Genre: Heavy Metal
Metal Traveller Rating: (4/5 - Killer)
Tobias Sammet did it again! He gathered again some of the best Metal singers around for a new Avantasia release.
What's more impressive, the casting has been almost completely renewed: While Michael Kiske (Unisonic, ex-Helloween), Bob Catley (Magnum) and Cloudy Yang have appeared on previous Avantasia records, legends like Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, ex-Deep Purple...), Biff Byfford (Saxon), Ronnie Atkins (Pretty Maids), and Eric Martin (Mr Big) are joining the Avantasia's dream line-up for the first time.
The Mystery Of Time is the sixth Avantasia album. It has the quality for which they're known, and it takes the band to some unexplored musical territories. Avantasia remains a Melodic Metal band, but it's been years since they don't do it the classic way anymore. Now, orchestrations and progressive influences are present more than ever.
The opener is a majestic tune called Spectres. First impression: it seems that we're more into Prog Rock than into Metal. There's a little something that reminds me of Carry On My Wayward Son from Kansas.
The Watchmakers Dream is certainly the most classic song of the record, and also the catchiest. The main riff is very melodic, the vocal lines are great and the chorus is simple but impossible to forget.
Where The Clock Hands Freeze is the other classic song. It's a fast tune that will please every Power Metal enthusiast, especially the Michael Kiske fans. It also boasts one of the most impressive solos on the record.
Sleepwalking starts like a ballad but actually it could easily fit on radio stations, like Lost In Space a few years ago. Musically it's not my favourite song, but I love Cloudy Yang's performance on it.
There's a real ballad later, called What's Left Of Me. It's one of the highlights of the record, and it's sung by Tobias with Mr. Big singer Eric Martin.
Black Orchid features another great singer starring for the first time in an Avantasia record: Biff Byfford from Saxon. Biff's voice fits perfectly on this rather heavy mid tempo song, which is one of the best tunes on the album.
Another heavy song is Invoke The Machine. The riff is amazing, as is Pretty Maids' Ronnie Atkins vocal performance. It's probably the most aggressive song of the record, but still it has room for a few contrasting piano notes.
Avantasia fans expect epic songs and they won't be disappointed with Savior In The Clockwork. It's more than 10 minutes but time flies fast when listening to it. The riff and the chorus are particularly memorable.
The album ends with another long song called The Great Mystery. It starts with a piano and several and it's sung by Bob Catley, Biff Byford and the mighty Joe Lynn Turner.
After a couple of minutes the piano is replaced by orchestrations, while guitars and drums appear.
This alternation between a piano and mid tempo parts lasts for about 10 minutes, and so The Mystery Of Time ends peacefully.
Again, Tobias Sammet has succeeded in creating a wonderful Metal Opera, with the help of his mate Sascha Paeth. The Mystery Of Time is a good blend of Rock, Metal and Prog, with some splendid orchestrations and some of the best singers around. You definitely need to hear it!
A World Tour is already scheduled and you can be sure that Avantasia will bring an amazing show. Between April and July, they'll play headline shows throughout Germany and Europe as well as some major festivals like the Hellfest and the PPM Fest, plus shows in Japan, Canada, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina and more.
Get this CD and get ready for the tour, that's the right thing to do!
Joe Lynn Turner – Vocals on tracks 1, 2, 6 and 10
Michael Kiske – Vocals on tracks 4, 6 and 9
Biff Byford – Vocals on tracks 3, 6 and 10
Ronnie Atkins – Vocals on track 7
Eric Martin – Vocals on track 8
Bob Catley – Vocals on track 10
Cloudy Yang – Vocals on track 5
Bruce Kulick – Guitars on tracks 3, 6, 10
Oliver Hartmann – Guitars on tracks 4 and 7
Arjen Anthony Lucassen – Guitars on track 2
01. Spectres Vocals: Joe Lynn Turner
02. The Watchmakers' Dream Vocals: Joe Lynn Turner
03. Black Orchid Vocals: Biff Byford
04. Where Clock Hands Freeze Vocals: Michael Kiske
05. Sleepwalking Vocals: Cloudy Yang 06. Savior in the Clockwork Vocals: Joe Lynn Turner, Biff Byford, Michael Kiske
07. Invoke the Machine Vocals: Ronnie Atkins
08. What's Left Of Me Vocals: Eric Martin
09. Dweller in a Dream Vocals: Michasel Kiske
10. The Great Mystery Vocals: Bob Catley, Joe Lynn Turner, Biff Byford