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Avantasia - Lost In Space EP (Part 1 & Part 2) (CD)

Avantasia
Lost In Space EP (Part 1 & Part 2)
by Alex Zervanos at 10 December 2007, 2:37 PM

Having twice set the standards for fabricating illustrious D&D Power Metal opera out of all-star aggregations early in the millennium's first decade, Tobias Sammet's ambitious side-project went on a five year hiatus, leaving the gifted German singer with plenty of time to invest on gradually remodeling EDGUY's sound towards a radio-friendlier direction.
Preceding AVANTASIA's long-waited comeback full album by something like two months (The Scarecrow is scheduled to hit the stores in late January), these two (separately sold) EPs' release is meant to serve as a good warm-up.
Sammet opts to include the title track three times in the span of two cover-filled six song suites (it opens both, and is featured on the second in a live acoustic version, featuring all-around goth-diva Amanda Somerville). Lost In Space is also offered as a bonus video on …Part 1, accompanied by its making of short film. If all this is not SPINAL TAP enough for you, there is an extended incarnation of the rather well written, AOR-inspired tune exclusively available on i-tunes, complete with the welcome addition of Michael Kiske's vocals, probably the edition to own. In Lost In Space Part 1, Sammet's hilariously over-promoted ballad is succeeded by a fairly OK interpretation of ABBA's Lay All Your Love On Me, where EDGUY's mastermind manages to restrain the guitars' heaviness from hurting the song's melodic essence, using them to add a touch of hard-edged quirkiness instead.
Another Angel Down is both EPs' only true representative of the anthemic, double-kicking Power Metal style that dominated the two volumes of the project's Metal Opera, with  MASTERPLAN/ARK's Jorn Lande providing powerful macho wailing. The Story Ain't Over is a slow paced gem graced by a beautiful vocal performance courtesy of MAGNUM's Bob Catley, with another big chorus squeezed in between for maximum dramatic effect. The rest of this first EP is filled by an utterly unnecessary keyboard reprise of (the debut album's) Reach Out For The Light's unforgettable kick-starting guitar lead (Return To Avantasia), and a solid hard-rock groove titled Ride The Sky and sung impressively by Eric Singer, the high profiled drummer proving here literally worthy of the name he's adopted.
Apart from the aforementioned two versions of the title track that bookend the second EP, …Part 2 offers another couple of originals, the high-flying, catchy power rockers Scary Eyes and Promised Land, with Jorn Lande and a surprisingly thin voiced Michael Kiske guest-starring on the latter. There is also an adequate rendition of QUEEN's In My Defense, but the real show-stealer is AVANTASIA's take on ULTRAVOX's Dancing With Tears In My Eyes, as this relatively obscured by time new romantic pop hit is unexpectedly delivered with a kind of open-hearted pathos absent from the rest of these two discs. During the emotionally charged chorus Sammet sings his heart out, belting out the words with an excessively stated, but at the same time genuine-sounding sincerity that is as much shockingly touching, as it is revealing of his love for the track.
Those who wish to be enlightened into Tobias Sammet's affection for '80's chart-topping glossy pop-rock should definitely give both EPs a spin. Power metal aficionados who can't wait to spread their wings and fly across dreamy landscapes of epically proportioned metallic grandeur should hold it for now and, ironically, not take off until The Scarecrow is in sight.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Disc 1

Lost In Space
Lay All Your Love On Me
Another Angel Down
The Story Ain't Over
Return To Avantasia
Ride The Sky

Disc 2

Lost In Space
Promised Land
Dancing With Tears In My Eyes
Scary Eyes
In My Defense
Lost In Space (acoustic)
Lineup:
Tobias Sammet - Bass & Lead vocals
Sasha Paeth - Guitars
Eric Singer - Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast
     


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