What happens when a musical prodigy, brings together a group of incredible musicians from different rock and metal bands from the 80’s and 90’s? The result is a super-mega project of infinite musical talent. That in this planet is called Tobias Sammet’s Avantasia, and this year this young German musical prodigy once again created a musical masterpiece called The Mystery Of Time.
The album is composed by 10 tracks (12 in the limited edition) and each of them is special on its own, plus this time Avantasia used the services of the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg for all the symphonic parts which makes the sound on this album very natural and powerful. The Mystery Of Time opens with Specters, a very symphonic and pompous song that bridges to a more hard rock tempo. On this song the special guest singing along with Tobias Sammet is none other that Joe Lynn Turner (ex Rainbow & Yngwie Malmsteen) the song had so many colors and variations that is impossible to not catch yourself singing along with it. The Watchmakers Dream is a song on which Turner again duets with Sammet, but if you listen close to the musical structure of the song, and to the guitar you will notice a similitude with Ayreon‘s style of music, well that is because the genius behind the guitar is Arjen Lucanssen himself. This song has a lot of progressive structures and complex melodies but somehow fits into Sammet‘s masterplan.
Black Orchid is a very elegant and bombastic song that makes it very epic, plus the duet between Biff Byford (Saxon) and Sammet is just amazing, a typical Avantasia song taken to a different level. Where Clock Hands Freeze marks the return of Michael Kiske (Unisonic, ex- Helloween) in a really fast and progressive song, that works really well with the power of his voice, and gives speed and grace to the album. Sleepwalking is a beautiful ballad that features Cloudy Yang who had worked with Avantasia in the past, the song itself is an emotional vocal battle between Yang & Sammet which makes this song very interesting and epic. Sleepwalking is also featured as the first single and video clip out for this album.
Savior In The Clockwork is the longest song of the album (10:41) that features Lynn Turner, Biff Byford, Michael Kiske and Tobias Sammet, that been said this song is just one of the biggest jewels on the album, the music is fast, and the cross collaboration is just breathtaking, a real masterpiece. Invoke The Machine, features vocalist Ronnie Atkins (Pretty Maids) in a full duet with Sammet. Besides the vocal showdown, this song is rich on guitar work as the solos are impeccable execute, and heavy as hell. Whats Left Of Me features legendary singer Eric Martin (Mr Big). The song is a 80’s power ballad style that brings color and enhance the already epicness of this album.
Dweller In A Dream, brings back Michael Kiske dueling with Tobias Sammet again on a very melodic and catchy song. The album closes with another 10 minute epic song that brings together Joe Lynn Turner, Biff Byford and Bob Catley (Magnum) a great finale indeed for an album of epic proportions. This time Tobias Sammet’s Avantasia achieves another masterpiece that will go down on history as one of the most epic-full of starts album that the band had ever done. I really don’t know what else he can do from here, but I am sure the next thing will be equal or bigger than The Mystery Of Time. A must have album, and my top album of the year so far.
02. The Watchmakers’ Dream
03. Black Orchid
04. Where Clock Hands Freeze
06. Savior In The Clockwork
07. Invoke The Machine
08. What’s Left Of Me
09. Dweller In A Dream
10. The Great Mystery
Genre: Symphonic Epic metal
Record Label: Nuclear Blast
Playing Time: 61 minutes
Tobias Sammet – lead vocals, bass guitar
Sascha Paeth – guitars, producer
Miro – keyboards
Russell Gilbrook – drums
Bruce Kulick (on tracks 3, 6, 10)
Oliver Hartmann (on tracks 4, 7)
Arjen Anthony Lucassen (on track 2)
Joe Lynn Turner (ex-Rainbow, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen) (on tracks 1, 2, 6, 10)
Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween, Place Vendome, Unisonic) (on tracks 4, 6, 9)
Biff Byford (Saxon) (on tracks 3, 6, 10)
Ronnie Atkins (Pretty Maids) (on track 7)
Eric Martin (Mr. Big) (on track 8)
Bob Catley (Magnum) (on track 10)
Cloudy Yang (on track 5)