Well, it is TIME for a new album review, and this TIME’s gonna be Avantasia’s newest release, The mystery of time.
When Avantasia released those 2 first albums that everyone seem to like and enjoy – aside from being cited by the vast majority as their best material – I thought it was just a side-project with GOOD musicians as guests in its songs, a project that wasn’t meant to last, just a way to put out those 2 disks and that’s it. But time proved me wrong ‘cause Avantasia released The Scarecrow in ’08 And back-to-back releases The Wicked Symphony and Angel of Babylon in ’10. And now once more have proven me wrong with The Mystery Of Time. Making a clear statement that Avantasia isn’t just a project Tobias uses when free from Edguy, nope, Avantasia is bigger and looking stronger than ever and I’m but expecting more releases from Tobi and everyone else that work with him in the albums. With that being said, let us begin!.
Album: The Mystery Of Time.
Band: Avantasia (Germany).
2) The Watchmakers’ Dream
3) Black Orchid
4) Where Clock Hands Freeze
6) Savior in the Clockwork”
7) Invoke the Machine
8) What’s Left Of Me
9) Dweller in a Dream
10) The Great Mystery
Limited Edition Bonus Tracks
11) The Cross And You
12) Death Is Just A Feeling (Alternative Version)
I have to confess I have been massively disconnected from Avantasia’s scene since Scarecrow. I haven’t yet listened very closely at the 2010 releases and not because I’m that type of guy that goes “EVERY NEW RELEASE FROM NEWER BANDS IS AND WILL BE GETTING SHITTIER, THAT’S A LAW” with every new released stuff but because of the simple fact that I just haven’t been around new Avantasian releases that much, simple.
It is without a mistake a very standard “Avantasian” sound, and not in a bad way, it sounds like nothing else but Avantasia, you can’t mistake it for anything else, you will recognize it right away, It is Avantasia after all, ha.
It is both very melodic and powerful at the same time, mixing really quiet passages that lead you to a very powerful climax, a very known Avantasian technique, it is what they do. I like the orchestra arrangements, they do fit perfectly and make really good transitions from Orchestra/Electric instruments and powerful drums and vice-versa.
Due to the numerous musicians it features it never sounds dull, repetitive or anything of the sort, listening to different voices, registers that are unmistakable. Some that are sharper than the others, some softer, they all sum and add to it, they really make their job in their respective roles and do nothing but beneficiate the album as a whole, you never get bored and every song is very different from the others because of that same fact.
The first song of the album, Spectres, might not be the most brOOtal shit ever but it is a fairly well opener for this album, has many layers and many moments, reaches some peaks and then goes back into its more “shutted” side. It is a good start, you think to yourself “If this is how it begins, we’re into some good shit” and boy you’re getting into some good shit. The tracks Invoke The Machine and Dweller In A Dream are the ones I found to be the most powerful in the album and The Great Mystery seems to me to be the most complete track of them all.
I also have to note the Keyboards handled by Michael Rodenberg and kickass Drumming by Russell Gilbrook, actual drummer for a little band called Uriah Heep, don’t know if you’ve heard from them, I think they’re a pretty little band, amiright? *wink*.
Let me remind you also that this album features German Film Orchestra Babelsberg (Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg), an orchestra that isn’t unknown to us due to its previous work with Edguy’s Hellfire Club. They have worked with Rammstein and Karat as well. And it is a complete orchestra we’re talking about here, not just a couple strings over there and some brasses there to sound good. This little fact really gives the album its uniqueness, a different vibe than its predecessors, sounding so much like Avantasia yet like nothing you’ve heard Avantasia sounding like, it is weird in a good way. Aside from that, I find it has more melodic arrangements than the albums that came before. With more backing vocals and little things here and there. I really liked the guitar work in this album, songs like Invoke The Machine might prove my point, while songs like Saviour in the Clockwork explains what I wrote in the fourth paragraph:
It is both very melodically and powerful at the same time, mixing really quiet passages that lead you to a very powerful climax.
It builds from an orchestrated piece to a real good song, powerful, and it doesn’t lack the solos Avantasia has us so used to.
Well, what can I say? It’s Avantasia we’re talking about here. We’re used to quality , well-produced albums, and that’s just what they brought to us this time, once again.
The Mystery of Time is a well-rounded album, I do recommend it, even if you don’t like Avantasia, listen to it at least once, you have nothing to lose and so much to win.