The name of AVANTASIA
as a project band became widely known with the impressive release entitled "The Scarecrow"
two years ago. This publicity eruption did not occur due to Tobias
's parallel work with EDGUY
but, due to the intense studio work giving birth to an excellent concept. From the story-telling side, "The Scarecrow"
was not something interesting -although the story has different interpretations- but the way that Tobias
handled the different singers to follow the role playing was amazing. So, after two years the AVANTASIA
project is back in the form of two separate albums with a handful of songs and -of course- another "glowing" guest list.
First of all, I have to admit that the news about this double release faced my initial skepticism. I mean, why release two albums in such a short period of time? Was it in order to take fully advantage of the "The Scarecrow"
success by releasing all the left-overs from the studio work? The answer to this disturbing question came with the self-title opener of "The Wicked Symphony"
. This song is simply a killer; Russen Allen
and Jorn Laned
bring their 'battle' into AVANTASIA
's territory making the track solid a pompous as needed for concept albums. Tobias
once again brought the different timbres together giving them identity to serve the story's needs. I tell you, this track cannot be a left-over… As a side note I have -once again- to praised Lande
's vocals and especially his adaptability in the music's profile and appetite. "Wastelands"
is another surprise since Michael Kiske
lends his voice and for another time reminds us the unanswered question about his decision not to sing in Metal albums. This track is fast and follows the classic Power Metal cliches we usually find in the EDGUY
Things get heavier and Tobias
throws the almost galloping song "Scales Of Justice"
that fits Tom Ripper Owens
' voice like a glove. This is another reminder about a under-estimated singer who cannot find a solid lineup to get what he deserves taking under consideration his vocal potentials we all have "met" in JUDAS PRIEST
and ICED EARTH
. "Dying For An Angel"
is the album's video clip that brings Klaus Meine
to share the vocal duties and consequently induce a hearty dosage of Hard Rock in the all-ready fruitful AVANTASIA
fine blend. The all-star "Runaway Train"
challenges the best-album-track title bringing Bob Catley
on the mics presenting an almost power ballad with a hearty keyboards lines and a lurking SAVATAGE
layer somewhere after the piano break.
All in all, this is an album that meets the standards set with "The Scarecrow"
despite the fact that Tobias
seems to have used more than it was necessary the EDGUY
music making recipe. This reflects to the fact that a couple (maybe more) of tracks sound predictable with a "happy" feeling that somewhat misses the concept's dark atmosphere introduced in "The Scarecrow"