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Avantasia - Angel Of Babylon

Angel Of Babylon
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 21 May 2010, 10:05 AM

This is the third part of the story that Tobias started narrating with the album "The Scarecrow" a couple of years ago. This is also the second album featured in this double AVANTASIA release coming along with the obvious question; is it capable of justifying the simultaneously release plan?

Just like "The Wicked Symphony" this album kicks in with the long in time duration track "Stargazers" revealing most of the vocal hidden cards named Michael Kiske, Jorn Lande and Russen Allen. This track starts with a mid tempo pace and then explodes into a Heavy/Power Metal hymn with excellent MAIDEN-esque double guitar harmonies and killer solos. Tobias has a very good voice that does not get a fair chance inside EDGUY's music. And this because I believe EDGUY is single minded band giving Tobias little "room" for him to move and hence implement his full vocal range. This saying of mine is underlined when "Angel Of Babylon" enters with the cliche Euro Power sound that on top of that does not fit 100% to the album's concept and atmosphere. Not, that this is bad track but in the end is nothing really special. It seems that Tobias is playing safe here walking upon well-known territories and for this offers little to the average listener. "Death Is Just A Feeling" is by far the best song of the album featuring the great Jon Oliva behind the mic, who lends his expressional vocals enhancing to the maximum the theatrical atmosphere. Songs like this, made me to have a great respect to Tobias' composing potentials who managed in the "The Scarecrow" album series to build the music upon the respective singer's timbre and artistic attitude. I mean, you can discover SAVATAGE and JON OLIVA'S PAIN elements here through AVANTASIA's multi color prism. But the song structure in this album is not as complex as the previous one featuring tracks that flirt with the danger to be named as fillers with catchy sing-along choruses and foot-taping grooves. I strongly believe that when you have story to support then you need something deeper than simple structured tracks. The album diversity is kind of saved by "Symphony Of Life" where Cloudy Young handles the operatic and clean vocals adding a symphonic Metal lining and by "Journey To Arcadia" where Bob Catley gracefully delivers the MAGNUM Hard Rock excellency backed up by very good backing vocals.

To wrap this up, "Angel Of Babylon" is inferior to "The Wicked Symphony" and can be characterized as the weaker link in Tobias' story. Based on these facts, I would prefer if he had chosen the best tracks of the two albums and merged them in a single release. I believe that then we would be discussing about the best work by Tobias. Usually, the "more the merrier saying" saying does not apply in music creation.

3 Star Rating

  1. Stargazers
  2. Angel Of Babylon
  3. Your Love Is Evil
  4. Death Is Just A Feeling
  5. Rat Race
  6. Down In The Dark
  7. Blowing Out The Flame
  8. Symphony Of Life
  9. Alone I Remember
  10. Promised Land (Part 2)
  11. Journey To Arcadia
Tobias Sammet - Vocals, Bass
Sascha Paeth - Guitars
Michael "Miro" Rodenberg - Keyboards, Orchestration
Eric Singer - Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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