Avantasia – Ghostlights 2016 album review. 4.5 star rating.

avantasiaghostlightsd

Avantasia

‘Ghostlights’

Avantasia – Draconian Love music video.

2016 release from Nuclear Blast Records.

Tobias Sammet – Lead vocals, additional keyboard and bass. Sascha Paeth – Rhtyhm guitars, lead guitars, additional keyboard and bass. Michael Rodenberg – Keyboards, orchestration. Felix Bohnke – Drums. Bruce Kulick – Lead guitar on tracks 9,10,12. Oliver Hartmann – Lead guitar on tracks 2,5,9,11.

Artist location: Germany.

4.5 out of 5 stars rating.

Reviewed by David.

  1. Mystery Of A Blood Red Rose.
  2. Let The Storm Descend Upon You (Jorn LandeRonnie Atkins,Robert Mason.
  3. The Haunting (Dee Snider).
  4. Seduction Of Decay (Geoff Tate).
  5. Ghostlights (Michael KiskeJorn Lande).
  6. Draconian Love (Herbie Langhans).
  7. Master Of The Pendulum (Marco Hietala).
  8. Isle Of Evermore (Sharon den Adel).
  9. Babylon Vampyres (Robert Mason).
  10. Lucifer (Jorn Lande).
  11. Unchain The Light (Ronnie Atkins, Michael Kiske).
  12. A Restless Heart And Obsidian Skies (Bob Catley).
  13. Wake Up To The Moon (Michael KiskeBob CatleyRobert Mason,Ronnie AtkinsJorn Lande) Digibook edition bonus track.

This is one I wrote some time back but was informed that the link was not working recently so I am reposting it now.

Master composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist Tobias Sammet is back with the latest installment of his metal opera, Avantasia, a name derived from two words, Avalon and Fantasia.

What originally started as a side project for Sammet from his metal band Edguy, has since turned into a full blown metal opera phenomenon that took the melodic metal world by storm.

Once again bringing along a slew of guest vocalists with him on this newest outing, ‘Ghostlights’,  Tobias  gives us Avantasia staples like Michael Kiske, the great Bob Cately of Magnum  and arguably one of best voices in metal period, Jorn Lande. Along with these usual names Sammet brings us some new names to the Avantasia camp, though certainly not new names to us by any means. Robert Mason of Warrant. Geoff Tate of Operation: Mindcrime. Dee Snider  from Twisted Sister and the great voice of Marco Hietala the male vocals of symphonic power metal outfit Nightwish. 

I am a huge fan of Sammet’s. His voice is incredible. His writing is prolific and he is able to gather some of the great vocalists in the world. In fact one of the best things about Avantasia is the remarkable collection of truly outstanding singers and musicians that are included in each release and, as you can see, this new album is certainly no different in that aspect.

This is Avantasia’s seventh album, following 2013’s ‘The Mystery Of Time’ and while it is not, in my humble opinion, the strongest effort Sammet  has given us, it is more in line with the strength of ‘The Mystery Of Time’ and ‘Angel Of Babylon’ albums and not as strong as my personal favorites, the fantastic ‘The Wicked Symphony’ and the classic ‘The Scarecrow’, it is still an incredible album and a force to be reckoned with in the metal world and delivers some outstanding tracks the way Tobias always does. Excellent production, big melodies and huge vocals from some larger than life vocalists are given to us track after track.

Regardless of my not thinking it is quite as strong as my two favorite records from the project, it still has many incredible moments that will remind any fan just why they love Tobias‘s music in the first place.

Some of the standout moments of the record include ‘Seduction Of Decay’ featuring Geoff Tate and what is arguably one of the best things Tate  has delivered in many years now. Great, rocking track!

‘The Haunting’ is a great track featuring the one and only Dee Snider  of Twisted Sister and he sounds excellent on it. Has his voiced not aged? Excellent rocker.

My personal favorite from the record, and one of my favorites from Sammet period, is ‘Draconian Love’ with guest vocalist Herbie Langhans. I will admit I was unfamiliar with Langhans prior to this release but his voice fits in perfectly here and blends well with Sammet’s as they give us the best song of the album and one of my favorite songs from Avantasia. What a catchy chorus!

The let down on this one to me though was the track, ‘Isle Of Evermore’, with the beautiful Sharon den Adel of the symphonic metal outfit Within Temptation. Being a big fan of hers and her phenomenal voice, I was really looking forward to this track. Unfortunately I found it rather unimpressive for being a duet between such splendid vocalists as den Adel and Sammet. Vocally the two were superb as always and they sound fantastic together, it was simply the song itself I did not care for as it seemed to be a bit lackluster considering the vocal power at hand, but it stands as the sole track of the record that I dislike.

Available as a 12 track album, a digipack edition that comes with a bonus track and a bonus disc with 11 live versions of songs from various Avantasia albums, and finally a deluxe edition book that comes with the two discs from the digipack edition plus a third disc that contains the original twelve tracks of the album in instrumental form and a 68 page photo book, this album is a must for fans of Avantasia’s previous releases and fans of any of the guest vocalists featured on the record.

You either love the group or you don’t. This style, metal opera, is not much of a middle ground genre. This is going to be the same. We have the same multi-vocalist songs as usual as they sing their different roles in the storyline. It is nothing that we have not had from Toby’s pen before so if you haven’t cared for the other albums from the band then you will not care for this one either.

But if, like me, you have loved the records that this incredible artist has put out along with the fantastic musicians and sensational vocalists he gathers around him, then it is a record well worth the time and money for any fan of his work.

Highly recommended.

Standout Tracks:

‘Mystery Of A Blood Red Rose’.

‘Let The Storm Descend Upon You’.

‘The Haunting’.

‘Seduction Of Decay’.

‘Draconian Love’.

‘A Restless Heart And Obsidian Skies’.

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