Rating:
8.2
Avantasia - The Wicked Symphony
3 April 2010


01. The Wicked Symphony
02. Wastelands
03. Scales Of Justice
04. Dying For An Angel
05. Blizzard On A Broken Mirror
06. Runaway Train
07. Crestfallen
08. Forever Is A Long Time
09. Black Wings
10. States Of Matter
11. The Edge


A couple of years after The Scarecrow shook things up, Tobi is back with not one, but two new albums of brand new matieral featuring the cream of metal's vocal talents. Don't expect Metal Opera all over again from these albums, stylistically they are not too dissimilar from the previous album, as they mix elements from power metal and stadium rock to good effect.

The Wicked Symphony may initially appear the better album of the two. The songs here make the best first impression, some of them may even keep this favourable tag once both albums have been digested. Songs like the fantastic "Blizzard On A Broken Mirror" and the long opera of "Runaway Train" may seem like the best Avantasia material you will have heard for a long time. Tim Owens gives the recording performance of his life with "Scales Of Justice", and "Forever Is A Long Time" also provides an infectiously catchy chorus.

The album isn't without its dull moments though. "Crestfallen" and "Black Wings" might end up being skipped each time you give the album a spin. "Wastelands" has all the elements required to give any power metal obsessive immeasurable joy with Michael Kiske singing along to a traditional up-tempo power metal stomper, but for some reason this time there isn't any joy to be drawn from hearing his silky voice one more time. Perhaps it feels a little hollow or predictable, perhaps we have just heard it all before.

Regardless, The Wicked Symphony may initially be your number one pick, it may ultimately be your number one pick. It is a great album that clearly shows Tobi still has creative juices running through his veins. It is fair to say that you need to be able to appreciate all the elements present on this album; not just the power metal sparks, but also the softer sides that verge on rock to fully appreciate this work. Avantasia isn't about pigeon-holing and musical styles, it is about good, melodic metal and rock. Tobi does it well, and The Wicked Symphony is a welcome edition to the catalogue.

The Wicked Symphony has the feel of the safer album, where less risks have been taken. "Blizzard On A Broken Mirror" and "Runaway Train" are the only real glimpses of absolute greatness, but on the whole The Wicked Symphony is a more solid album than its counterpart. Inevitably however with the release of a double album, both albums have their ups, but they also have their downs. The Wicked Symphony is the more consistent, but perhaps Angel Of Babylon has the higher highs and lower lows.

Also, Angel Of Babylon review.

-

Power metal
Nuclear Blast
Germany
Length: 1:00:22

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 10


Band profile: Avantasia
Album: The Wicked Symphony


 



Written on 29.05.2010 by
Baz Anderson
Member of Staff since 2006.
More reviews by Baz Anderson ››



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corrupt - 29.05.2010 at 01:06  
So although you criticize it for being 'safer' in choice of songs, in the end it's the better album for you. Did you review one of them first and then measure the other against it or did these scores come up independently?
Baz Anderson - 29.05.2010 at 01:11  
Written by corrupt on 29.05.2010 at 01:06

So although you criticize it for being 'safer' in choice of songs, in the end it's the better album for you. Did you review one of them first and then measure the other against it or did these scores come up independently?

I reviewed them both at the same time and the ratings are relative to each other. Don't get so hung up on the numbers though, the text is the most important part.
Vykintas - 29.05.2010 at 02:09  
Quote:
[...] "Black Wings" might end up being skipped each time you give the album a spin.


Not by me! It's one of my favorites in this album, together with "Scales Of Justice".
Ag Fox - 29.05.2010 at 02:33  
Pretty accurate in the sense of "Inevitably however with the release of a double album, both albums have their ups, but they also have their downs". And I agree Tim Ripper Owens did well here. I also found the title track great, in general, the album certainly lacks consistency.
annodomini - 29.05.2010 at 10:26  
Most overrated albums this year. Both.
Valaskjalf - 29.05.2010 at 12:50  
Written by annodomini on 29.05.2010 at 10:26

Most overrated albums this year. Both.


Ditto

No idea how this album is still on the MS Top20. The Bon Jovi comparisons are uncanny...
Lord_Regnier - 29.05.2010 at 15:21  
Written by Valaskjalf on 29.05.2010 at 12:50

Written by annodomini on 29.05.2010 at 10:26

Most overrated albums this year. Both.


Ditto

No idea how this album is still on the MS Top20. The Bon Jovi comparisons are uncanny...


Indeed.
I don't understand how some people can still praise Sammet's stuff so much. He just turned into a cocky asshole who pathetically tries to imitate Bon Jovi and fails miserably.
Everything he did since "Rocket Ride" sucks major ass and screams "cash grab" in capital letters. It's ultra-commercial, simple and basic music for the mainstream masses. Zero artistic value. Fast-food pseudo-metal a few teenagers who started playing music a year ago could play easily.
Anibx - 29.05.2010 at 19:02  
Written by Lord_Regnier on 29.05.2010 at 15:21

Written by Valaskjalf on 29.05.2010 at 12:50

Written by annodomini on 29.05.2010 at 10:26

Most overrated albums this year. Both.


Ditto

No idea how this album is still on the MS Top20. The Bon Jovi comparisons are uncanny...


Indeed.
I don't understand how some people can still praise Sammet's stuff so much. He just turned into a cocky asshole who pathetically tries to imitate Bon Jovi and fails miserably.
Everything he did since "Rocket Ride" sucks major ass and screams "cash grab" in capital letters. It's ultra-commercial, simple and basic music for the mainstream masses. Zero artistic value. Fast-food pseudo-metal a few teenagers who started playing music a year ago could play easily.


That's just your opinion. But a lot of people (not only teenager and fans) think the scarecrow saga are made of quality music. I think many people just can't forget about the metal operas, so when they heard the new sound of Avantasia they just get mad and can't processed. It's sad, because although the metal operas were good, they just were power metal albums, nothing more. I find more enjoyable an album with the diversity of the scarecrow or both of the new ones. I will not say they are perfect, but they are great. I wish people who keep thinking of the money factor could forget about that and listen to the music and enjoy it for what it is. I don't care if Tobi is making a lot of money with this albums. I hope so, because when I make something that took me a lot of work and creativity I always want to sell it and see the results.
BlankFile - 29.05.2010 at 20:19  
After the Metal Opera, i think this album is the best thing Avantasia did. Its more consistent than The Angel of Babylon and presents to us some magical moments. The title track "The Wicked Symphony" is contagious. It has a killer chorus. "Scales of Justice" is spectacular, wonderful vocals. And "Blizzard on a Broken Mirror" kicks our ass too! Amazing one indeed. But the best music of this album and for me one of the top songs of Avantasia from now on is "Runaway Train". The song is really well written and it amazes us from start to finish. the vocal work on this one is perfect! "Forever is a Long Time" and "States of Matter" are for me the other highlights in this great cd. As for the rest of the songs of the album, some are good and others are a bit forgettable. "Dying for an Angel" reminds me of the cheesy "Lost in Space from the Scarecrow. "Crestfallen" and "Black Wings" are ok songs, but a bit forgettable. Wastelands may be repetitive, if you compare it to other songs of previous albums and "The Edge" is a slow song with a nice chorus.
In conclusion i think this album is better than "The Angel of Babylon" and certainly deserves a good rate.
iMorphball - 30.05.2010 at 00:27  
It's undeniable that what Tobi has done here is pretty fantastic. Whether it's metal or not, Bon Jovi like, it's still pretty great music.
The Shape 1973 - 30.05.2010 at 23:58  
He really should have made just one good album. The two albums are stretched out far too much. Both contain good songs but there is a lot of filler. This might have been a power metal classic if the crap ones had been dropped and a single album was made.
Metal Maiden - 31.05.2010 at 04:11  
Written by Lord_Regnier on 29.05.2010 at 15:21

Written by Valaskjalf on 29.05.2010 at 12:50

Written by annodomini on 29.05.2010 at 10:26

Most overrated albums this year. Both.


Ditto

No idea how this album is still on the MS Top20. The Bon Jovi comparisons are uncanny...


Indeed.
I don't understand how some people can still praise Sammet's stuff so much. He just turned into a cocky asshole who pathetically tries to imitate Bon Jovi and fails miserably.
Everything he did since "Rocket Ride" sucks major ass and screams "cash grab" in capital letters. It's ultra-commercial, simple and basic music for the mainstream masses. Zero artistic value. Fast-food pseudo-metal a few teenagers who started playing music a year ago could play easily.


Absolutely agree...In my book Sammet starting selling out after the 2nd Opera, which was his last great album...Everything he's done since is extremely overrated (that's right, Hellfire Club included), and I only like a handful of songs combined from all his albums after 2002...And it's a real shame, because he is talented, has an amazing voice, and is wasting it not being himself, looking and acting like a clown...I don't like saying it, but honestly, the guy has become a walking joke...
Swamphell - 11.08.2011 at 23:57  
Great review "a runaway train" is the best song of avantasia especially kiske verse
Ellrohir - 16.12.2012 at 00:44  
"Wicked Symphony", "Blizzard On A Broken Mirror", "Runaway Train"...those are simply great ones...rest doesnt sound that good though

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