Avantasia - Ghostlights review



Reviewer:
6.8

284 users:
8.24
Band: Avantasia
Album: Ghostlights
Release date: January 2016


Disc I
01. Mystery Of A Blood Red Rose
02. Let The Storm Descend Upon You
03. The Haunting
04. Seduction Of Decay
05. Ghostlights
06. Draconian Love
07. Master Of The Pendulum
08. Isle Of Evermore
09. Babylon Vampyres
10. Lucifer
11. Unchain The Light
12. A Restless Heart And Obsidian Skies
13. Wake Up To The Moon [digibook edition bonus]

Disc II [digibook edition bonus] [live]
01. Spectres
02. Invoke The Machine
03. The Story Ain't Over
04. Prelude
05. Reach Out For The Light
06. Avantasia
07. Whats Left Of Me
08. Dying For An Angel
09. Twisted Mind
10. The Watchmakers' Dream
11. Another Angel Down


Ghostlights is an album that for some reason never really clicked with me, something that actually surprises me to this day, because on paper I should absolutely love this album. Good lyrics, very good musicianship, great production should result in an album that I like. Instead it resulted in Ghostlights being an album that I neither love, nor hate.

This was actually the first Avantasia record where I listened through the whole album. I listened to some of their songs in the past but never really listened to a whole album. Last year I noticed they had just released Ghostlights and it seemed like a good time to listen through a whole Avantasia record. Even though I have mixed feelings about this album, I'm still glad I bought it and listened through it a couple of times.

I know a lot of people really like this album and understandably so because there is a lot to like here. Like I mentioned before the production quality on Ghostlights is excellent, the musicianship is really good and there are strong lyrics in most of the songs, though there lies my first problem (probably a nitpick for many people). While listening to this record I sometimes had the feeling that the lyrics were overflooding the actual instruments in the songs. I guess I just sometimes wished that the instruments would get a bigger shining moment in certain songs.

Another aspect I'd like to talk about is the vocals. The big problem (for me at least) with records like Ghostlights is the amount of different singers you will get to hear. It adds to the variation of the songs but it will also inevitably lead to a listener not liking every singer on the album. Personally I'm not a huge fan of Lande, for instance. Now Ghostlights doesn't have vocals that I would describe as detracting to the experience, but as with any of these kinds of albums there are certain singers you won't like as much as some of the others. I also can't help but feel that some of the songs don't reach the potential they have with these voices. "Isle Of Evermore" and "A Restless Heart And Obsidian Skies" are the songs that come to mind.

Some of the songs feel really cheesy, like "Mystery Of A Blood Red Rose" and "Unchain The Light". Nothing wrong with that but they certainly aren't the best songs on the album in my opinion.

On the other hand there are songs that I absolutely love, like "Draconian Love", "The Haunting" and "Seduction Of Decay", which are everything I could hope for.

To give you my conclusion on this album, don't let my score put you off. I actually recommend it for power metal fans, because there is a lot of variety, some excellent moments and overall good vocals. It's an interesting album and although it didn't manage to really grab my attention throughout the whole album (hence my personal score), I'm sure a lot of people will really enjoy this album.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Production: 10

Written by tominator | 21.08.2017


 


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
ScreamingSteelUS
Rating:
8.2
Over the last few albums, Avantasia have softened and smoothed out - matured, perhaps - and they arrive in Ghostlights a much different beast from the brash power project born the better part of two decades ago. Modern Avantasia sounds more "symphonic rock musical" than "metal opera." No harm done, though - it's only different, not worse.

Read more ››
published 01.03.2016 | Comments (7)


Comments

Comments: 6   Visited by: 44 users
21.08.2017 - 12:34
robpal
Proglord
Ok, so how come 9,8,7,10 give the final note equal to 6.8?
I really do enjoy this album. A bit poppy guilty pleasure with top notch orchestrations and catchy choruses.
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21.08.2017 - 18:38
IcePickLodger
Written by robpal on 21.08.2017 at 12:34

Ok, so how come 9,8,7,10 give the final note equal to 6.8?
I really do enjoy this album. A bit poppy guilty pleasure with top notch orchestrations and catchy choruses.

exactly - 6,8 is some very strange kind of "average" when seeing the figures it comes out of
I love this album along with all vocals. one of their best records!
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21.08.2017 - 18:46
Nick Carter
Written by robpal on 21.08.2017 at 12:34

Ok, so how come 9,8,7,10 give the final note equal to 6.8?
I really do enjoy this album. A bit poppy guilty pleasure with top notch orchestrations and catchy choruses.

Math is not his thing
----
#MetalIsForEveryone
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21.08.2017 - 20:18
tominator
Ok for those who are asking (or thinking I was drunk when I gave the scores or I'm unable to count properly) :

The general score is meant to represent how I felt about the album. The others I look at as the more objective aspects of an album. A vocal performance can be really good but that doesn't mean you are a fan of the singer for example. Production can be perfect but that doesn't mean it will bring over a certain mood that I can get into (like for example albums like The Dark Saga and Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son do). And for some people it might be the opposite, they get a certain feeling when listening to this album but not when listening to The Dark Saga. If a certain instrument is not mixed in really well or an instrument isn't sounding as satisfying as the other instruments in a mix then it's easy to say the production is a 6 or 7 but in this case they didn't do anything like that.

With the logic of having your overall score only be an average of the 4 subscores that doesn't give any representation of how I feel about the album unless I would set the subscores lower which would be unfair since they didn't really do anything wrong, it's just that it doesn't connect with me. So that would only have showed one side of the story (so to say).

When you write a review this text is next to the Total rating: "Your final rating, based on the overall impression." And that's exactly what the 6.8 is, my overall impression.

I honestly thought this was the best way to represent the fact that the album is really well put together but that it doesn't do much to get me excited to listen to it again. But apparently it's confusing a lot of people even though I thought I made it clear enough in the intro what I thought of the album. And that it explained the scores I've given. My apologies if the scoring is confusing but I still think it's the most fair I can be regarding this album. So I wouldn't want to change it even though people are now doubting my math skils.
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03.09.2017 - 14:32
Polaria
Written by tominator on 21.08.2017 at 20:18

Ok for those who are asking (or thinking I was drunk when I gave the scores or I'm unable to count properly) :

The general score is meant to represent how I felt about the album. The others I look at as the more objective aspects of an album. A vocal performance can be really good but that doesn't mean you are a fan of the singer for example. Production can be perfect but that doesn't mean it will bring over a certain mood that I can get into (like for example albums like The Dark Saga and Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son do). And for some people it might be the opposite, they get a certain feeling when listening to this album but not when listening to The Dark Saga. If a certain instrument is not mixed in really well or an instrument isn't sounding as satisfying as the other instruments in a mix then it's easy to say the production is a 6 or 7 but in this case they didn't do anything like that.

With the logic of having your overall score only be an average of the 4 subscores that doesn't give any representation of how I feel about the album unless I would set the subscores lower which would be unfair since they didn't really do anything wrong, it's just that it doesn't connect with me. So that would only have showed one side of the story (so to say).

When you write a review this text is next to the Total rating: "Your final rating, based on the overall impression." And that's exactly what the 6.8 is, my overall impression.

I honestly thought this was the best way to represent the fact that the album is really well put together but that it doesn't do much to get me excited to listen to it again. But apparently it's confusing a lot of people even though I thought I made it clear enough in the intro what I thought of the album. And that it explained the scores I've given. My apologies if the scoring is confusing but I still think it's the most fair I can be regarding this album. So I wouldn't want to change it even though people are now doubting my math skils.

So if I understand well, your objective rating is 8.5 (the average of the subscores) and your subjective rating 6.8?
----
Life is all the pain we endeavour.
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04.09.2017 - 01:49
tominator
Written by Polaria on 03.09.2017 at 14:32

So if I understand well, your objective rating is 8.5 (the average of the subscores) and your subjective rating 6.8?


That is correct.
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