Avantasia – Ghostlights

Release date: 29/01/16
Label: Nuclear Blast

avantasia - ghostlightsBy Michael
Sometimes we come across albums that is hard to describe when it comes to saying what they make you feel. You know, those albums that you can keep listening to and where find new layers in the music every time you listen to it. An album that does not get boring, no matter how often you hear it.

For the most part on Avantasia‘s latest record, Ghostlights, this feeling is present. Goosebumps after a thrilling guitar solo or just hearing great singing by both Tobias Sammet and guests artists. What a roster of guest artists this album has. Nightwish’s Marco Hietala, Twisted Sister’s Dee Snyder, Geoff Tate, Herbie LanghansRobert Mason, Ronnie Atkins and Jorn Lande. These last three sing together on the twelve minute epos Let the Storm Decent Upon You, the second track of the record. This song is full of what you expect from a metal-opera album. Everything just blends together perfectly.

What I thought was pretty funny, is how Marco Hietala sings on the song Master of the Pendulum. Could this be a hint to Nightwish? The song sure has a bit of a Nightwish vibe over it.

The only track that I am not feeling is Isle of Evermore. Sharon den Adel has a beautiful voice and is a great addition to the line-up, but the song sounds kinda stale in comparison to the rest of the album. Thankfully Lucifer shows exactly how a slow song could be done. I must say that I have a weak spot for Jorn Lande’s voice and he rules in this song.

Noteworthy, it’s not easy to make an album with guest artists and get the best out of them. To make a song which fits the voice of the singer, especially with the wide range of different singing styles is a challenge. Yet Tobias Sammet has done it once again. In this over seventy minutes during album, all except one song keeps my interest, time after time and that is something not a lot of albums have done. Fan of power metal or not, go listen to this album. I can say that this is one of the masterpieces of 2016.

Rating: 9/10
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
13. Wake up to the Moon