Rating:
8.5
Avantasia - The Scarecrow
25 January 2008


Disc I [CD]
01. Twisted Mind
02. The Scarecrow
03. Shelter From The Rain
04. Carry Me Over
05. What Kind Of Love
06. Another Angel Down
07. The Toy Master
08. Devil In The Belfry
09. Cry Just A Little
10. I Don't Believe In Your Love
11. Lost In Space

Disc II [DVD]
+ Interview - Song By Song
+ Carry Me Over [video]
+ Making Of "Carry Me Over"
+ Lost In Space - Electronic Press Kit
+ Making Of "Lost In Space"
01. Don't Believe In Your Love [Alternative version] [audio]
02. The Toy Master [Alternative version] [audio]


No life was to be found in Tobias Sammet's Avantasia for years after the release of second the "Metal Opera" back in 2002 until last year and the "Lost In Space" single and EPs, which certainly provoked mixed feelings about the new full-length album "The Scarecrow" which finally makes its long-awaited release.

As "Lost In Space" may have given away, Avantasia is a different entity than the collection of musicians that brought us the two "Metal Opera" albums. Years have passed and Tobias has matured in his sense of music. "The Scarecrow" is not a typical power metal album laced with wailing singers and double bass fury, the album hits you from a different angle even though the power metal has not completely escaped by any means. The album is more diverse than Avantasia has been before, different elements are played around with and overall "The Scarecrow" is a brave and adventurous effort from one of power metal's most popular frontmen. Maturity is the theme of the album, although still power metal in its tendencies it has more of a hard rock lean to it as well as more of a commercial and radio-friendly feel.

Avantasia is still big with guests, this time featuring such stars as Alice Cooper, Rudolf Schenker, power metal icons Michael Kiske and Kai Hansen as well as bluesy idol Jørn Lande and many more that all bring something different to the overall taste of the album.

For the die-hard power metallers we have stompers "Shelter From The Rain" that could easily fit unnoticed on an Edguy album with the addition of Michael Kiske, "Another Angel Down" that Jørn Lande stamps his authority all over and "Devil In The Belfry" with the crazy highs that any good power metal favourite should have. Other highlights include the twisted "The Toy Master" where Alice Cooper is used in his element to nightmarish results in a methodically paced song that really comes alive towards the end. The beautiful "What Kind Of Love" also has life breathed into it by female pop-rock singer Amanda Somerville to majestic effects and title track "The Scarecrow" is a great eleven-minute opus representative of the direction Avantasia has turned and the album as a whole.

On the whole "The Scarecrow" is only with a couple of forgettable tracks and boring moments. Being a long album, it nicely manages to make every track on the album something different and interesting. It may however be an idea to come into this with an open mind and no expectations, as the album is not a clone of the previous two full-lengths which may understandably put a percentage of the original Avantasia fans off, but with this direction there is no doubt it will pick up countless more that had never even given Avantasia a chance before. Whichever way to chose to form your opinion of the album, "The Scarecrow" certainly shows the emergence of a more mature Tobias Sammet in glorious form.


Band profile: Avantasia
Album: The Scarecrow


 



Written on 24.01.2008 by
Baz Anderson
Member of Staff since 2006.
More reviews by Baz Anderson ››



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Bas - 24.01.2008 at 19:55  
the big flaw of the other two avantasia albums, specially the first, is that despite the big names,. pretty much all vocalists sounded the same and it was nearly impossible to keep them apart!

seems like it isnt the case here, sounds interesting though, i'll give it a chance for sure!
White Winter Sun - 24.01.2008 at 20:02  
Good review, and nice to see that "The Scarecrow" isn't a forgettable album.

"is not a typical power metal album" or "maturity is the theme of the album" give me envy to listen to this album. I shall probably have not listen to it, but your comments made me curious ...
Ellrohir - 24.01.2008 at 21:37  
probably i will need time to get into this album...right now i will rate it only somewhere about 7...but maybe more listening will improve it

Devil In The Belfry is genius song though
Vinnie R. - 24.01.2008 at 22:29  
Sorry my ignorance about understand english of the lyrics, but...What's the story in this new album? Or there's no story?
Duy Hung - 24.01.2008 at 22:32  
Written by Vinnie R. on 24.01.2008 at 22:29

Sorry my ignorance about understand english of the lyrics, but...What's the story in this new album? Or there's no story?

Good question, i've been wondering about that as well
GT - 25.01.2008 at 13:34  
Just listened to the album yesterday. Liked most of it, but got quite worried by the first song...I really did not like that one. Luckily the songs got better. Toy Master was the only other one I couldn't stand. All in all a decent album that surprised me the good way.
Talvi - 25.01.2008 at 14:19  
Quite surprised, I thought I'd see a negative review of like 4. Because of the gay single, gay video and some negative feedback i've read. Maybe I could even give this a try.
velvet - 25.01.2008 at 14:57  
Hmm - Tobias seems to gradually be stepping from power metal to arena rock, and looking at the review that seems to be the case here I'll still get it ('cos of Alice!) but meh, I'm a bit underwhelmed by the prospect.
Spyroid - 25.01.2008 at 15:13  
Very good review! I'm glad you didn't bash it for being "commercial"! I really want to hear it but Iäll wait a bit since I just ordered the new Ayreon and I'm out of money
Zenzero - 25.01.2008 at 17:03  
my favourite avantasia's album is the metal opera 2! But i think that tobias can surprise me without power metal too!!! Let's think to the ballad Save Me with edguy! is it metal?? hope to listen the scarecrow as soon as possible!!
oilB - 25.01.2008 at 20:30  
This album is so commercial....I don't like it at all.....
DoomGuard - 25.01.2008 at 22:40  
i know ppl are gonna compare this to the Metal Opera....i'll get this as soon as i pay off some stuff so i can see how it compares to the original stuff...and if it can't then i think the reviewer was right that they would lose some fans..
APOHAKC - 26.01.2008 at 15:31  
man, Barry, 8,5? WOW

I hate this album, but, maybe it is only cause I am musically operated...
juanopereira - 26.01.2008 at 16:46  
They slowed down with this album but the cuality is still there.
LeChron James - 27.01.2008 at 10:20  
Kiske should just come back to metal full time and stop doing guest appearances.
SondrMan - 27.01.2008 at 12:59  
The best Avantasia album, and one of the best albums ever.
Marcel Hubregtse - 27.01.2008 at 23:15  
and yet agaain another sleep inducing snorefest by Avantasia, and IMO the worst of all their albums. Sorry.
Duy Hung - 27.01.2008 at 23:23  
@ Marcel : Of course it's their worst ..., oh well ..
BORT - 29.01.2008 at 00:41  
oh god, i really didn't enjoy it sorry....
EpicMayhem - 31.01.2008 at 03:02  
I hope Edguy doesn't mature with their next album.:erm:
Rusher - 01.02.2008 at 13:55  
I liked it a lot, it's different but it's a nice listen.
manolis_gr - 01.02.2008 at 19:16  
well, for me the album was a letdown... not that it wasn't good, it was! BUT, let's say i was "used to" the sound of the two metal operas and i was expecting something like this... anyway, hope that this year at wacken open air festival will kick some serious ass!
WorpeX - 04.02.2008 at 22:28  
I like the album quite a bit, and although Metal Opera pt2 was a bit better, I think this one has its own unique sound and touched up on some of the flaws of the Metal Opera series. Like bas mentioned, all the singers sound completely different this time around which really adds to the diversity of it. Another thing I really liked is that the guest musicians actually sing for the entire song, instead of just a few lines here and their like in the previous albums. I will admit though, Lost in Space is a horrible song and it should have just stayed on the single. Luckily for us, we have songs like Devil in the Belfry and Another Angel Down to make up for it!
Agajabigaba - 12.02.2008 at 23:28  
The Scarecrow is not as epic as Tobias promotes nor does it have the proper album flow a concept album should have. The album is diverse but only a few tracks stick out as memorable. Overall the album is OK, but it's definitely not worth the hype it's been getting nor does it live up to its 2 predecessors. Avantasia 1&2 are epic. They are one of the few sets that could hold their ground in the wake of Helloween's two Keeper albums. I don't criticize Tobias's transition into a more radio friendly sound but I don't think it's fair to sugarcoat it by saying he's "maturing". Is this review implying that melodic power metal is immature?
Knight Templar - 04.03.2008 at 04:51  
I was quite amazed at the diversity and IMO sheer genius. I love power metal as much as anyone but this unique album blew me away. It took a couple more spins than the previous installments but I am completely hooked. While I would say that it didn't need to be Avantasia, "Tobias Sammet's Scarecrow" would have been a better choice, it's still an amazing feat of music and definitely worthy of being in my music collection. I'm not a big Alice Cooper fan, but I thought The Toy Master was just cool.
Grumble - 05.03.2008 at 21:18  
I think the opinions about this album are so different because it contains a couple "commercial" and "love" songs.
The more "powermetal" songs are really good imo, but then there are songs like: "Carry me Over", "What Kind of Love" and "Cry just a little" and the worst of all: "Lost in Space". I tink those songs make a lot of people dislike it.

But I think the titletrack:"The Scarecrow" itself is a masterpiece...somewhat like "The Seven Angels" was on the second album. And the songs "Devil in the Belfry" and "Another Angel Down" are OK too imo. Its just that it doesn't have so many tracks, and because of the fact that a couple of songs are commercial, soft and to much rock, its 50-50 if you look at the album overall, but because a few songs are really good I prefer to give it a higher rate. I'd gave it a 7, because I couldn't pick 6.5
CyGuy6587 - 23.03.2008 at 22:16  
The Metal Opera albums never did anything for me. The Scarecrow however I think is brilliant!
Zenzero - 06.04.2008 at 18:55  
Written by BlankFile on 03.02.2008 at 21:35

I remember posting in this website in behalf of the fantástic and unique Metal Opera (Part 1 and 2) releases, and in that same post i almost begged that Avantasia come back to release some sequels of the first two fine releases. But this one "The Scarecrow" is too much dissapointing to be true! Definitely not the Avantasia image mark, its too damn hard rockish, it resembles a lot the actual music situation of Tobi´s own Power Metal band Edguy. Not to mention that this album, despite some 2 or 3 catchy songs, is predictable and unoriginal. I tottally agree with the fans when they say that this album is fully commercial. Damn right it this!
In conclusion i must say that this awaited return by Avantasia, was a total letdown, the roots of Avantasia were almost totally forgotten with this one.
Following this path, i think maybe isn´t such a good ideia to revive Avantasia, for that matter we already have Edguy...

Stay Metal people |m|


I think the same!! songs like shelter from the rain, lost in space and carry me over are similar to judas at the opera, superheroes and save me.... so for me this is an edguy album not an avantasia one! i like it but it isn't avantasia!!!!! avanatsia were the 2 metal opera!!!
Dominus - 14.05.2008 at 20:55  
Nice Album!
eximius - 19.05.2008 at 01:52  
I'm the master of toys
and all you girls and boys
are welcome to my wonderland

wow, this is gay... actually pedophiliac
juanopereira - 22.06.2008 at 22:02  
I think this album is great!!! it's just different. It has songs for every taste, ballads, pop, rock and good power metal songs like another angel down, shelter from the rain and devil in the belfry.
Always the fans are disappointed when a band releases a new album that is a little bit different from the previous one. i hate that way of thinking! the bands can't keep making exactly the same music for eternity, they have to progress.
Look at Manowar, they are still making the same music than 30 years ago, they are now a boring band with an horrible last album.
Infurnace - 03.07.2008 at 16:30  
It's not as enjoyable as the first two albums, which are perfect IMO, but I still think that this is a pretty good one. It's a shame that it's not as power metalish as the first two, but there are some pretty good songs on this album.
Eeric - 12.11.2008 at 09:13  
I think this album is better than metal opera I&II.
Eeric - 12.11.2008 at 09:24  
Written by Vinnie R. on 24.01.2008 at 22:29

Sorry my ignorance about understand english of the lyrics, but...What's the story in this new album? Or there's no story?


It's love story. Sammet explains it on dvd
DanielViking - 12.11.2008 at 11:13  
This album really rocks. great songs, great singing guests, a feeling of 80's and progressive music all around and some kick ass moments combined with sweet ballads make this come back a great come back for Avantasia. less power metal tough... 8.5!
Fat & Sassy! - 20.12.2008 at 01:59  
Is it me, or does Carry Me Over and Lost In Space sound like Savage Garden songs?.. Ack!
Lord_Regnier - 13.04.2009 at 09:27  
Written by Fat & Sassy! on 20.12.2008 at 01:59

Is it me, or does Carry Me Over and Lost In Space sound like Savage Garden songs?.. Ack!


They sound like bad Bon Jovi wannabes.
Fat & Sassy! - 13.04.2009 at 21:45  
Written by Lord_Regnier on 13.04.2009 at 09:27

Written by Fat & Sassy! on 20.12.2008 at 01:59

Is it me, or does Carry Me Over and Lost In Space sound like Savage Garden songs?.. Ack!


They sound like bad Bon Jovi wannabes.


Oh yeah... and Bon Jovi is awful enough...
bcapo3 - 06.08.2009 at 03:35  
I love this album. My favourite tracks are The Scarecrow, Another Angel Down (THE BEST!), Shelter From The Rain... It has many different kind of songs and that's what makes it the best album of Avantasia for me!
dismaleuphony - 19.01.2010 at 09:06  
I found the album decent originally, but lately I've been revisiting some of my collection, and noticed I hadn't listened to it since I got the album... And while I think it's competent music, it's really just average for me, and oddly impersonal. A few tracks are good, like "Lost In Space" and the lengthy one, "The Scarecrow," but I can't give it more than nudge above average now.
BlankFile - 07.04.2010 at 17:24  
This album has its moments, altough it isn´t the successor to the Metal Ópera saga that we all were expecting. Twisted Mind, The Scarecrow, Shelter From the Rain, What Kind of Love and the Toy Master are for me the highlights of this CD. Its a good CD, but not as good as the Metal Ópera Part I and II. Its a different release!
Sword_Chant - 22.11.2010 at 19:44  
Had this album for a long time, I still really like it and it's enjoyable, I know it's quite a commercial release but that didn't change what I thought about it. Funny thing for me is that it was one of those CD's that just appeared randomly in front of me and just happened to buy it totally out of interest (when I had the time to do that). I still listen to this album now and again and i've never found it boring
Ellrohir - 16.12.2012 at 00:46  
There are days i cant stop listening to "The Scarecrow" song...love Jorn's voice in here

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