Avantasia - Moonglow review



Reviewer:
8.1

220 users:
8.01
Band: Avantasia
Album: Moonglow
Release date: February 2019


01. Ghost In The Moon
02. Book Of Shallows
03. Moonglow
04. The Raven Child
05. Starlight
06. Invincible
07. Alchemy
08. The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
09. Lavender
10. Requiem For A Dream
11. Maniac [Michael Sembello cover]
12. Heart [bonus]


This album features Hansi Kürsch.

Yes, Tobias Sammet has figured out that the only way he can possibly improve on his now-trademark vocal tag-team with Jorn is to add Hansi Kürsch - and thus The Big Epic Song With Jørn Lande is now The Big Epic Song With Jørn Lande and Hansi Kürsch. So Avantasia gains yet one more facet, and so we move from Ghostlights to an album of equally poetic moniker, Moonglow. Like its predecessor, and in keeping with the general trend of Avantasia, Moonglow is a soft fantasy opera with choirs as soulful as a '60s pop group and a good-natured, arena-filling bent on par with '70s hard rock. It's not just Hansi who makes his Avantasia debut here: the title track features Candice Night (of Blackmore's Night, of course) on a dashing pop-rock single, and there are few tracks that better embody the spirit of this project's trajectory.

Already at the end of the first paragraph we have a couple of all-time greats for the band, but for me it's actually the five-minute "Book Of Shallows" that dominates Moonglow: Tobias and Jørn, a vocal team forged in heaven, plus Hansi, plus Ronnie Atkins, plus a very Kreator-sounding thrash section sung by none other than Mille Petrozza himself. Slap a Massive Power Metal Chorus on that and you've got a guaranteed killer. Moonglow isn't that much shorter than Ghostlights, and with a ten-minute voyage instead of a Eurovision single opening the album, it's not easy to call this album more compact, but I've found myself more willing to play through this in its entirety, whereas I do tend to jump around to my favorites when I go back to Ghostlights.

Avantasia is playing a winning game. At its worst, the band still provides pleasant, low-investment pop metal with big choruses and a glut of interesting guest vocalists frolicking in a novel sonic playground, and at its best - well, if you've ever heard "The Scarecrow," you know that no words could ever do justice to Avantasia at its best. There will always be fluctuations in songwriting quality and the appeal of the visiting talent, but any Avantasia album reaches a high standard of listenability. Moonglow is no exception; hearing Geoff Tate in a curious new context puts his voice in a new light for me, and though I've never cared for his singing all that much, I find his features here hypnotic. Same goes for the cover of "Maniac," of Flashdance fame - I'm not a big fan of the song (and I probably still prefer the Firewind version), but it's here, and so I will listen to it and enjoy it.

The mounds of strings and choirs and otherwise characteristic bombast are not here to kick down your door and bombard you with power metal clichés; I mean, they certainly will, but these aspects are more like pillows of sound, shepherding you through the difficult journeys of life with clear-headed melodies, angelic vocals, and ripping riffs. Avantasia is serene, wise, and beautiful, even when demonstrating its power; when life sucks, this sound is here for you.


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


 



Written on 03.03.2019 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments

Comments: 9   Visited by: 209 users
03.03.2019 - 19:04
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Quatro formaggi
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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03.03.2019 - 19:16
silenius
Boring uninspired drivel is my impression of this album. The best songs are kind of "meh" and the rest are bad.
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03.03.2019 - 19:21
Spacerunner
Quote:
if you've ever heard "The Scarecrow," you know that no words could ever do justice to Avantasia at its best

Come on, even your own album votes contradict to this statement
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03.03.2019 - 22:05
ScreamingSteelUS
Editor-in-Chief
Written by Spacerunner on 03.03.2019 at 19:21

Quote:
if you've ever heard "The Scarecrow," you know that no words could ever do justice to Avantasia at its best

Come on, even your own album votes contradict to this statement

I was referring to the song itself, which I consider essentially the ne plus ultra of grandiose, melodic heavy metal. I always had mixed feelings about the album as a whole, which explains my score; the ballads bored me and some of the metal tracks I didn't find especially memorable. As a matter of fact, though, I revisited the album for the first time in a while to prepare for reviewing Moonglow and my opinion has improved noticeably; I suppose I have a greater tolerance for pop music in my power metal these days. I think it's more deserving of an 8 than a 7, although I'd still say that as an album it's more uneven than Moonglow.
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Row, row, fight the power
Djently down the stream

I'm the Agent of Steel.
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04.03.2019 - 00:13
Spacerunner
Written by ScreamingSteelUS on 03.03.2019 at 22:05
I was referring to the song itself, which I consider essentially the ne plus ultra of grandiose, melodic heavy metal. I always had mixed feelings about the album as a whole, which explains my score; the ballads bored me and some of the metal tracks I didn't find especially memorable. As a matter of fact, though, I revisited the album for the first time in a while to prepare for reviewing Moonglow and my opinion has improved noticeably; I suppose I have a greater tolerance for pop music in my power metal these days. I think it's more deserving of an 8 than a 7, although I'd still say that as an album it's more uneven than Moonglow.

Got it. The song by itself is indeed superb. Still I feel "The Scarecrow" marked a turning point for Avantasia: instead of albums Sammet started to produce musicals in the form of albums. Great for live shows, not so much for a bedroom listening.
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04.03.2019 - 00:41
ScreamingSteelUS
Editor-in-Chief
Written by Spacerunner on 04.03.2019 at 00:13

Written by ScreamingSteelUS on 03.03.2019 at 22:05
I was referring to the song itself, which I consider essentially the ne plus ultra of grandiose, melodic heavy metal. I always had mixed feelings about the album as a whole, which explains my score; the ballads bored me and some of the metal tracks I didn't find especially memorable. As a matter of fact, though, I revisited the album for the first time in a while to prepare for reviewing Moonglow and my opinion has improved noticeably; I suppose I have a greater tolerance for pop music in my power metal these days. I think it's more deserving of an 8 than a 7, although I'd still say that as an album it's more uneven than Moonglow.

Got it. The song by itself is indeed superb. Still I feel "The Scarecrow" marked a turning point for Avantasia: instead of albums Sammet started to produce musicals in the form of albums. Great for live shows, not so much for a bedroom listening.

I agree that that album is where things seemed to change; you can clearly hear the genesis of his pop symphony aspirations on The Scarecrow, whereas the Metal Opera duology was more... well, befitting their titles. I like the idea of Avantasia we hear on Moonglow and more recently, though, since it seems more unique, in a way (acknowledging its sometimes very commercial orientation) - plus the first two albums still haven't really clicked with me. All I need to be satisfied with Avantasia is a ten-minute Tobias/Jorn duet.
----
Row, row, fight the power
Djently down the stream

I'm the Agent of Steel.
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06.03.2019 - 03:20
D88M3R
What took them so long to write this reviews, which i find pretty half baked? Anyway, pretty meh album, a 7 at best, it has good stuff in it, but overall is generic and forgettable. Problem is that Tobias finds himself too comfortable with the formula at this point, he needs to let the proyect rest for some years.
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08.03.2019 - 21:37
BlankFile
Very good Avantasia record. Without a doubt, a more faster and powerfull CD, if you compare it to it´s predecessor "Ghostlights", which a like a lot aswell. In a way it reminded me a little bit of the early days of the band. Vocals on point once again, with a really awsome collaboration and amazing team work. Avantasia remains one of the most significant bands of the genre.
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12.03.2019 - 22:34
Ellrohir
Heaven Knight
Either I need to listen to it more times, or the album is not interesting enough.

"The Raven Child" is nice and "Lavender" is awesome. The rest I barely remember...
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My rest seems now calm and deep
Finally I got my dead man sleep


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