke – Drums

Guest Vocalists:

 

Jørn Lande (Jorn, ex – Masterplan)
Ronnie Atkins (Pretty Maids)
Robert Mason (Warrant, ex-Lynch Mob)
Dee Snider (Twister Sister)
Geoff Tate (ex – Queensryche)
Michael Kiske (Unisonic, Kiske/Somerville, ex – Helloween)
Herbie Langhans (Sinbreed, Beyond The Bridge)
Sharon Den Adel (Within Temptation)
Marco Hietala (Nightwish, Tarot)
Bob Catley (Magnum)

 

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