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Avantasia - The Mystery Of Time

Published March 28 2013

=Staff's pick

The Watchmakers' Dream*
Black Orchid
Where Clock Hands Freeze*
Savior In The Clockwork*
Invoke The Machine
What's Left Of Me
Dweller In A Dream*
The Great Mystery

Genre Symphonic Hard Rock
Tobias Sammet
Tracks 10
Sascha Paeth
Running time 62 Min.
Label Nuclear Blast
Tobias Sammet
Release 29 March 2013
Russell Gilbrook
Country Germany
Michael "Miro" Rodenberg
Producer Sascha Paeth
Similar artists Edguy

- Full album title: Tobias Sammet's Avantasia - The Mystery Of Time - A Rock Epic
- Additional personnel: Joe Lynn Turner, Biff Byford, Michael Kiske, Cloudy Yang, Ronnie Atkins, Eric Martin, Bob Catley (vocals), Arjen Lucassen, Bruce Kulick, Oliver Hartmann (guitar), Ferdy Doernberg (organ).

Without a doubt, Tobias Sammet's both bands Edguy and Avantasia go hand in hand, moving farther away from the original power metal sound almost with every release. Just have a quick look at the subtitle and read 'A Rock Epic' and you'll know half the deal. I can't say I was caught by surprise when I listened to this time-inspired concept album for the first time, as this release is far different from the metal operas he created with Avantasia in the earlier days.

Is he aging real fast? I'm getting Geoff Tate-vibes all over the place, meaning to create something from an artistic point of view and show people that you're a man of your own will and freedom. In less than ten years, I guess we'll hear his efforts on regular radio broadcasting. Also Avantasia is probably now at least as profitable as his main band or perhaps even more profitable and Mr. Sammet is definitely smart enough to let his wallet control his matters to some extent. And who can criticize him? I and most of you people would have done exactly the same if we were in his position, even if he in our metal community definitely will be labeled as a sell-out whose efforts, by a few, will be sorted as some sort of treacherous acts.

Okay, enough bullshit about his financial status, so let's focus on what's important here; the music. This album certainly has many good parts. It's epic and not that much different from his latest releases. Even if I get more and more pissed that he's left the metal opera stuff, I can't help being captivated by the catchiness in these symphonic hard rock songs, even if songs like the power metal influenced Where Clock Hands Freeze, featuring Michael Kiske on vocals, still rocks more than most of the record. To be fair enough, The Mystery Of Time is by no chance a genuine pop or rock album. There are still strong elements of metal in this music, so don't worry too much about my hard and patronizing words.

Sleepwalking, a duet with female vocalist Cloudy Yang, is the first single and video off this album and with this pop-song ballad, I believe Sammet is trying to redo that daring move he did with Lost In Space in the past. A massive statement that he can choose whatever song he wishes to, because this song is by far not the best one. It's not as bad as 'I'd rather lick a dog's sack before listening to this shit ever again' though. Yet it feels forced, in a way to have a greasy ballad present and I don't like the rhythms and the instruments' tones either. If you want to check this album out, please do yourself a favor and listen to the rest of the songs first, before digging into this one. With that said, I'm already now one hundred percent certain that he will perform this track live on the Avantasia tour later this year.

With all these fantastic vocalists, it was pretty obvious that the singing performances would turn out well and even Sammet is doing a rather good job, keeping up with this tough competition. To name a few, I think having Saxon's frontman Biff Byford on this release is something huge, since I'm a longtime fan of the British metallers. Michael Kiske is once again proving that he is kind of the archetype and I can never get enough of his Avantasia performances.

With the main man's neverending strive and everflowing will to create mainly heavier music, he has succeeded once again. I'm way more satisfied with the total outcome of this album, than I've been with his later efforts and this record will spin frequently in my place for a long time. 8 chalices to The Mystery Of Time.

See also review of: Ghostlights , The Scarecrow , The Metal Opera Pt.2 , The Metal Opera Pt.1








8 chalices of 10 - Tobbe

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