Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Album: The Wicked Symphony by Avantasia

Tobias Sammet seems just as dedicated to his amazing project, Avantasia, as he is to his "day" job, fronting Edguy. With their new album, The Wicked Symphony, we should really stop thinking of Avantasia as a "project" and consider them to be a fully formed band. The Wicked Symphony is a sheer joy to anyone who appreciates melodic metal. The Metal Opera carries on.

This time around Tobias has decided to throw us a full album of multi-vocali
st majesty. Returning from The Scarecrow we have Jorn Lande, Bob Catley, and of course Michael Kiske, rounding off the guests we have Russell Allen, Andre Matos, Klaus Meine, Tim "Ripper" Owens, and Ralf Zdiarstek. Tobias' band this time consists of legends Sascha Paeth and Michael "Miro" Rodenberg handling guitars and keyboards respectively as well as drummer Eric Singer who should really need no introduction. Not to mention a host of guest musicians usual of Tobias' projects. An impressive line-up by any standards, perhaps even comparable to the sort of line-up we see with Ayreon and Star one.

Opening up with the massive title track, straight off the bat we're treated to 9 minutes of superb melodic metal, three-way vocal performances from Jorn, Russell and of course Tobias, already the smile is from ear to ear – massive chorus that's insanely melodic. "Wastelands" is a track usual of Avantasia and of course featuring Michael Kiske it's not hard to guess that it's a kick ass Power Metal number, again superb and another choice chorus. Which is where The Wicked Symphony really comes into its own – I would certainly go as far to say this is the catchiest I've heard Avantasia at. Every song is an utter pleasure to listen to, look no further than "Dying for an Angel" again usual of Tobias drawing similarities to tracks such as "Lost in Space" or "Superheroes" although entirely more enjoyable.

Fortunately The Wicked Symphony remains truly enjoyable throughout, and it's certainly hard to pick favorites among the listing. "Runaway Train" boasts a theatrical theme that is very well utilized and doesn't fall into the gay territory a couple of bands have stumbled into in the past trying this sort of thing. "Blizzard on a Broken Mirror" certainly speaks to me as becoming a favorite with Andre Matos really shining in his vocal parts, the song very suiting to his vocals.

Overall: 4/5 - A great installment in 'The Wicked trilogy' metal opera keeping up the tempo, pace and quality. Definitely worth a listen even for people who aren't fans of Edguy.

buy it here

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