16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Different? yes. As good? Undoubtedly,
This review is from: The Scarecrow (Audio CD)
A lot of people will dislike, perhaps hate this album. They will be expecting an album of non-stop near-symphonic power metal, and they will NOT get it. This album, for the most part could not be more different, and is, with some songs, marginally more comemrcial, which will probably turn a lot of people off even more so, but i am not going to dwell on that, i am going to talk about the quality of the album. and some damn quality it has!
This, for me, is album of the year, and will probably remain so unless an equally great album suddenly, unlikely, comes along. I at first was rather dissapointed at the change in style between avantasia albums, but i was soon won over by the brilliant composition and quality performances and songs on offer, which i will all review in the order they appear on the album:
1. Twisted Mind - 10/10. The first song is a good example of part of the albums new style: melodic metal, but more of the mid-paced simple kind. Anyway, back to the song itself, i couldnt not think of a better opener: a great song with a fantastic vocal performance from the untouchable Roy Khan (Kamelot), it has a slightly nasty, dark feel to it and has an awesomely catchy chorus and nastily, dark-feeling opening 20 (or thereabouts) seconds...
2. The scarecrow - 10/10 - god! after the first track you would think this could not get any better, but then this song comes along! it has a sort of gaelic world music opening, and it genuily works: it is a beautifiul opening, and together with some nice guitar work it goes into one of the most powerful pieces of progressive-tinged mid-paced melodic heavy metal i have ever heard, with stunning vocal performances from both tobias and jorn lande, it also has a stunning chorus, and is alltogether an epic masterpiece that has stunning melodies, performances and is generally a wonderfully composed piece of melodic metal music.
3. Shelter from the rain - 09/10 - This is more like the typical avantasia of old: a straight ahead slightly speedy power metal track, and is pretty much as you would expect it to sound, and although it has rather cringe-worthy lyrics, it is another excellent song, with some top class performances. i personally find the main verse slightly lacking, but Michael kiskes performance on the songs chorus, and the second verse is stunning and raises it up a notch. Great power metal song.
4. Carry me over - 08/10 - Hmm, at first i did not like this song, as it was nothing compared to the first 3 songs, but now i actually genuinly like it. Ok, it is a very catchy ballad, and is basically a straight-out AOR song with pop-touches, but again it is a very nicely composed and quite touching ballad: utterly commercial AOR with pop-touches it may be, but if you are not to judgemental, i can't see how someone cannot enjoy this nice little song.
5. What kind of love - 09/10 - People will hate this song: they will use it as an excuse as to why this album is "too commercial" and "not avantasia", as this is in no way metal and, hell, not even rock! BUT, and this is a big but, this is a stunning song. This is Pure epic pop music, the kind of power ballad you would expect to hear in dated eighties music, and i dont know why, i cant explain it, i lvoe this song. ok, it is cheesy and in no way is it rock or metal, but it has a wonderful melody and a stunning vocal performance from Amanda Somerville. For the open minded fans not averse to a bit of epic pop, this is great stuff, for others? not so much.
6. Another Angel down - 09/10 - Another (like track 3) song which could have been on the first two albums: a very power metal feeling song, but one which also sounds like the more mid-tempo avantasia of new: not much you can say about this great song except that it is a fantastic Melodic metal song with a really neat ongoing riff, and yet another great duet between Jorn and Tobias. Powerful, melodic stuff.
7. The toy master 10/10 - Another song people might not like, like tracks four and five. This song is very commercial and does have a rather marmite-like vocal performance from alice cooper, but in my opinion this is a great song and a wonderful example of what is so good about the new avantasia album: Melodic Hard rock and metal given a unique twist, with some of the best in the field singin their hearts out. Well, alice cooper doesnt really "sing" persay, and he does sound his age, but hell i lvoe this song, from its creepy sounding chorus and beginning to the awsomely commercial drumwork to the all-around great melodies: a stunning, creepy-feeling epic.
8. Devil in the belfry - 10/10 - Another great song! This is a very typical feeling melodic metal track, but one that despite it's utterly cliched nature, won me over: it is brilliant for one simple reason: the melodies and performances are pitch-perfect and as powerful and affecting as can be. simple. Just Great.
9. Cry just a little - 06/10 - in the same vein as carry me over, this is another AOR'ish Ballad, but its not as good, nowhere near really. def the weakest track on the album, not much to say about it apart from that the rest of the album has brilliant melodies, consistently so, and this really just does not.
10. I dont believe in youre love - 08/10 - Despire the title, this is a great song. Again, with the title, you expect medicore AOR, but this really is not. OK, it is very melodic but for the most part is simply a mid-tempo (extremely) melodic metal tune, a good example of the albums most consistent and overall style: despite its commerciality, this is a real cracker: along with most of the other songs on the album, this is a wonderfully done piece of melodic metal/hard rock. To be honest i can't find many faults with it. also of note is Bob Catleys brilliant performance.
11. Lost in space - 10/10 - THIS! this song, the one that got avantasia fans doubtful about the new album, and i can see why they might have thought of it as "disappointing", but viewed in the context of this actual album, once one has gotten used to how different it is, it is brilliant: a perfect slice of melodic hard rock/pop-rock thaat does what it does brilliantly: wodnerful uplifting chorus, fantastic bass-line and genuine emotional feel to it (for me at least) makes this song a perfect album closer.
So, if you have got this far into my "review" (more like essay!), then you know that the differences between this album dont bother me, barely at all. i was won over by the sheer quality of everything on offer here, my own absolute highlight being Michael kiskes simply STUNNING vocals on Shelter from the rain or maybe the beautiful title track: maybe my fave avantasia or tobias track ever! In my opinion, this is not an absolute masterpiece, but is pretty damn close. for all open-minded metal/hard rock fans, this is a must. Thank god (or the devil or whatever is cool these days) he decided to make this album!
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 31 Jul 2013 08:15:08 BDT
Alex Hill says:
Good review. Spot on. In reviewing the music I like I have come across some really good ones. Im a big fan of Edguy as well as Avantasia. For me, it all started with Lost In Space, in 2009. This album is my favourite and, in my opinion, their best (I haven't listened to the latest album yet). In my collection, only one track matches The Scarecrow (Savatage: Believe). In fairness, the Avantasia song is better... but music has emotional appeal that makes an impact at specific times in one's life. This is a staggering song and I have not heard better vocals on anything else. I can't put it better than the reviewer.
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