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Avantasia - The Scarecrow (CD)

The Scarecrow
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 28 January 2008, 9:12 AM

Although I have given EDGUY something more than a second chance, I cannot consider myself as a fan of their music. Apart from the Mandrake album that in someway sticks out of their back catalogue, EDGUY have added nothing new to the Euro Power sound that features some Symphonic and pompous orchestrations.
To my surprise the band's frontman Tobias Sammet proved to be a relentless musician and in 2000 released the EP Avantasia under the same band name. This release was the prologue to the concept story that Tobias starts narrating with The Metal Opera album. The music diversity and the really strong guest appearances proved that AVANTASIA could present something new. One year later in 2002 AVANTASIA returned with the second part of the The Metal Opera and entered a rather long time of silence. This silence was finally broken with the two parts of the Lost In Space EP  that raised some discussion around Tobias' music direction, that showed signs of slowing things down in the shake of melody and commercial appeal. The The Scarecrow album has eventually saw the light of the day and let me your eyes for a while to give some written answers to all this criticism.
The Eastern guitar melody is an impressive way to open for the Twisted Mind song. This track brings some late KAMELOT atmosphere that is really enhanced by the charismatic vocals of Roy Khan. What a nice way to open for an album! Next, is the homonymous track that welcomes some more musical diversity among the impressive time duration that clocks eleven minutes. The song is guitar driven with a catchy main riff and some tasteful fills. The guest appearance of Jorn Lande's excellent vocals excellently fit Tobias timbre add some more points to the overall impressive rating. The melodic break with the great guitar leads from Sacha Paeth will definitely send shivers down your spine as they did in mine. After this impressive break Jorn reveals for one more time his strong influences for the short guy with the enormous voice Ronnie James Dio. The Power Metal oriented track Shelter From The Rain will make you ask the following question: Why Michael Kiske still sings Heavy Metal even though he now hates it?. Yes this one could bring tears to your eyes (not literally we are metalheads after all) with Kiske's crystal clear voice  plus the GAMMA RAY guitar duet (Hansen/ Henjo) and also the voice of MAGNUM, Bob Catley.
It's time to hit the ballads and eventually the skip button with Carry Me Over that wake the dark and unpleasant feelings that were born in my mind during the listening of the latest BON JOVI album especially with the Make A Memory song. Leaving behind the pretty good power ballad What Kind Of Love that features Amanda Somerville in the vocals is another Jorn Lande type song entitled Another Angel Down; fast and groovy will make your head move a little bit followed by the really catchy main melody and lift your mood up with the excellent chorus lines. The next track is the one that really impressed me; the title reads The Toy Master and welcomes a dark almost creepy atmosphere lead by the haunting vocals of Alice Cooper! Wait until the bridge and the chorus to understand what I am talking about. Back to the Power Metal foundations with the uplifting Devil In The Belfry off to another classic guitar based power ballad with Catley as a guest voice. The albums closes with the classic Heavy Metal track I Don't Believe In Your Love that brings some SCORPIONS aesthetics through Rudolf Schenker's six strings.
I think I've already written too many words (sorry for that) about this one and hopefully this did not bore you; but I can assure you this is a hell of an album and remember that this comes from someone who is not a fan of EDGUY. This one will definitely make it  in my 'best album list' for 2008.

4 Star Rating

Twisted Mind
The Scarecrow
Shelter From The Rain
Carry Me Over
What Kind Of Love
Another Angel Down
The Toy Master
Devil In The Belfry
Cry Just A Little
I Don't Believe In Your Love
Lost In Space
Tobias Sammet - Lead Vocals, bass
Eric Singer - Drums, vocals
Sascha Paeth - Guitar
Record Label: Nuclear Blast


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