Rating:
8.2
Avantasia - The Mystery Of Time
29 March 2013


Disc I
01. Spectres
02. The Watchmakers' Dream
03. Black Orchid
04. Where Clock Hands Freeze
05. Sleepwalking
06. Savior In The Clockwork
07. Invoke The Machine
08. What's Left Of Me
09. Dweller In A Dream
10. The Great Mystery
11. The Cross And You [bonus]
12. Death Is Just A Feeling [bonus] [Tobias vocals only]

Disc II [deluxe edition bonus] [instrumental version]
01. Spectres
02. The Watchmakers' Dream
03. Black Orchid
04. Where Clock Hands Freeze
05. Sleepwalking
06. Savior In The Clockwork
07. Invoke The Machine
08. What's Left Of Me
09. Dweller In A Dream
10. The Great Mystery


Avantasia started as the audacious gamble of Edguy's eclectic mastermind Tobias Sammet and rapidly gained acclaim and success in the worldwide metal scene, this thanks to the accurate choice of guest musicians and to the evolution of the band itself throughout the years.

In fact, after the power metal based Metal Operas, Sammet's maturing as an artist was shown by his 2008 and two 2010 releases, known as The Wicked Trilogy, characterized by a more hard rock influenced sound and a wiser choice of singers, no longer belonging only to the power metal hall of fame.

The Mystery Of Time marks Avantasia's return and speculations about this album's sound were by no means hackneyed. Actually, Sammet composed his sixth full length as a miscellaneous of the genres already experimented, with the intent of condensing Avantasia's essence in only one album.

The hype around the choice of musicians was satisfied with Michael Kiske's and Bob Catley's foreseeable confirmations, the welcome additions of ex-Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick, Saxon legend Peter Byford, ex-Rainbow Joe Lynn Turner, with the "foreign" artist, Mr. Big's Eric Martin, and the "rival" par excellence: Ayreon genius Arjen Anthony Lucassen, even though for a limited role. Unexpected (and not really fan-pleasing) choices were the ones of Cloudy Yang (who already sang in the forgettable "Symphony Of Life" in Angel Of Babylon) instead of Amanda Somerville and Pretty Maids' Ronnie Atkins who, despite his great performance, did not live up to the quality of whom he had to replace: fan-favorite Jørn Lande.

As aforementioned, The Mystery Of Time is more power-focused than The Wicked Trilogy - examples being the two up-tempo tracks sung in the Metal Operas-nostalgia Sammet-Kiske duet - while less monothematic and more variegated than Avantasia's debut. Tobias has not lost the love both for long, epic suites like the multifaceted "Savior In The Clockwork" and the nostalgic "The Great Mystery", and for radio friendly pop tunes, as the not-so-acclaimed ballad "Sleepwalking", stuff that no one would be amazed to see on MTV.

The Mystery Of Time, because of its own nature, at first glance stands at the weakest among Avantasia records: it doesn't, in fact, really feature stand-alone moments, as "The Scarecrow", "Runaway Train" or "Stargazers" in its forerunners, but is in its entirety more concrete, complete and mature. The preferences between one or the other album will heavily depend on the listener's very own tastes: who is more used to listen to every track individually, and already chose their 8-9 great songs from the previous albums, will keep them as favorites; while those more used to heed to albums in their entirety will hopefully extrapolate the real value of this latest release.

The Mystery Of Time shows a Tobias Sammet again on top notch, claiming again his righteous place on the power metal throne, and leaving fans with high expectations about the follow-up to this chapter of his newborn saga. Only time will let its own mystery unfold.


Band profile: Avantasia
Album: The Mystery Of Time


 



Written on 29.11.2013 by
R Lewis
Hopefully you won't agree with me, diversity of opinions is what makes metal so beautiful and varied.

So... critics and advices absolutely welcome.
More reviews by R Lewis ››



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